Ok, ok… it might be a little much. BUT how often are we actually being intentional and how often are we reactionary? In my own relationships, be it friends, family, or my husband, I tend to err on the side of reactionary. Just the other day I thought about how it’s been months since we intentionally went out on a date, or intentionally spent quality time together. We are conveniently orbiting around each other and thus we have no need to be intentional.
But then I had another thought: I have felt more alone lately, more disconnected. Could it be that just being in the vicinity of a loved one, feeling the slight pull of their orbit, isn’t enough? Could it be that un-intentionally we had drifted and that un-intentionally we would continue to. Therefore, we needed to be intentionally intentional. They say you have to choose to love your spouse every day and I’m finding that to be very true.
But what is intentionality?
According to Webster's, intentionality is the act of intending or being oriented towards a particular goal or purpose. It is the idea that our thoughts and actions are directed towards achieving something specific. In philosophy, intentionality is often used to describe the way in which our minds are connected to the external world. It is the way in which we are able to think about and perceive things outside of ourselves.
Intentionality plays a role in every area of our lives. In our relationships, for example, our actions and words are often guided by our intentions. If we have good intentions towards someone, we are more likely to act in a way that is kind and considerate towards them. On the other hand, if we have negative intentions towards someone, our actions and words may be harmful or hurtful. Maybe even worse than negative intentions are neutral or no intentions, leaving someone in limbo with where they stand with you, which to me, is worse than having a negative intention… but that could just be me.
Intentionality is also important in our personal growth and development. When we set goals for ourselves, we are expressing our intentions to achieve something specific. For example, if we set a goal to read more books, it is because we have the intention to improve our knowledge and expand our minds. By setting intentions and working towards achieving them, we are able to make progress and improve ourselves.
Overall, intentionality is an important concept that shapes our thoughts, actions, and decisions. It influences the way we interact with others and the choices we make in life. By being mindful of our intentions and being purposeful in our actions, we can make more meaningful and fulfilling choices and have more meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
5 ways you can practice being intentional:
1) Set clear goals: One way to practice intentionality is to set clear goals for yourself. This could be short-term goals, like completing a task at work, or long-term goals, like saving for retirement. By setting clear goals, you have a specific intention in mind, which can guide your actions and decision-making.
2) Practice mindfulness: Another way to practice intentionality is to cultivate mindfulness. This means being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions. By being mindful, you can become more aware of your intentions and the impact they have on your life.
3) Make conscious choices: Practice intentionality by making conscious choices in your daily life. Instead of going through the motions or following a routine, consider your options and make choices that align with your values and goals.
4) Reflect on your intentions: Take time to reflect on your intentions and consider whether they align with your values and goals. This can help you to identify any conflicting or negative intentions and work towards changing them.
5) Seek accountability: Find someone who can hold you accountable for your intentions. This could be a coach, mentor, or friend who can help you stay on track and stay focused on your goals.