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Stop Planning, Start Planting



This post is from Megan Casper - one half of The Six Box team, as well as a veteran's wife and mama to two little ones. She lives in Austin, TX with her family. 

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“Are you planning an intentional life or are you planting one?”  These words by Lara Casey in her new book Cultivate have really struck a nerve. It seems everyone these days is throwing the word “intentional” around, so much so that it’s losing its “intention” {pun intended}. 

Am I putting feet to the words, thoughts and ideas I think are good and worthwhile? Since reading Lara’s book I have been asking myself these questions and honestly, my answer is sort of how I’m living it out: “sometimes, maybe, kind of, sort of.”

Why are we so often not “intentional”? There are many reasons, but one for me has been distraction. I might start strong and then like a squirrel in a forest of delicious acorns I jump on my phone for a second to “check something really quick” and start down a rabbit hole. {Anybody else?!} 

Did you know that at the end of 2017 there were 2.2 million apps out there? 2.2 million apps. Why do we need all of these? I tried to sign up for Instacart this week and could feel myself getting totally overwhelmed with, “Who really is the best grocery store for all my needs at the price point I want?” and “How many kinds of peanut butter are there?!” Seriously. 

We live in an age where we have everything at our fingertips including massive amounts of distractions and excuses. We also live in an age where losing touch and not staying connected seem impossible, but yet so common. I’m starting to be convinced that we have become active bystanders of watching not just other people’s lives go by, but our own.

We use our phones twice as much as we think—roughly 5 hours a day or 1/3 of our waking hours. According to research, “A lot of smartphone use seems to be habitual, automatic behaviors that we have no awareness of.” What else are you doing in life for hours on end that you have literally no awareness of?

Don’t talk about it, be about it.  Am I just talking about “it”? Or am I out there doing all the things I’ve always wanted to and connecting with the people I care about? 

What I’ve discovered so far is, you guessed it, what I hold dear and how I pursue or make time for these things are not lining up as they should. Yes, there are times when I am doing a better job of following through, but there have been many more times where I haven’t. 

Here are a few changes I've decided to make (and bonus points for me, because I’ve already started):

  • I evaluated my priorities first based on what I believe will be the things and people I value most when I am 80-essentially things you can never get back (relationships mended and strengthened, healthy habits to protect my mind and body as best as I can, financial goals and spiritual disciplines which truly impact all areas of my life.)
  • Pick one. That’s right, just one thing of each category that I find the most important or helpful and go for it. I easily find myself getting too many emails, reading six blogs at once, signing up for too many things in an effort to learn or be motivated, when really I just need to run with one at a time. I am clearing out clutter in my mind starting with my email using Unroll.me.) 
  • Show friends and family I care more-schedule all Birthdays and special dates for family and friends in my calendar and include 1 week and 24 hour reminders in advance (yes, this is using my phone, but making it work for me!)
  • Plan more time alone with my husband-like waking up to have coffee and a few moments together before he heads off to work. 
  • Read more to increase in knowledge and wisdom-I love to read and read so much more because, you guessed it, I pretty much always have my phone somewhere near me so hopping on Kindle for 5-15 minutes is easy.  
  • Build on healthier food and fitness habits-improve my meal plan game by making healthy options more easily available (I have a pretty strong meal plan/grocery game already, but needed to improve the prep}.
  • Solidify my morning routine by leaving my Bible and yoga mat out each night in the living room where I use them in the morning to read and stretch. 
  • Be present at work and with family by setting boundaries-  I work from home on several small businesses endeavors and they can easily bleed into time with kids, husband or time I should be doing something else. We just completed a major move (WA to TX) I am in the process of setting up an office space, joining a co-working group that has childcare and creating a more fixed schedule. 
  • Teach my children good habits, routines, disciplines and stay consistent despite life interruptions. 
  • Taking time to really enjoy my little family as a whole unit — playing outside, laughing at silly games, reading new books, going on adventures, etc., without taking tons of photos, videos or posting online.

 

I’m hoping by this time next year others will be able to notice a more “intentional” me-a more thoughtful friend, patient mother, focused business woman, loving spouse, glowing from the inside me. A woman who doesn’t just know what direction she wants to head in, but is already walking that way. 


1 comment

  • Love this post! I’m definitely guilty of spending too much time on my phone and not being intentional about my time. I might adopt some of these goals in my life too!

    Elizabeth @ Our Darling Adventure

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