Becoming Intentional: What Do You Really Want?

Do you know what you really want from life? I don’t just mean materially. I mean, do you know what you are working towards? Or, are you drifting through life, letting circumstances take you where they will?

Do you know that you have a choice in the matter?

It can be really frustrating to feel aimless and out of control. I think a lot of us tend to forget that we can choose our path.

Wouldn’t you rather know where you’d like to go, and then have a plan for getting there? I know I would.

What Do You Really Want? Becoming intentional about your life | Life, Unleashed

Of course, this obviously doesn’t mean you can’t adjust things as you go along. Life is unpredictable, so we have to adjust, really. We have to remain flexible. And, feelings and preferences change over time, as well. So, where you end up may not be what you hope for, right now, in this season of life.

And yet, it is still worth creating a plan and being intentional about your direction in life. It helps you to feel more in control, and to find more fulfillment. Instead of drifting, now you are living with purpose to your days.

For myself, I would like to reach the following goals in my life:

  • Shrink down to a healthier weight
  • Live a more active and healthy lifestyle
  • Earn enough money from self-employment to live financially secure
  • Make an impact on others’ lives through my work
  • Buy property & have my dream-house built (the one I designed, myself)
  • Continue to grow, both spiritually and professionally
  • Lead a teen girls’ Bible study group
  • Travel… see more of the world
  • Support my favorite charities (Kiva, Mercy House Global, Room to Read)

Having this list, and knowing what I would really love to accomplish, helps me to know what steps I need to take in order to achieve those goals.

For example, in my health pursuits, I already know –from trial & error– that intuitive eating is the best method for me. But, in addition to that, I’ve also come to realize that my dependence on processed foods is no longer working for me (if it ever did!), because I am developing more and more health issues. I’m beginning to see how much truth there is in what they say about your body needing nutrients, not just calories (in other words, our choice of food matters, even more than how often or how much we eat).

I was super excited, recently, to find a blog called, “Hello, Nutritarian!“, which is based off of the principles found in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s books (“Eat to Live; “The End of Dieting“).* This blog provides recipes and guidance on how to eat a cleaner, more whole-foods based diet. And that’s just what I know I need.

Also in regards to my health, I came across a gal, last week, who was once where I am at (size 18, currently), but who went on to win a figure competition (which is not something I am aiming for!), and to maintain a completely transformed lifestyle. She is now active every day, eating healthy/clean, and she’s changing others’ lives by paying-it-forward as a healthy living coach (same company I’m with).

This gal’s total life transformation really inspires me — especially since I’m currently at the same weight she started at. If she can do it, I know that I can achieve similar things. It takes a decision —that I am no longer willing to put up with my poor health habits– and making a full commitment to myself and to the better life that I know is possible!

The great thing about all of these health goals, for me, is that I am in a position to help others change their lives… just by being an example for them to follow. By committing to a healthier lifestyle for myself, I have a chance to allow others to watch me and to see that they, too, can have the success they seek (you can, as well!). We are all in it together! And, because this is my work, I earn my living from helping others transform their lives. So, that also ties into my goal of becoming financially secure.

Related: Kickstart Your Health sessions

I believe we all have what it takes to achieve our goals. But, we first need to be aware that we have a choice in the direction our lives are going to go, and then we have to know what it is we want so that we can make a plan, and make a decision to go after it. We need to commit to doing whatever is necessary. It won’t be easy — it’s going to demand hard work and sacrifices — but I know that it’ll be worth it.

Here’s to living your life on purpose!

 

Bullet Journaling: An Updated Look

A while back, I shared a post about Bullet Journaling, and why I chose that method for planning out my time. Today, I wanted to give you an updated look at how I’ve come to use my journal.

Bullet Journal updated

Note: If you haven’t tried Bullet Journaling, just yet, feel free to visit my previous post to learn more about the system.

So, in the beginning of using my journal, I had to try several different layouts. I wanted to be able to track my health, as well as my business activities, and then my personal items, as well. After a while, I decided that I liked this layout best:

bullet journal | a life unleashed

On the left-hand page, I have just the days of the week listed Monday through Sunday. This gives me lots of room to note what I have going on. Then, on the right-hand page, I have the “week of…”, a large “Notes” section (where I jot down what went well, or what didn’t, and that sort of thing — anything important I want to remember), and below that, a section for 3 things I’m grateful for that week, and my weight-loss progress.

bullet journal update | Life, Unleashed  bullet journal update | Life, Unleashed

(^^ a couple of closer-up views)

I also have a color code that I use when making notes (though, all you see in the pictures above are the “Gym” reminders).

And, that’s it! That’s how I’ve chosen to do my Bullet Journal system, for now. Everything else (the monthly pages, brain dump area, etc) is all the same.

I’m still using the same book from 2016, as I stopped tracking for a while, and only recently picked it back up. So there’s still plenty of room. Once again, this is why I love the bullet journal — for its flexibility!

