Living With Intent - Daily Decisions To Move You Closer To Your Dreams
It might sound easy enough to “live your life with intention”, but the reality of it is, how often does your autopilot turn on during the day where you simply just go through the motions until the day is done. Which might leave you wondering …
- Did I get done today what I needed to?
- Did the decisions I made today get me closer to my goals?
It can be way too easy to just roll with the punches and not stop to have a little self-check-in but making that conscious effort to have intentional goals and tasks for the day WILL ultimately lead you to accomplishing your goals (no matter the size) — and inevitably, your dreams.
To me, living with intention means living a better-balance life that full of meaning, meaningful work, and of course passion and purpose. It means to be engaged in things that are worthwhile to you. It means to step out of mindless activities (and away from feeling like a robot on autopilot) and ensuring your life is based on your own choices. It’s means … living with self-awareness.
With that being said, here are a few tips to have a more intentional day to accomplish those dreams!
These shouldn’t include regular to-dos, but rather a couple of things (2-4 max!) that will leave you feeling accomplished at the end of the day. These might include tasks such as sending out a proposal that’s been on your list for weeks, writing and scheduling your next blog post or newsletter, following up on a lead that you haven’t connected with in a while. Essentially, anything that will move the needle in your business, so to speak.
SET YOUR GOALS.
We’re all for goal setting and thrive on knocking them off our list. There’s no better motivator than seeing how far your business has grown in the last month / quarter / year. We suggest starting with your biggest goals and then breaking them down into smaller, bite-sized goals that you keep visible each and every day.
Above all, make sure the goals you set are SMART …
LEARN THE ART OF SAYING “NO”.
Sometimes as business owners we do not want to say “No, I cannot [or will not] do that.” I have a close business friend who says, “No is a complete sentence.” And oh my word is she is right!
When I was in my first couple years of entrepreneurship, I felt it was necessary to accept every opportunity that landed on my doorstep, even if it was not in my best interest. I was building a client list. I knew each client or project could possibly lead to another (and better) opportunity. I was paying my dues. And above all, I needed to pay my bills, but not only for life now, but to keep my golden empire above water. Now I’ve learned to trust my gut, and if my gut feels like “uh-uh, no way” then I say, “No”. Thankfully this doesn’t happen often, and I can usually give a solid reason, but there have been times when I have simply said, “No, that does not sound like something I can help you with”. Full stop.
So, in short … just because you’ve previously agreed to do anything and everything that people ask of you, doesn’t mean you can’t start setting boundaries now. We highly recommend taking a moment before agreeing to something that you aren’t super excited about and ask if it’s really THAT important. If it’s not, then a simple “thanks for the offer, but no thanks” is totally acceptable. We tend to fill our days with menial tasks that take up our time but don’t really do anything to get us closer to our goals. So, let’s regrow that backbone and set our boundaries!
UTILIZE TIME BLOCKING.
This goes hand in hand with setting boundaries, but at the start of each week we love to look ahead and block out some time to work on our own business. This ensures that we aren’t putting ourselves on the backburner and we can look forward to having some time to focus on ourselves. Another great tip is looking for either in-person or virtual workshops, conferences, or events and try and attend one per quarter, if at all possible. There are many free online conferences and workshops available, and they’re a great way to meeting new people and re-spark that fire in your belly. Just make sure that they align with what your current goals or objectives are, and that you aren’t just wasting your time!
We know this all too well, and we’re sure you do, too. But there are days — probably more often than not — where you are going non-stop until all of a sudden, the kids are home and it’s time to make dinner. Do yourself a favor and leave 5 to 10 minutes between meetings so that you can write down any take-aways you have, get up and stretch, refill that coffee or water, and simply move your body, before your next meeting. Most calendars and scheduling apps have the option to leave some time between meetings. But if you manage your calendar yourself (or with a VA), make sure to leave that buffer. Working towards some sort of balance rediscover is essential to living your life to the fullest ensuring all areas are well-cared for and if things feel out of balance, you need to work to get re-centered.
Many entrepreneurs don’t believe in work-life balance. In fact, most of them think its complete BS! But I beg to differ … When you’re in that glorious moment of finally building your dream business, this enables you to feel satisfied from the inside out. It’s striking while the iron is hot to find that perfect balance between your business life and your life outside all that noise. That’s anything but BS! And with these 5 simple steps, you’ll be on your way …
- Prioritize your business tasks separate from your life tasks.
- Take breaks during your day. Meaning don’t eat lunch at your desk.
- Take time to relax, get away and recharge — even if to just binge watch Netflix.
- Organize and structure your time in your office. Define your priorities; and
- Leverage the technologies at your fingertips to work smarter.
We aren’t sure who started this or why it stuck around, but when did it become the default that every meeting is 60-minutes?! And you are probably much like me in thinking “oh gosh, not another meeting!” or a secondary meeting to talk about the details of the first meeting. Maybe even a third. Especially thinking back to how the past handful of years have been with Zoom being necessary and all the rage with the “work from home movement” due to the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong, meetings are necessary, especially if you’re still stuck working in corporate or perhaps even working in or own a virtual business, such as myself. However, there comes a time when some meetings either become unproductive or unnecessary. Most times, there’s lots of chit-chat and non-meeting related discussion, which is totally fine, but is that the best use of your time? Probably not.
We want these meetings to be productive … It’s not just about minding your P’s and Q’s, but respectfully minding your P’s, R’s and S’s (preparation, recording, and seats) in handling some extremely common meeting faux pas.
If you are only needing a quick discussion on something, set the meeting time appropriately – then schedule a non-business talk catch up for another time at the end of your day. We tend to overschedule ourselves with meetings when in reality, most of them could probably be half their scheduled time, giving you HOURS back in your day to work towards your goals.
In the end, it’s all about hosting SMART meetings. Some people say that “time is money”. I beg to differ … Time is precious. Money comes and goes. Through this process (aka. the tips above) of self-discovery and re-discovering a healthy balance in your life, you will create yourself a roadmap to truly live with INTENT. And when you live with intention, you will have more passion, more drive, more motivation, more focus and more attention to your actions, which can enrich your experiences and your life (business and home). Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Even implementing just a few of these wonderful tips into your day-to-day can help you reach your dreams faster. We know this to be true because it’s worked for us — and continues to work for us. Sure, there are periods when we aren’t 100% on our game, and that’s totally fine — so long as most of the time you follow these guidelines, you will notice a huge difference in your productivity levels.
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We get it, you’re a mom first! But your dream of becoming an entrepreneur is not going away … It wasn’t until recently when people began coming to you with questions or asking you for help that you started to seriously think about starting your own business. You want to start a business, but you worry if you have enough time to balance being an entrepreneur with being a mom. You have a burning desire to build your own empire, but you also have responsibilities.
Well … we completely understand and been there done that. It’s time to take the leap of faith and bet on yourself, beyond life as a mom. Because we don’t want you to do, is one day look back … and wished you’d done things differently. #Balance!
Our site will be a resource-filled space for all moms who have ever wanted to start their own small business working from home OR for any mom who already HAS a business but is struggling to grow. So, begin pursuing your passion(s) and become your own boss today by popping on over to https://thesmallbusinessmom.com/ to get started!