Seven Days of Being Intentional

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”

These words, written by Mary Anne Radmacher, have resonated with me for a long time. The phrases “play with abandon” and “choose with no regret” actually carried me through college.

More recently, I’ve fallen deeply in love with the first three words of this quotation:

 Live. With. Intention.

I love it (and I use it all the time), because I firmly believe it’s the cornerstone of living the life you really want.

What does “intentional” mean?

Here are a couple of synonyms:

• Deliberate

• Calculated

• Planned

• Purposeful

 My definition: Grabbing life by the horns, not making excuses and being in control of your circumstances.

Another way of putting it: Start being proactive – instead of reactive. Don’t let life run you.

Live the ListI met a homeless man in Ashland, Oregon, who summed it up beautifully. Over a pint of beer one night, “Crazy Joe” said: “I don’t want things to happen accidently…I want things to happen on purpose.”

That’s life-changing perspective.

That’s living with intention.

As the deadline for my third life list rapidly approached, Radmacher’s quote and “Crazy Joe’s” declaration were speaking directly to my heart.

With a week to go, I stared at my 55/555 list. There were more than a handful of tasks not marked off. Right then and there, I had a decision to make: I could simply let the list expire and transfer the unaccomplished goals to my next list, OR I could be over-the-top intentional for the next 7 days and mark off as many as I could.

I stopped making excuses and chose the latter.

This is what 7 days of being intentional looks like (NOTE: Not all of these tasks were actually accomplished, BUT I got the ball rolling or put it on the calendar – which is further than I got the prior 555 days):

• No. 5 (Start an internet radio show):

95.3 KOMETHE BACK-STORY: As my Live the List Project continues to evolve, I thought starting some kind of radio show or podcast was the next logical step. I thought it would be neat to share stories about marking things off my list, and let other people share their stories. The mission: Inspire others to start living a bold, adventurous and intentional life. (And give me the opportunity to finally have a love affair with a microphone.)

BEING INTENTIONAL: I was recently hired to co-host a morning radio show on a new FM radio station in Glen Rose (95.3 KOME). I finally decided to pitch the idea of launching specialty programming that revolves around my Live the List Project. The owner seemed extremely intrigued, and I’m cautiously optimistic this will become a reality.

MARK IT OFF: I’m hoping to have content developed and sponsorship secured by the end of the summer.

NOTE: I realize that it’s not an “internet radio show”….it’s A LOT more wonderfully great!

– – –

• No. 13 (Host a crawfish boil):

THE BACK-STORY: I’ve been to several crawfish boils, and I loved the social aspect of it. You work hard for your meal…your mouth burns a little…you drink a lot of cold beer. I simply thought it would be fun to host my own.

BEING INTENTIONAL: I tried my hardest to squeeze this in before my list expired, but I decided that 5 days late wasn’t too bad. I planned my crawfish boil around my family’s annual Spring Break trip to Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

MARK IT OFF: The water will be boiling on March 12th.

– –

• No. 21 (Build our “legacy house”)

THE BACK-STORY: We decided to move to the country almost 2 years ago, and we finally decided to pull the trigger and build (this is after a lot of discussion, back-and-forth and tears).

BEING INTENTIONAL: I nailed down a start date with our builder. We will break ground on April 15.

MARK IT OFF: Estimated time to build is 6 to 7 months. We should move into our house in November.

– – –

• No. 26 (Sky dive)

THE BACK-STORY: This is something that I’ve wanted to do since my initial life list. Why has it taken almost 6 years to accomplish this goal? I’ve been scared to death. There…I finally said it.

BEING INTENTIONAL: I finally just picked up the phone, chose a date and gave them my credit card information. The only other thing that I have to do is fling myself out of airplane.

MARK IT OFF: On March 7 – the day that my third life list expires – I will accomplish this goal (finally)!

– – –

• No. 44 (Go on a mission trip)

Kid's Armor of HopeTHE BACK-STORY: Going on a mission trip has always intrigued me, but I really struggled with the fact that most mission trips were in some far-away land. I always thought about the people in this country who needed to be impacted by God’s love. I think that’s why I never pulled the trigger and jumped on a plane to South America or Africa.

BEING INTENTIONAL: I was introduced to Kid’s Armor of Hope Camp – an annual mission opportunity in Granbury, Texas. The camp’s purpose: “Create life-changing moments for children of abuse.”

MARK IT OFF: For an entire week (June 14-19), I will serve as a camp counselor for a group of kids who were dealt a bad hand.

– – –

• No. 49 (Complete Rosetta Stone)

THE BACK-STORY: I feel like an idiot when I’m put in a situation where understanding or speaking Spanish is imperative. Being able to ask “Dónde está el baño” (where is the bathroom?) will only get you so far.

BEING INTENTIONAL: My folks gave me Rosetta Stone for Christmas, but I finally downloaded the software and started working through the lessons. Confession: I love it. It’s so much fun.

MARK IT OFF: I plan on completing all the lessons por el final del verano (by the end of the summer).

– – –

Here are a few little notes about other tasks on my 55/555 list:

• No. 23 – Clean a fish

I’ve recruited my buddy Chad from the fire department. He’s going to take me fishing and then teach me how to clean a fish. As soon as the weather warms up a little – #markitoff.

• No. 24 – Start a fire without matches

This was A LOT harder than I ever imagined. I’m not sure if this will ever get marked off. The whole time I was doing it…I’m so glad someone invented matches.

• No. 35 – Get another dog

I thought I would be ready before my list expired. I. Am. Not. (Story of Cpt. Augustus McCrae)

Utah• No. 38 – Take Crash and Ily to a circus

I will #markitoff on March 13 in Glen Rose

• No. 46 – Win a contest

This might not get marked off any time soon, but not for lack of effort. I enter a handful of contests when I remind myself this is on my list. (The amount of SPAM e-mail that I receive is a testament to that.) The most recent one I entered: “Win a Utah Adventure for 2!”

– – –

I’ve had a handful of people ask me, “What are you going to do after your list expires?”

Make ANOTHER list.

Duh.

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