Be intentional with your time. Be very intentional with your energy.
In doing so, happiness and fulfillment are sure to follow.
What is an intentional day? It’s the name I gave to a day complete with all the things that make me better. Scripted from morning to evening. Encompassing all aspects: from diet, to where I spend my time, who I spend it with, to what I consume.
Thriving. Intentional Days —> Lead to Thriving
It is the one word I’d choose to describe how I feel when I’m being 100% intentional.
Here’s a peek into my intentional day. I’d invite you to craft your own.
When I’m feeling really great and I’m at my peak performance, I do the following:
- Rise Early. 6am preferably..sometimes earlier. Awake fully rested. Like a toddler ready to tackle his presents on Christmas day. More on how I get here at the end of my intentional day, because one fuels the next.
- Time to think/strategize my day. If I don’t get control of my day early, someone else is guaranteed to take it back by 7:30 or 8am.
- Exercise. Usually for me in the morning this is a combination of push ups, pull ups, some abs and air squats at home. If in the evening, I’m running or shooting hoops to get the heart moving. Growing up the basketball gym was my sanctuary. It still is when I need time to think.
- Food = Fuel. I like to start my day with a smoothie. Ingredients: frozen strawberries and blueberries, a splash of milk, organic honey greek yogurt (probiotic), a scoop of peanut butter, about 20g of protein powder, and a pile of spinach. Good for my gut. Good for me. Great source of energy. I’d also add here I drink 8 glasses of water. It’s amazing how much better the body (and brain) operates when hydrated.
- Inspiration – Every morning I try to consume at least 15-20 minutes of content before heading out the door. YouTube is my go-to. Simple, free, and thousands of options. Inspiration is like bathing. It needs to be done frequently to be effective. Every day. Monday – Friday to get my mind in the right place and in a position of gratitude.
- Notecard of Targets – To-do lists steaming 20+ items lack focus and instead pile on the trivial. I try to never leave the house without 3-5 MUST MOVE items on my list. So that if I did nothing else for the day…I’d accomplished something that was vital. Key here is separating the trivial from the vital.
- Lunch = Salad. When I’m eating well, I’m making a salad. Greens, some protein, sprouts, peppers, etc. Not to bore you. Why salad? I know it is fuel and it’s great for me. All the energy I need to get through the afternoon and most importantly no crash.
- Day at Work – I can simply sum this up as collaboration. I thrive being with people. Vetting new ideas, tackling challenges, presenting solutions. Too much solitude and I get a little gray and maybe a tab grumpy. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in getting alone to think…just not for hours on end.
- Pick up my son from daycare. Always a terrific bookend to my day. Good days are made that much better. Bad days, I get a dose of what’s really important. The 3-year old in my backseat doesn’t care about the unruly client or lost pitch.
- Evening Reading – Daily goal is to knock out 20-30 pages. Done every day, week, month…I can consume 20+ books a year. I’ll admit this ebbs and flows greatly with travel time and other needs, but this is all about “Intention” and using daily [slight edge principles] to tackle bigger objectives. Small efforts, magnified with consistency over time —> yield big results.
- Evening Meditation – It may be an understatement that I have a very active mind. My hamster wheel spins even at the thought of an idea. I must eliminate the noise. My most intentional days end with 30+ minutes of silence and stretching. Clearing my mind of any fears, stresses, anxieties, thoughts and ending with gratitude. When done sequentially, I sleep better (deep sleep), I’m sharper, wittier, funnier (my own opinion), and my memory feels much deeper. If you’re looking for more detail on the HOW, here is a post I wrote a while back. 20 Minutes of Silence.
That’s it. 11 items.
When done with intention and executed with frequency, I am no doubt my Best Self.
I would even bet my better half could tell you when I’m on point…and when I’m failing to execute my intentions.
ACTION ITEM: You’ve got to know (and write down) what really makes you operate at peak levels. Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually. There is a pattern. Use mine as a starting point or guide, but know every one reading this has their own operating system. Find what works. <— Do that!