Let me set the scene: I plan on working on a project today but get swept up with social media on my phone. I decide to call a friend after scrolling for arguably way too long but, then my mind is elsewhere thinking about other tasks I was supposed to do. After the call, I eat a quick dinner and then decide to a movie. After 45 minutes of the movie, I realize that I missed so much of the plot because I was on my phone the whole time.
Life is filled with distractions and I know I am not perfect and that is okay. That being said, I know I can always be more intentional with my time and energy. This past week was one of the first times in a while where I set my phone on the opposite side of the room and committed to solely watching a movie. I committed that I wouldn't check my phone, pause and clean, or start a new task. When the movie ended, I felt like the time I spent watching the movie wasn't wasted. I watched and enjoyed seeing the story unfold. I became invested in it because I was intentional with it. Once the movie ended, I realized how taking a moment to be consciously intentional could change the experience.
I tend to believe I am an intentional person but, I know that I succumb to the distractions around me. I know that I can do better and that change would have a positive impact on my life and my happiness. I am deciding to try to begin a journey of being more consciously intentional. Here are a few things that I plan on doing that I think will improve my happiness:
1. I want to make a point to put technology away before I go to bed and read instead.
Instead of scrolling mindlessly on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I will pick up a book. I will read a fun story, relate to a concept, and let my mind be present in my room as I get ready for bed. I don't want to focus on the trip that someone went on or the latest breaking news story as my head is on the pillow. I do that for a lot of time during the day. That one hour or 30 minutes before I go to bed is time for me to focus on what is right around me.
2. I want to continue leaving my phone away when I am talking and hanging with other people.
Like most people, I slip up and fall to my phone as a crutch. I go and check social media, my texts, or whatever else is going on in the world when I hang out with people. As conversation dies down, people pick up their phones, and I for one do that. It is okay for there to be lulls in a conversation but, the moment a phone enters the room and I connect to the rest of the world, I disconnect from the room. I am no longer just spending time with the people around me, I am spending time with everyone except it feels more lonely. I want to be intentional when I am with people because it will create a more fulfilling moment.
3. I want to make a point to play like really play.
When I talk about play I mean that I want to commit to what play really is. A definition of play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. Whatever type of play I am committing to I don't want to stop and pick up the phone. If I am building a pillow fort, I am planning to build a pillow fort and will fully play in it. If I am going on a run, I won't just run, I will lip sync and run. If I am having fun playing at Target with friends, I will allow myself to be fully present. If I look a little silly in public it doesn't matter because I am playing. I am having fun. It will boost my mood and I think I will be better off committing to that.
4. When I decide to unwind and watch TV or a movie, that is all I will do.
Too many times, I multitask when I want to unwind. I think about the projects I can work on and yet again, I can fall down the social media hole. If I want to watch a movie, I am going to watch the movie. When I focus my energy on just the movie I tend to feel more fulfilled.
5. Be intentional with myself and others.
I want to act in a way I want others to act towards me. When I am with someone new or an old friend I want to make sure I give them the time and attention I would want. I want to make sure I do the things I preach because the only person I can expect to do this is myself. I can't expect anyone else to act a certain way. That being said, I can channel the energy and act on it in a way that I would want others to. Being intentional with others and leading with kindness is a great way for me to live my life but, I also want to be intentional with myself. I want to be just as intentional with myself as I am with others. If I am spending time with myself, I want to truly spend time with myself and not on the phone. If I am committing to a task that might be self-assigned, I want to be intentional with myself and get it back to the boss (me).
Intentionality goes a long way and can positively affect the way I live in a moment and view a situation. All of the ways I laid out might be the ideal scenario and it might not happen every day but, I think if I am more intentional with everything I do, I will be better off. If I do all of this, I think I will be able to live a happier life and enjoy each and every moment more. That happiness can affect the environment around me and in turn, a better world can result (it all comes back to creating a better world). It might not be the new year but, today is as good of a day as any other day to start being more intentional.
*A quiet moment. An intentional moment to photograph and take in the new Penn Station.