Intentional living

I’m thinking a lot about sustainability lately. What do I currently do, and what will I begin, that is sustainable? Not that everything in life should be sustained. Some things have a defined season, a limited time to be useful or even possible. But I’m growing more thoughtful about the habits and commitments I allow to take root in my life. Because, sometimes, even without intention, behaviors cling. Isn’t it funny how difficult it is to foster habits you want to acquire and nurture (think working out) and how easily you fall into habits that can sap your time and give little in return (endless internet browsing or channel surfing). Well, I’ve never had too much difficulty with TV, and can happily report that I rarely miss it since we cut the cable cord last summer.

But the internet…it just sucks me in. Sometimes I find things that are helpful, useful, inspirational. And sometimes I just drift among the sites that fascinate me. Pinterest, Houzz, Twitter, blogs…..where was I?

Yes, yes, intentional living. Well, to be more grounded in habits I want to foster in myself and encourage in others, I’m beginning a couple of journals…private, but intended to foster values that are important to me. First, I am beginning a gratitude journal. Hardly a new concept, and I think I already have a mindset of gratitude. But writing it down will make it clearer, and I hope will give visible proof that I am aware of the many good things and people that touch my life.

Second, I’m beginning a journal of kindness. I want to mark kindness and generosity from me to others, and from others to me. Why? Not to pat myself on the back, but to reinforce for myself that there is no limit to the ways we can spread thoughtfulness and a positive spirit. I hope by noting the acts and words of others toward me that I will be more aware of the ways people reach out to me.

I don’t want either of these journals/lists to be exhaustive. That would be exhausting, and would probably result in another couple of new year’s resolutions that would soon be abandoned. The point is to increase awareness, and I think noting even a few items I’m grateful for each day, or a few acts of kindness, will be enough to keep these things in the forefront of my thoughts.

A kindness journal, a gratitude journal…I think I can sustain these habits. I have a feeling adding these two brief to-dos to my daily routine will be inspiring and worth doing. And who knows what I’ll discover in the process?!


  • January 4, 2012, 1:19 am  Reply

    At its best, blogging helps to reinforce both qualities in that little, all important box at the bottom of each post.

    Expressing a thoughtful comment, kindly felt, will almost certainly evoke genuine gratitude…and (at least sometimes) be ‘repaid’ by a thoughtful, kindly felt response.

    As ‘virtual’ as the internet may be, blogging has nonetheless helped to cultivate both of these genuine, heart-felt a very real way.

    At least some of the time. 😉

  • January 4, 2012, 3:42 am  Reply

    I like this; what I’ve found valuable about keeping documentation of kind words sent to me is how I feel after reading them on days when I’m feeling less than inspired.


  • January 4, 2012, 4:04 am  Reply

    I think that sounds like a wonderful endeavor. I have a computer diary program. I may just create a new diary within that program on kindnesses shown and received!
    Great idea!

  • January 4, 2012, 7:05 pm  Reply

    I love, love, love your ideas! I am sure we’ll read some posts generated by your journal reflections soon 🙂 Good luck!

  • January 5, 2012, 6:29 pm  Reply

    Sounds beautiful and enriching. Gratitude always makes us happier.

  • January 8, 2012, 12:47 am  Reply

    A kindness journal seems like a fun idea 🙂

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