Hey y’all! It has been a while since I have posted a blog post- life has been crazy these few weeks, but I should be back on track to posting once a week now! 🙂
Are you ready to hear an ugly truth that we hate admitting to ourselves?
Here it is: When you reach a certain point in your life, you have to make an EFFORT to reach out to people if you want them to stay in your life. You have to make an EFFORT to be purposeful with your actions. You have to make an EFFORT to be thoughtful, to be fulfilling to yourself and others, to be gracious, to be loving, to be kind, and so on.
To me- these are all things that define what “being intentional” is.
We reach this point in our lives where we’re busy with our careers and our own lives and families, and it can be so easy to forget about other things- like making time for friends, family, or doing things we love doing, but “think” we do not have time for. We trick ourselves into thinking we are too busy- when really it all comes down to making an EFFORT to have coffee with that friend, or go to your cousin’s birthday party, or go hiking on a Saturday because it is something you love doing. Be intentional in making these things happen. Growing up means you will no longer see all your friends at school, see your family at home, or have every saturday open. It means not waking up to pancakes being made by your Dad, or your mom reminding you your Aunt’s birthday is this saturday, or seeing your friends at school everyday where it is easy to catch up with them.
Being intentional is going out of your way to do something. It is the little things. When you hear people say “it is the little things that count”, this is SO true. Little things make people feel special, because they require thoughtfulness, and genuine intentions to do something so small, that you know will mean a lot to someone.
Being more intentional towards others is something I have been trying to do since January. This is because I, personally, am in that position where I do not live at home and see my family everyday, and I do not go to school where I see my friends everyday, and I have a job where I am busy most of the week and weekends and forget to do things for myself sometimes. I am sure a lot of us are in similar situations.
Here are some simple/random ways to be more intentional towards others:
- Be Specific. “Wow, your hair looks great today. Did you curl it?” Think of a time where someone gave your a specific compliment. Specific compliments are given because that person made an effort to NOTICE something positive about you. They could have said nothing. They could have said “Nice hair.”
- Be self-aware. Being intentional all begins with being self-aware. Sometimes I catch myself in a situation talking with someone to just go through the motions of the conversation. When I prep myself to be aware of my thoughts, actions,and body language, it reminds me of what my intentions are with whomever I am talking to. Intentional Body LanguageEye contact, sitting up straight (slouching looks tired/uninterested), smiling and nodding while listening to the person speak
- Think of conversations you have with people. When someone is doing the things listed above, doesn’t that reassure you that they are interested in what you are saying, and make you feel good.
- Intentional ThoughtsSelf-talk. Your self-talk controls your actions and expressions. Be positive on the inside so you can radiate positivity on the outside.
- Intentional ActionsIgnoring phone calls and texts while listening in a conversation
- Make time for friends/family.You have time to meet that old friend for coffee on a Saturday morning. You have time to attend your cousin’s football game.
- Don’t get on Facebook or watch Snapchat stories from the night before for an hour or two when you wake up one morning- and you’ll realize how much more time you have. (I am guilty of this too).
- Get your husband a butterfinger at the store because it makes him happy.If Magnum or I go to the store by ourselves, he brings me back a candy bar, or I bring him back one. It never fails to make the other person happy, and it’s so small, but it just shows he was thinking of me.
- Trust me, you DO have time to wish that old friend “Happy Birthday” on facebook.Or here’s a crazy thought- you could maybe even text or call them and say “Happy Birthday”. It’s all about the effort and intentions.
- Be genuine in small-talk.I personally think it is so great when I see family friends or acquaintances that you see at the store or a restaurant and they go out of their way to ask genuine questions like, “Oh, I say you started a blog, that’s so cool! How is that going?” or, “How is the married life?”. These questions just mean a lot more than “How’s it going?” sometimes because they are personal and meaningful. They saw that I got married, or started a blog on Facebook, and they NOTICED it, and took time out of their day to be intentional in asking me about these life events. I love when others are like this to me, so I am challenging myself to do the same.
- Tell the cute old lady at the coffee shop that you like her blouse.Compliment strangers. Doesn’t it make your day when someone random gives you a compliment? Pass it on. Take the time out of your day to do so. Making the effort to do this is being intentional with your words and actions.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors.You did not HAVE to walk 10 feet over to their house and knock on a strangers’ door and introduce yourself. But because you did, you took the initiative in being intentional to be welcoming. You found out your new neighbor was a fresh college grad living on her own for the first time ever 3,000 miles away from her home. You sparked a new friendship and made an unfamiliar place a little more settling for her.
Just some reminders and little ways to be intentional towards others. Think of how you feel when other people are this way towards you. Sometime it feels even greater knowing that we have the ability to make others feel this way as well. 🙂
I hope you all have a Happy Monday!!!