Life is happening right now. If it’s happening TO you, you’re probably floundering instead of being in flexible control. That’s a bad place to stay, friend.
Flexible control means you have solid, healthy rhythms set up in your home and your life that allow you to get done what you need to get done without feeling stretched super thin all the time, and when life happens and chaos ensues, it’s okay because you’ve got your rhythms and you know where you’re going.
You have intent and purpose underfoot, and you can ride the waves of life with peace and confidence.
Becoming a woman of intent means balancing grace and persistence, flexibility and planning. It means living on purpose each and every day while taking time to soak up our families and our little moments. A woman with intent has a vision for her life, her family, and her legacy.
She knows that the end goal is, she feels it in her soul, and she’s taking small daily action steps to get herself there. A woman of intent doesn’t let life happen to her, she purposefully determines her next step and adapts as necessary.
Let’s talk about how we can become women of intent in this new year because it’s so much more substantial than resolving to lose ten pounds, and because resolutions don’t work. What we need are intentional, bite-sized action steps that lead us to meeting a meaningful goal.
1. Get uncluttered
Did you really think I’d start anywhere else? 😉
Clutter and stress are besties, and they have no place living in our homes – where we dwell and cook and sleep and love on our babies and cultivate relationships.
When you have a cluttered home, you have a cluttered life, and a cluttered life can’t be a truly purposeful one because clutter gets in the way of intent.
When I first started getting uncluttered, I had no idea that my marriage would improve, that my depression would clear up and leave for good, or that I would be a generally lighter, happier person. I was just looking to simplify and maybe get out of survival mode!
Choosing to move out of a cluttered life and into a purposeful space that you love is so incredibly powerful and the perfect first step to a more intentional life.
Let’s talk about clearing the clutter in a few main areas to get you started.
I know we all joke about Laundry Mountain and washing endless piles of clothes as being a hilarious part of the #MomLife rant, but what if I looked you in the eye and told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Would you even believe me?
Laundry is such a huge time-sucker and it’s so completely unnecessary for you to spend so many hours on it – it kills me that so many beautiful mamas are wasting their weekends catching up on this instead of sitting at the park with their sweet babies!
Simplify the wardrobes in your home by getting real with yourself. What are you really wearing every week? What are you really dressing your kids in on a regular basis? Forget what you wear simply because it’s there and be really honest with yourself about what’s needed and loved. Ditch the rest.
We hold onto so much excess “just in case” and it’s just making more work for us. Let it go, girl! It’s not worth it!
Another huge time-sucker – the dishes. Open your cupboards right now and look at how many dish sets you have in there. Now how many people do you have eating in your house on a normal night? Why do we keep so many dishes in our cupboards?
Have you ever wondered how you have such a massive pile of dishes to wash at the end of the day when you only cooked one meal?
Here’s the thing…when someone in your house needs a dish, they will always reach for a clean one in the cupboard, no matter how many dishes are sitting in the sink ready to be rinsed and reused. Why? Because human beings always opt for the path of least resistance.
So here’s what you can do – choose just one set of dishes (enough for everyone in your house to have one, plus two extra) and store the rest somewhere else. Maybe boxed up in the garage, in a less high-traffic kitchen cupboard, whatever you like.
Get a dish drying rack and set it next to the sink. After dishes are used, they get washed off and set in the drying rack so they’re ready to be used for the next meal or snack. This way, you’re not washing a ton of extra dishes…only what was needed.
Click here to download my free guide to decluttering your laundry and dishes!
Seek to clear the clutter and simplify everywhere in your house. Ditch the junk drawer for good, simplify your wardrobe, question everything you feel obligated to add to your calendar…get intentional about what is taking up your space and your time. It matters!
2. Create intentional focus on what matters
At this point, we all know that technology is a distracting, time-hoarding waste as well as an incredibly useful, connective tool we can no longer live without. It’s a life-changing asset and a weapon to destroy meaningful living at the same time, and we need to be intentional about putting it in its place in our lives.
How often have you found yourself reading something on your phone while your toddler repeats “Mom?” a hundred times and you weren’t even really able to hear her? I’ve been there and I get back there on a regular basis, so no guilt trips here!
The thing is, we can’t be the ones who just roll with it and let the age of technology take over our motherhoods – we have to try harder, fight back, and tell technology where it belongs in our lives – below our families. We do this by living it out.
Change your notification settings. Why do you need your phone to make a noise every time you get a text message? Why does everyone in your phonebook need to reach you at the drop of a hat? Change it so that only your husband’s texts trigger an alert noise.
Dedicate a place for your phone and leave it there whenever you’re home. Maybe it will be the entryway table, the bathroom, or your bedside table. Wherever it is, make it a non-pivotal location in your house and keep your phone there. Make a rule that you’ll only check your phone when you’re standing at that spot. When you change your notification settings like I advised above, you can leave the sound on loud so you’ll always hear if someone truly important is trying to reach you.
3. Develop rhythms
Rhythms keep you from bottlenecking in your life. If you can get into a balanced flow of the must-do’s each day, you will always hit the pillow feeling accomplished, even when you didn’t get everything on your list done. It’s hard to get in survival mode when you live this way.
Moms live in chaos, so the more balanced, rhythmic strides we can take, the better we’ll feel about our days and how intentional we’ve been.
Rhythms should be made for the things you really need to do each day or week. For example, waking up at a certain time instead of whenever your kids come get you in the morning, or sweeping underneath the dining table after every meal. They automate the musts and remove the stress of remembering every single thing every single day.
Look at how you spend a typical day and find places where rhythms w