By: Maddie Boyer

If there’s one thing Demon Deacons are known for, it’s staying busy. When running from one thing to the next, it is far too easy to get stuck in a pattern of going through the motions and lose sight of what motivated you in the first place. The practice of intentionality is aimed at setting direction towards your goals and living mindfully.

When was the last time you truly reflected on why you were doing the actions you were? How recently have you thought about your goals or needs? When we’re not running around, we’re mindlessly scrolling through social media. Living with intention can transform your mental wellbeing, your drive, and your relationships. I personally have been practicing mindfulness for two weeks, and in the short time, I already feel that I am seeing the world through a different lens.

Intentionality with Your Time

How many times have you checked your phone in the last hour? I find myself unconsciously reaching for my phone more times than I’d like to admit. Try sitting down and pouring 100% of your attention into the task at hand. While it will require more focus, you will likely feel less tired and more accomplished at the end of it, and probably end up saving time. By working with intention, you will discover that extra time you are no longer wasting and use your most valuable resource in a way that truly adds value to your life. This will in turn give your tasks more purpose and leave you more satisfied.

Intentionality in Relationships

One of the many things the pandemic has taught me is that time with the people we love is precious. It is up to us to make the most of it and spend moments wisely. When you’re with someone, try focusing on them completely. Don’t check your phone, don’t get lost in thinking about something other than them, just pour your attention into the person you are with. If you treasure your time and devote your focus, you will find that your relationships deepen, your connections become stronger, and you feel much more fulfilled by the people surrounding you. You will also likely learn more about what you look for from others and find that you are becoming a better listener and companion. 

Intentionality with Yourself

Becoming intentional with yourself is more challenging than it sounds; this is probably my biggest personal journey right now. Especially with the last year being as challenging as it has been, it is so important to acknowledge your emotions, your body, and simply allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. Once you realize that you are valuable and every thought and feeling you experience is part of what makes you unique and wonderful, you will begin to shift your mindset. Treasuring yourself does not mean becoming self-absorbed; it simply means treating yourself with patience, grace, and acceptance. If there are qualities that you notice about yourself that you are not pleased with, put intention there and work to become the person you want to be. 

Living a life of intention helps you realize that we have control over where our lives go and who we become. Transitioning to an intentional mindset is not easy, but can have profound effects on your world. Even if you start by being mindful while accomplishing one task or putting your phone away completely for one conversation, you will begin to notice how much more connected you feel to the world, yourself, and the people around you.

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