Want to see more about Bullet Journaling? Check out a few of my favorite posts done by others!

Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s “Thorough Guide to Bullet Journaling

(as well asThe 8 Stages of Bullet Journaling Addiction“, on that same blog^)

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s “My 3 Favorite Tips & Tricks After 3 Months with the Bullet Journal

 

Bullet Journaling: Why I Chose This Method

Have you heard of the Bullet Journal system? It’s a method for planning that was developed by Ryder Carroll, and I have come to really enjoy it!

Bullet Journaling: Why I Chose This Method | Life, Unleashed

I have always loved the idea of being organized and using a day planner. I’ve previously written posts about using the popular planners, and also about DIY planners. Suffice it to say, I’ve tried many times — and many planners — to be someone who keeps track of their days in some sort of written fashion. But I hadn’t yet found the “right” planner — or system — for me.

…Until now.

Last year, I discovered Bullet Journaling via Pinterest. Basically, you use a notebook or journal (the preference seems to be for either Moleskine or Leuchtturm 1917 journals), and you create your own planner layouts, etc.

For someone like me, who is constantly changing things up ((grins)), the flexibility of this system cannot be praised enough!

With my first attempt, in 2015, I bought a Moleskine (squared) journal from Amazon, and set it up like I’d seen others do via Pinterest. However, after a while, I found myself using the book as a “brain dump/ideas” notebook, more so than a “planner”. That, and I’d fallen behind on indexing everything, which is a key part of this system.

I’d really thought that this method was going to be “it” for me, but this “mess” that my journal had become left me discouraged. And so, I set it aside for a time. Meanwhile, I kept saving pins about bullet journaling on Pinterest — I guess the hope hadn’t completely died.

A short while ago, Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy started using the Bullet Journal system. And, since she’s a blogger who I find to be extremely similar to me, both in personality profile (INFP) and interests (books, psychology, faith), I was super interested in hearing her take on things!

After Anne posted her 3-month update of using her Bullet Journal, I was inspired enough to try again. So, I ordered a Leuchtturm 1917 journal (dotted, this time) from Amazon, and avidly searched Pinterest for ideas while I waited for my new book to arrive. By the time it got here, I was armed and ready with a solid plan.

Part of where I went “wrong” with my first attempt was that I didn’t section anything out; I just tried to go page-by-page. As I said, though, this left everything too scattered for me, and because I’d fallen behind in indexing, it really made my book more time-consuming, rather than time-saving.

So, this time, I chose to create different sections for the various parts and layouts. This was partly thanks to Anne’s update of how she usesher journal, but also partly based on my own idea, given what didn’t work for me the first time around.

I should mention that the first thing I did, before I even got this new journal, was think about what I needed this system (and book) to do for me. Honestly, I don’t think anyone who tries the Bullet Journaling method should skip this step — it’s really key. After all, they say that “if you don’t know your destination, you’ll never reach it”, right? Same thing applies here. You need to start with WHY you’re using a Bullet Journal — what do you need to track? (credit for this goes to Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine for her post, “The 8 Stages of the Bullet Journal Addiction).

My own needs (at least, right now) were to track my business & blog-related activities, as well as my healthy-living pursuits. There are other things, too, of course, but those are my two BIGGEST reasons for wanting a place to keep track and plan.

With that said, I chose to set up my Bullet Journal with the following sections, and in this order:

  • 12 pages for the Monthly spreads
  • 52 x 2-page spreads for Weekly
  • a “Lists” section
  • a “Brain Dump & Ideas” section

Here are some pictures of my Bullet Journal, so far:

cover    index  weekly view

weekly view  monthly view  lists view

lists / books  tabs  braindump

(click any of the images to see them larger)

 

The nice thing about the Leuchtturm 1917 (as opposed to the Moleskine) is that its pages come pre-numbered, and they also give you three (3) pages already prepped for your Index, which is super-handy! I also like the two ribbon markers, and the pocket in the back (similar to the Moleskine).

So far (a few weeks into using this new method), I’m loving it. This time I have a “plan” for my planner, and it’s making things so much more enjoyable.

And again, I cannot tell you how awesome it is to have such flexibility! I only set up one week’s spread at a time, thereby allowing me to change things up as I go along, should the need (or desire) arise. And, of course, it already did! LOL. The first week, I found the “to-do” section too small for everything I wanted to note, and the other space too empty. So, for week 2, I added a second column for ToDo’s (one for personal, and one for business), and it’s worked out a lot better. But again, I can still change it up (later), if I need to.

Lastly, the addition of the “brain dump/ideas” section in the back of the book was kind of genius (thanks, Anne!). It allows me to jot down any random thoughts or doodles, without worrying that I’ll “mess up” my weekly spreads, or the order of things, as I’ve set them up.

So, there you have it. I think I’ve finally stumbled upon something that works for me!

HAVE YOU USED THE BULLET JOURNALING SYSTEM? If so, what do you like or dislike about it? Share in the comments!