Being Intentional

Last week I wrote about how Kaizen (constant incremental changes) can help us improve. But sometimes, for some things, it takes a kind of total immersion to get the job done.

I was listening to my favorite radio host Dave Ramsey the other day when I heard him say: “I just don’t have a lot of success with people just kind of wandering out of debt. They don’t tend to do it. They wander in, but they don’t wander out.”

That’s so true. I’ve been wandering around for years! It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to quit spending and get out of debt. My problem is that “there’s always this one more thing I need to do.” Sound familiar?

This is true for people needing to lose weight and get in shape, too. To take Dave’s idea a step further, I’ve never seen anyone just kind of wander out of being overweight. You’ve got to want to do it.

Actually, you probably have to NEED to do it. Without that kind of drive and commitment, people just kind of try this, then they try that. Unfortunately, they never really get anywhere.

So in the end, you get what you focus on. If you focused on nothing, that’s probably what you’re going to get.

Until you deliberately take action, you’re just spinning your wheels. If you want to gain traction, you have to do something more. You have to be intentional about it.

In the life coaching and self-help arenas, being intentional means you do things that are designed to get you a certain result. You do them on purpose, every day to get closer to your goal.

If you’re broke, that means you have to stop spending today, and to start working your debt snowball. If you’re overweight, you have to stop putting junk in your mouth and get yourself moving. Intentionally.

Here’s a final example. Let’s say that you’re sick of your dead end job and want to have a different career. Here are some action steps that you can be intentional about.

First, you might do some research on what the job requirements are for that new career. Then you find out what classes you’ll need to take, where, when, and what the cost will be. Then you can come up with a plan to start the ball rolling.

Once you’ve figured out the finances (don’t borrow for it), you get enrolled. Then you intentionally spend time every day working toward your goal.

You do all the little things. You sacrifice and study. You prepare. Maybe you intern somewhere. You learn. You work hard. Then as you’re finishing up, you research job opportunities and start submitting resumes. It’s intentional, every step along the way.

I think it’s good to dream. In fact, I believe we’re created to have big dreams. But dreams without action are really only wishes. To make them come true, you’re going to have to be intentional about it.

So what actions do you need to take? What do you intend to do? Come on, let’s get started!

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