2023 Word of the Year: Intentional
Happy Spring!!! I'm so excited to get out into the garden. This year I'm adding a Berry garden and redoing a herb garden. I've started to plan it out on paper, plus bought and started seeds. Because I get so excited planning it, other important things can fall by the wayside. So this month's WOTY focus has been balance and time management.
Thoughts from my Journal:
- Work on bringing better balance in my life using time-management skills.
- Using my time more wisely
- Eating properly
- Planning vs. action
- Saving vs. spending wisely
- Nagging vs. praying and encouraging
- Wild Child vs. The Dictator—Tonya Leigh's email on March 8 highlights
One of the absolute KEYS to unraveling some of your most challenging patterns and catalyzing transformation in your life is to be able to recognize Your Wild Child and Your Dictator.
The Wild Child is the “no rules, just right” side of your personality. She’s the one that whispers to you, “You said you only wanted to drink alcohol on the weekend but really, who cares? One glass of wine isn’t going to change anything.” Think “overdoing” anything, like shopping, eating, staying up watching Netflix until 3 am, etc.
But really, she’s afraid. She is afraid of missing out on LIFE. She’s afraid of being controlled. She’s afraid of her innocence being ripped away and letting the seriousness of life suck out all the joy. So she REBELS.
The Dictator, on the other hand, comes in to “save the day” - especially from the TYRANNY of the Wild Child. The Dictator says “No more.” No more shopping. No more eating. No more Netflix. The Dictator restricts, deprives, and PUNISHES. She sends you to your room with no dinner. And definitely no dessert.
The Dictator does exactly what the Wild Child was afraid of… She makes life hardened. Sterile. No fun at all. But deep down, the Dictator doesn’t want to be mean. She is just really afraid too. She's worried the Wild Child is about to ruin your whole life - so she tries as hard as she can to take back control.
Unfortunately, my dear Jodee, neither of these characters - these parts of you - will lead you to an extraordinary life.
What does? Wisdom. It’s your Future Self. It’s your wisest, most compassionate self who loves you unconditionally - But who also has high expectations and high standards. Your Future Self is sort of like a loving parent. She says things like,
“Sugar isn’t bad in moderation. Have one cookie. Enjoy. But we’re not having ten. Why? Because I love you and I care about your health.”
You could also imagine her like a Queen archetype. She is ruling her kingdom with wisdom, joy, and abundance - and she knows that a thriving kingdom requires healthy food, a balanced budget, and a reasonable bedtime.
To begin making headway with this, just start by noticing whether you’re acting from your Wild Child or your Dictator. Keep notes on when they show up.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV — There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ephesians 5:15 AMPC — Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),
1 Peter 5:8 TPT — Be well-balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.
"Getting in balance is not so much about adopting new strategies to change your behaviors, as it is about realigning yourself in all of your thoughts to create a balance between what you desire and how you conduct your life on a daily basis." — Wayne Dyer
"Consistency in your person from home to work is vitally important so that you are in total balance at all times. Being out of balance means that your true self will start to be confused with what you pretend to be." — Catherine Pulsifer
“There is no limit to what great and beautiful things the human being can create with the power of a balanced mind that is open to the inspiration of GOD.” – Paul Odafe Akpomukai
“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.” – Thomas Kinkade
- Intentional balance and time management.
- Keep notes on when and where my "Wild child" or "My Dictator" shows up.
- Identify where I'm out of balance and apply wisdom to correct it.
- Set intentions daily. Find a balance between have-to-do and want-to-do.
- Do a time audit.
Plan a day to visit the U of I Idea Garden with Steve followed by a picnic at Lake of the woods Botanical Garden.
Discoveries along the way:
I found this study on time management geared toward college students. I found it very helpful as a retired person. We have many of the same challenges going from a very structured schedule (them 8-3 school days, me 8-6 work days) to a more flexible schedule. Without effective time management, my Wild Child will take over and I will get nothing accomplished.
