I look at the clock. It’s after 10 p.m., the time I’d promise myself I’d be in bed by. The alarm I had set for 9:30 p.m. had already gone off and, as I had done every time before, I turned it off and went right back to what I was working on. Which in this case is skimming through web pages for workouts to try.
I finally close my laptop and head to the bathroom to shower, feeling disappointed and frustrated with myself. All I did when I got home from work was make dinner, set up my new cell phone and hop on the internet. I didn’t work out. I didn’t write. I didn’t read or clean up the apartment or even spend quality time talking to my husband. And this certainly wasn’t the first time I had such an evening.
As I turn on the faucet and warm water comes streaming, a thought hits me.
“What would happen if you were intentional with every minute of every day? What would life look like?”
I ponder this for a second and think of all that I would accomplish. How I would carve out time to work on the goals that are most important to me. How I would end the days of needless web surfing. How satisfied I would feel as my head hits the pillow every night, knowing I had given that day my all.
Nice in theory, I start to think this type of approach to living would be impractical. That I would be exhausted trying to get something done every second of the day.
Then I realize I’m confusing intention with productivity. I remind myself that being intentional is simply being aware of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It’s consciously choosing to sit in front of the tv and watch Netflix for an hour instead of doing something else. It’s deciding to talk with your husband over hot chocolate instead of doing the dishes. Or taking time to journal every morning, even though there are a hundred other things to be done. Certainly I could strive to be productive every second of the day, but checking off tasks constantly is not my version of living.
So I head to bed determined to take on Tuesday with this new attitude. And when the alarm went off this morning at 5:30 a.m., I didn’t feel like I turning it off and going back to sleep. I pulled myself from my warm bed, asking myself the question, “What would happen if you were intentional with every minute of today?”
And here I am. It’s not even 6:30 a.m. and I’ve already done something that aligns with my goals and feels good to my soul. I’m looking forward to seeing how today and the rest of this week goes if I continue to approach the time I have as an opportunity to do what I both want and need to do.
So now I’m asking you: What would happen if you were intentional with every minute of every day? What would life look like?