Let me start off by saying that I am in no way an expert on intentional living and will never claim to be one! Everything I’m listing in this post I am doing right now too so you’re not alone. I heard about “intentional living” last year and have been wanting to feel that nudge telling me to do it, to change some things. I’ll admit that I have been so laid back with how I approach life, raising kids, what marriage means, what faith means to me… just all the things! Last year, as I’ve said so many times before, was life-changing for me in regards to my faith and marriage and it’s been weighing on me that I have something nudging me to do more, to be more at this point in my life.
According to the interwebs intentional living is a lifestyle based on an individual’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs. For me that’s a pretty loaded definition, right? I have to make conscious efforts with every single thing I do every second of my day? I don’t know how much of that I can commit to, especially since I’m not trained or educated in everything. I’d love to be able to think ahead about all the foods I’ll be eating that day, all the products I’ll be using on my body, all the actions I’ll be doing and the interactions I’ll be having with strangers and the back and forth with my kiddos, and all of the time and effort it takes to be in a committed marriage that I want to stay good! I’m worn out just typing all of that stuff and we all know that that’s just a tiny little snippet of our days.
One of the most important things for me to do is to be intentional with the products I use on myself and on my kiddos. For me that means the toothpaste, soaps, lotions, laundry detergents, dishwashing soap, medications. I want to know that I can trust what I’m using and that there aren’t any hidden ingredients in them. That’s where I’ve started this whole journey of intentional living. Luckily I’ve been able to replace all of our household cleaners with a ONE ingredient cleaner that I can make at home, Thieves. I can elaborate on this little miracle in another post! I’ve found two brands that I pretty much stick to now and can find every single thing for our household from cleaners to shampoo + conditioner, even dietary products that I know are safe for us to use without hidden ingredients. I feel like the beginning of my wellness and intentional living journey is off to a good start but I also know that I’m putting off the harder stuff for last, like my diet!
It’s crazy to think that the lotion or perfume I loved so much and couldn’t live without isn’t important to me whatsoever anymore. I can totally live without that awesome smelling candle or that specific nail polish color that I’ve worn for the past 7 years of my life! I know that I want to be intentional and put thought into what I’m using and some products, a lot of products, just don’t make the cut…and I’m ok with that! I know there is a better life for us on the other side of these products.
I also know that I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to doing or changing something for me. I hate change and sometimes am just happy in my own little bubble and way of living but then I start to think about how I actually want to live and how I want to feel and how I want to raise my kiddos and it all starts ruminating in my mind and I make all these decisions of what to change and when. I am also huge at not following through when it gets hard. Changing my diet and I crave sugar-I give up! Joining a gym and I stop going for one day-I give up and never go again! I can’t tell you the number of times I have started something and not finished it when it was for me.
Some questions I thought about that helped me decide to change the products in our home and what I’ll continue to use for my future changes:
Is this working for me right now?
Are the products you’re using causing problems for you (a certain lotion helped cause Emily’s breakouts instead of clear them)? Are there toxins in them that could be causing more harm than good? Is there a better way to get things and our bodies clean? Does what you’re doing daily make you feel good about you?
How would things be different if I changed it?
If I swapped out all the toxin-filled products in our home will our house still be as clean? Will our bodies be cleaned and nourished with good fo us lotions? Are there safe options for us to use that are readily available to me? If you changed what you’re thinking about changing how will it make you happier or make your days run smoother?
What are my ultimate goals?
I’m not only talking about physical goals, this can be anything measurable. My goal for my household is to get rid of any product with the word fragrance in the ingredients. I know that there can be a multitude of hidden things in that proprietary word and I don’t wanna have anything to do with it.
What are my short term goals?
Think about what you can do right now, what you can change easily with a couple steps and in little time that will totally be different. For me that’s something like the kind of cleaner we now use. I threw out the old crap and literally only clean with homemade Thieves now…easy fix! If you aren’t able to toss everything and buy new right now, start small! Use up what you have and try to find some way to save for the small change you want to happen! I saw a comparison recently that basically stated: Clorox spray which was $2.99 at Target for a 32 oz bottle. Thieves is $28.95 (or $22 if you’re a member;) for a 14.4 fl oz bottle. You use a capful of solution and 2-3 cups of water to make one bottle. Now to make a bottle equivalent to 32oz you would need to do 2 capfuls of Thieves cleaner. There are 60-65 capfuls of thieves cleaner according to Young Living. I could make thirty 32oz bottles of thieves cleaner for $24.34 (this includes tax) VS $89.70 for thirty bottles of Clorox cleaner. I mean, it’s kind of a no-brainer here for me!
What do I need to do to reach my goal?
For small goals or one-time fixers this is easy like my cleaner. For goals that will take time, like me getting used to eating vegetarian (I’ve been veg for a little over a month now) and trying to go vegan, I know that will take time and so much conscious effort. I can’t just go pick up all my vegan meals at Target already made soooooo…
Something I used to do was try to choose a reward for myself that I would get once I reached my goal. I highly do NOT recommend doing this. Just from personal experience, I started resenting the fact that I couldn’t have that thing until I reached my goal and I got so mad at myself for setting the original goal in the first place! Your end result should be your reward! The way you feel about accomplishing something or how much better you feel about your choices should be your reward. I, too, have to keep this in mind going forward!
I hope this can help you determine if what you’re wanting to change about your life or lifestyle, no matter how big or small, is doable. I have faith in you that if you stick with it you surely can accomplish what you want to!