Good Mental Health

Sundays are an important time for grounding rituals. I have a Sunday planning session that I go through to set my intention and plan the week ahead. It’s a simple checklist that helps me wrap up my thoughts, my activities, and the projects that I didn’t quite finish and moves them onto the agenda for the week ahead. For about an hour every Sunday afternoon or evening, I consciously plan my next seven days, plotting appointments in my paper calendar, gathering up all my “notes to self” jotted here, there, and everywhere. I intentionally add items to my to-do list amongst the errands and workouts and dinners and goals.

Life is so very busy. So many different things and people and commitments demand our attention and compete for our time. It’s up to us to decide what makes the cut. Who deserves our attention? Where shall we spend our precious life force?  What, at the end of the day- at the end of the week, at the end of the month, at the end of the year- do we wish we would have done? And how does it compare to what we actually did?

Time will pass whether we are aware of it or not.

Our lives will play out in the day to day of our existence, either squandered on the minutae or carefully applied to our larger goals. The sun will rise and set, but the decision is always ours as to how those hours will have been spent.

Ideas for intentional living

Decrease the number of mundane decisions we must make each day.  

Plan meals in batches. On Sunday, know what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day of the upcoming week. Make sure your ingredients are healthy and convenient. Instead of waiting until you’re hungry to decide what you will eat, intentionally eat every two or three hours by preparing healthy meals and snacks. Take them with you. Have them ready. Food is medicine. Treat it as such.

Prepare clothing in batches. Get shirts pressed a weeks’ worth at a time. Mix and match neutral tops and bottoms, brighten and liven with colorful scarves or jewelry or hosery. There should be zero decisions required while dressing in the morning, and no ambiguity about what you will be wearing the next day at bedtime the night before.

Complete a core group of household chores everyday so that no one thing piles up. Every day, make the bed before leaving. Wash a load of dishes the night before so they can air dry during the day. Start a load of laundry at night. Dry in the morning. Hang every article that can be hung before you leave for the day, preventing unnecessary wrinkles and ironing later.

Leave several small bags packed with necessary items you know you always need. Keep a gym bag/yoga bag packed and ready. Re-pack immediately after the items have been used so that you never miss an opportunity to do something you love. Keep a book bag with your library books inside so they are always gathered and ready for their return date. Keep two of your children’s backpacks/daycare bags so that when one is in use, the second is always packed and ready to go.

By reducing the number of small decisions we are responsible for on a daily basis, we free up our bandwidth to focus on bigger decisions and larger goals.

What other ideas have you found helpful in living intentionally? Please share in the comments below!

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