5 Ways to Make More Intentional Choices
It’s the little choices that make the biggest impact.
I’m convinced of this. It’s all about the intentional choices, no matter how small. There’s the small thing of hitting the snooze like I did this morning. It made me start my day later, which means I lost my most productive time (5:30-8:00a) forever. This later start shifts my attitude all day.
While I wish I could say I won’t do it again tomorrow, tomorrow morning my body will remind me how good it felt to stay in bed yesterday. It won’t really nag me about how little I got done, how miserable that made me, not how I relaxed I felt in the evening.
1. Intentional choices by leadership change outcomes.
My son wrote home from bootcamp that his drill instructor will not let the recruits in his platoon eat dessert after their meals. He refuses to let these young men entertain the thought of sugar, although they could probably (and gladly) chew the walls from the bottom up because they’re working so hard, burning so many calories, and feel so hungry.
But as a result of this decision (and probably many other DI decisions), my son’s platoon is beating out the other platoons in their company in competitions. They’re more focused, more chiseled, and have higher expectations of themselves because of their sacrifice.
Dessert? It’s such a little thing. Yet what intentional going without does in the mind? Monumental.
2. It’s the intentional decisions online that change our perspective.
The little choice of scrolling Twitter for the morning news turns into 30 minutes suddenly gone in a vapor. I can listen to the news as I make coffee, straighten up, and get dressed. Actively moving and preparing instead of sitting allows me to get the same news. But what it does for me mentally and emotionally to set my day is extraordinary.
Unfollowing people once in a while on Instagram removes the temptation to compare. (Or the guilt of not creating more beautiful food, a more beautiful home, or a better wardrobe. Or. Or. Or…)
3. Intentional choices at the home impact everyone.
Taking five minutes to straighten the kitchen and load the dishwasher at night instead of taking that same five minutes in the morning allows me to stumble to the kitchen at 5a and smile at the shine. It’s a small thing but feeling happy instead of overwhelmed at the start of the day empowers me!
Drinking tea or kombucha in the afternoon instead of another cup of coffee makes my evening more relaxing. (Everyone around me would agree!)
Moving my puppies from off the chair behind my monitor to a little bed next to me on my desk lets me pet them and talk to them throughout the day. We both love that!
4. Small shifts in our mindset can change everything.
Boosting my gratitude habit lets me let go of so many things here in the Little Blue House we just don’t use consistently. And living lighter gives us more time to enjoy each other rather than caring for the things we don’t really, well, care for. (February is gonna be our Clear Out month: the basement, the garage, the front closet, and then every nook and cranny we can find until the month is over.)
A mindset shift can give us the ability to solve problems that have previously eluded us. It’s like addressing our challenges from the inside out.
5. Intentional choices at work change our productivity and job satisfaction.
Making lists and sticking a gold star on what’s done is SO childish but lets me rest my head feeling satisfied that I spent a productive day, even if everything on the list isn’t done. (This is huge, people. I never complete my lists — they’re too long. They leave no time for smoothies and puzzles in the evening, that’s for sure. I have lived in a constant state of overwhelm, underestimating how much time it takes to do things and then letting everything snowball until I crash. Ugh. Not fun. Gold stars are my win on this front.)
All these things are little choices. But they all add up to make a HUGE impact on the way we live our life here in the Little Blue House.
What seemingly small choices are you making:
- As you lead?
- While you’re spending time online?
- As you maintain your home?
- In your mindset?
- As you work?
These little choices not only impact how we nurture or negate those around us, they change our capacity for JOY. (Remember those next 5 steps?) They can take us from surviving to thriving. And I’ll tell you what — we all want as much capacity for joy as we can handle and then some. We need it flooding in, bursting with color. Raining down in an avalanche of goodness.