It was pretty easy for my husband and I to decide a few months ago that we wanted to move out of our apartment and buy our first home. Not every decision in life will be that easy, and we know it! For us the financial, time and lifestyle benefits were obvious. We knew this choice would take our life in the direction we wanted to head. It was a very intentional choice for us.
When we made the decision we weren’t exactly sure how the home buying process would go. We also didn’t know how long it would take us. What we did know was that the choice to move felt very right. We were comfortable with our decision and excited for the possible future that laid before us.
Our move to live in the small mountain town where we work – instead of 35 miles away – was very intentional. We knew it would help us financially because rent for our apartment was much higher than our expected monthly mortgage payment. Plus we would be building equity instead of giving money away to a poorly run apartment complex. (Can anyone else relate with our frustrations on that point?!?) We would also save money on gas and get 2 hours of our day back once life was commute-free. Most importantly we wanted a mountain lifestyle that would encourage us to be outdoors, healthy and involve other adventurous folks.
Being very purposeful during this big time of change for us has turned out to be really helpful. Here are some ways we’ve been intentional and how it has helped. Perhaps they can help you as well!
Living a lighter life! Even though packing and unpacking is a lot of work, it is giving us the chance to clean out extra stuff we don’t really need. We moved into a smaller place – and perhaps as to be expected, I have more possessions than my husband – so I had to be thoughtful about what I was bringing with us. I asked myself while packing, “Has this item finished serving its purpose in my life?” If so, it didn’t get to come with me.
It has felt good to donate unneeded household items and clothes to the local Goodwill. We sold a few bigger ticket items which added some great last minute unexpected cash. I also tried to give a few items away to friends in my process to fill a specific need in someone else’s life while simplifying my own. And while it is neat to reminisce as we sort through boxes piled high in the storage unit, it is so nice to honestly say “I don’t really need that any more.” Living a lighter life is cleansing and lets me think about what I really need around me day to day.
Starting the day right! This physical change in my life has opened doors to make other much needed changes in my daily routine. Yes, being closer to work gives me more time during each day due to a shorter commute, but somehow having made this decision also gives me energy to make other decisions I have been pondering (or putting off, if I am honest). I have been given a fresh start! Once again I can try to add new exercise, eating and time management habits that would really make my life better. I feel energized to make my life more the way I want it to be!
For example, for all of 2016 I’ve wanted to get up earlier to start my days the way I really like: unhurried and purposeful. Some days I was successful, but truthfully it would last for a week or two, maybe a month if I was lucky, then it would fade. I felt the opportunity to start my desired morning routine right away when moving: a new stay equaled a new way in my mind. I started my habit the first morning I was here and so far a little yoga, lemon water, journaling, prayer and personal reflection is starting to feel like the normal way to start my day!
Limiting our barriers! Some time during the week we moved I watched a short video by Beachbody Coach Emily Stamets (a high school classmate of mine) that really encouraged me to make some thoughtful decisions about how we set up our new home. Right around minute 3 of her video she talks about things that get in the way of our success. She called these things barriers. Ironically we are often responsible for establishing these barriers in the first place! She discussed setting up an exercise area in her garage so that she and her husband had fewer excuses to not work out. While our place is tiny and we don’t have a garage, I knew I could still use her principal as we unpacked our new place.
We want to get out running, swimming, biking, hiking and camping more frequently in 2017 than we did in 2016. To help us do these activities more we decided to arrange our outdoor and exercise gear in plain sight. Thus we created our Activity Corner in our office. We still have some unpacking and organizing to do there, but it is super helpful to have all our gear in one spot and visible. The more we see these beloved items and think about the experiences they create, the more we will want to get outdoors to exercise or have some adventurous fun! So far we haven’t had a lot of free time for big adventures, but I have already started my new swimming and running routine, which feels awesome!
Living out my values! Because I have been making a lot of small but important decisions right now about my exercise routine, personal belongings, home decorations, eating habits, etc., I’m getting the chance to be more intentional about how I live my life. If I take the time to do so, I can really think about what matters to me. I can be purposeful in how I present myself to other people, how I arrange my physical space, how I organize my budget and set my day to day schedule the way I want!
I know that my top three values are faith, creativity and adventure. This move has given me an opportunity to think more about how I can incorporate these three values into my life, making me feel more aligned internally. Living intentionally helps me feel more authentic – more me – which brings more joy and peace into my life.
So what does this mean for you?
If you’ve got a big decision to make or a change coming, will the outcome make your life a little lighter, help you start your day right, limit any of your current barriers or help you live out your values?
Even if you are not in the midst of a season of change, there is huge benefit to living life on purpose or with greater intentionality. These practices can definitely create more Life-Clarity! I encourage you to take the time today to think about how any of these four points can help you. What might happen if you took just 5 minutes today to apply one or more of these 4 concepts to your life?
If you need help in your journey towards a more intentional life, let me know. I’m here to help however I can!
First published by Jessica Lynn Johnson in 2016 for JLJ Coaching Services, Ltd.