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Five Steps To Making Intentional Lifestyle Changes

January 1, 2020

Feeling overwhelmed with life?  It is possible to make intentional lifestyle changes.  All it takes is commitment and a plan!  Included in this post is an intentional living worksheet that will guide you in creating an intentional life.

Intentional Lifestyle Changes. Creating an Intentional Life. Intentional Living Worksheet

Do you ever feel like you’re just missing the mark on living your best life?  You’re always running from one thing to the next with zero intentionality or purpose?  Your family is suffering because you just don’t know what your true desires are?  I have been there and it’s rough!

The thing is, no one has to live that way.  Flitting from one thing to another isn’t the only way to live life.  Your life CAN be filled with intentionality and slowing down to focus on what matters is totally possible.  You can create an intentional life!

Yes, it absolutely takes work to create an intentional life.  There’s no easy button or simple solution but, if you put in the work, you and your family with thrive!  I’ve put together a guideline for planning out your intentional lifestyle changes – ways to focus on what you value personally but also what you and your spouse value together for your family.  Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom because I have a gift for you too!

How to Make Intentional Lifestyle Changes

Find Your Categories

I feel as though most of my life and the things I need to be intentional about can be summed up in eight categories.  These categories are Home, Marriage, Parenting, Spiritual Life, Personal Time, Work, Relationships, and Physical and Mental Health.  Maybe your categories are different than mine and that’s totally fine.  Maybe you need to focus in on being more intentional with your finances but that’s not one of my categories.  Change it!  (And, just so you know, there are aspects of financial intentionality for me included in marriage, spiritual life, work, AND relationships so don’t go thinking we’ve got our finances all figured out in the Kellogg household.  Find the categories that you want to hone in on and write them down!

While you’re deciding on your categories, talk to your spouse about what he thinks should be included as well.  You are a team and need to be growing and changing together.  Your household will not be able to reach the desires you have for intentional living if you and your husband are not on the same page.  Make changes and be humble as the two of you work together to start this process.

Get Your FREE Downloadable Intentional Living Worksheet

Brain Dump

Once you guys have your categories sorted out, it’s time for the two of you to go off on your own and BRAIN DUMP!  This is kinda my favorite part.  It’s time to pull out your intentional living worksheet, think about each category, and write down everything you feel needs to be changed, grown, gotten rid of, etc.  Just write it down.  Don’t worry about if it makes sense or is practical.  This is just brain dumping time.

Once you have everything written down, go back through and edit your lists.  Maybe you have a few totally impossible things on there that you need to let go of.  I mean, I would love to be able to sleep nine hours a night and my physical body would be so much healthier if I did that but I have a baby who still nurses in the night so that was crossed off my list.

See if there are any themes running throughout the list and write those themes down.  Pray and ask God to bring any other changes to your lists to your mind.

Have an Open Conversation

Once you’re both ready, get together with your spouse, a glass of wine (oh, that’s only me?), and your list and start talking.  Begin in one category and let both of you share what you have written down.  It will probably surprise you to hear some major similarities in your lists and will probably surprise you even more to hear some major differences.  Don’t let the differences be causes for conflict but, instead, have frank discussions about where you each are coming from in order to find a compromise (or complete 180 for one person) that you’re both happy with.

It could be that there’s something you need to see changed that might make your spouse feel bad about himself.  Although it’s hard to bring things like that up (I mean, it’s REALLY hard for this enneagram 9 gal), you NEED to do it.  Have this discussion with grace and love while listening to your spouse.  You’re not responsible for changing anyone else so you may have to back off if there’s too much negativity or you may even have to bring a third party (mentor, counselor, etc) into the conversation if it gets too much for the two of you.  Working through these things is SO GOOD, though, and, if both of you are willing to do the work, you will get to a place where your intentional desires mesh.

Don’t insist on this conversation happening in one sitting.  You may need to come back to these conversations a few different times in order to really get on the same page and understand one another.  That’s more than ok.  Allow that for both yourself and your spouse.

Make a Game Plan

Once you’ve talked and talked and talked some more, it is time to make a game plan!  There’s no point in talking about what would make for a more intentional life and then not doing anything about it.  Make it happen, woman!

I’m married to a man who is all about making a game plan.  I mean, his brain dump included pretty much all actionable steps to accomplish his intentional goals.  Mine did not.  My brain dump was all abstract ideas without a plan in the slightest.

Whichever way you are, once you and your spouse are on the same page for what intentional lifestyle changes you need to make, now is the time to game plan it out.  For us it involved getting a wall calendar, making time to go out with friends, implementing screen free Sunday (I KNOW!), and so many other things.  Make these steps ones you can truly accomplish and even come up with baby steps on your way to a big goal.

Tweak it As You Go

Now you’re living your intentional lifestyle but you realize some things you thought would work just don’t.  That is OK!  Let me say it again for those of you in the back – it is OK if things you thought were going to work for you aren’t doing that.  Feel free to reevaluate whenever you want and keep making tweaks and changes.  Print out a new intentional living worksheet and start over if you want to.  An intentional life doesn’t happen overnight and different seasons will have different needs.  Embrace that truth and work with it instead of against it.

Your Turn:
When are you going to schedule your initial planning date with your husband?
What’s one change you’re going to make in creating an intentional life?

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Intentional Lifestyle Changes. Creating an Intentional Life. Intentional Living Worksheet

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