McGraw Center: Principles of Effective Time Management for Balance, Well-being, and Success (adapted by me for retired me)
The principles below are derived from research on time management, motivation theory, and much experience working with university students. Think of time management techniques as tools to help you do what you value the most. Make these tools into an expression of your values—what’s most important to you—, not just a schedule to get more stuff done. Try to keep these principles in mind as you schedule and calendar your time, and when making the moment-to‐moment decisions that are crucial to effective time management for balance and well-being.
Commitment—if you can’t commit to devoting time to a task, don’t put it in your schedule. Only schedule tasks you WILL do. Be brutally realistic, not idealistic when making your schedule. Creating a schedule you can’t actually keep is setting yourself up for frustration and failure, which leads to shame and the inability to trust yourself.
Pursue fun with a vengeance—Make time for enjoyable, rejuvenating, and satisfying activities. Organize your tasks and other obligations AROUND these commitments to fun. I've always viewed fun as a reward after my work is done. I've spent years working hard so I can enjoy retirement. Make fun a priority, not just a reward.
Time vs. task focus—Think of your day in terms of time, not the tasks you have to do. Devote time to important tasks every day. Make an appointment with yourself for a particular time period, and set your purpose to “I'll get the most out of this time.”
One thing at a time—Current research shows us that multi-‐tasking is a myth. In actuality, we are switching back and forth between tasks. With each switch we pay a cognitive cost and a time cost: It takes time to get mentally back into the task, thus making us less efficient. When switching we lose the depth of our engagement and absorption.
Block out time—devote chunks of time to a specific task (such as cleaning, writing, gardening). Make it part of your schedule, your routine. Estimate how many hours per week you want to devote to it and set them aside. Slice up your task into pieces and allow specific blocks of time for specific pieces of a big project.
First Things First—Schedule the things that are most important to you first thing in the day. Anything that gets scheduled later in the day has a greater chance of getting interrupted, put off, and never gotten to.
Routine—It takes 30 days to create a habit, but good habits make your life easier. With good habits in place, you don’t have to make as many hard decisions, thus you are less likely to make unproductive ones such as talking yourself out of doing what you had planned. New habits are needed now that we are retired.
Flexibility— Don’t schedule every hour of the day, leave empty time slots, and schedule in recreation time. Create a two-hour or three-hour block on Friday as a catch-all makeup time.
Respond vs. react— when faced with a decision or an impulse to diverge from your schedule, don’t just react, RESPOND. Pause, take a moment to think. Remember what’s most important to you and do what will help you get it. Don’t let “mind games” in which you create justifications, get in the way or lead you astray.
Organize your environment—both physical and social for success and support—be creative.
- Choose carefully to minimize distraction; maximize focus.
- Keep your creative spaces such as office and studio, clean and organized.
- Use physical reminders. If you want to work out more but are getting bogged down in email or Facebook, put your running shoes on top of your laptop. Make it harder to get off track and easier to stick to your plan by changing your environment.
- Enlist the support of family and friends:
- Find an accountability partner.
- Team up with someone who has a similar interest and get together with them weekly/monthly.
Highlights & Review:
This has been a fun month!
- I had lunch with my daughter and Mom.
- I traveled with one sister-in-law to the other one. We stopped and "thrifted" at several shops along the way. Millie served us a delicious supper and we stayed up late talking. The next day we reorganized her craft room. On the way home, we found another great shop that featured repurposed and architectural salvage. We will be revisiting that place with the boys and a truck!
- Planned our gardens and started seeds. Intentional planning!
- Gave our porch a refresh to get ready for spring. Intentional action!
- I'm intentionally taking more pictures to help tell remember my journey.
How is your journey going this month?
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I love the Wild Child and Dictator concepts being tempered by Wisdom. This post is full of wonderful things, Jodee!
Love all these areas to remember and reflect upon – especially love the collage!
I love how you choose a different focus each month. I do not have a green thumb BUT I do love seeing, hearing about, and tasting the results of gardeners like yourself. May your efforts be a blessing to your loved ones and to those of us who watch from afar.
One Word # 6