It seems that everyone is throwing around the words ‘intentional living’, but many don’t really explain what it means to be intentional with your life, especially as a homemaker.
Some make it seem like we have to hustle hard each and every day. Others make it seem like you have to slow down and live moment by moment. With these extremes, it is easy to be confused.
If you’ve read anything here at The Tannehill Homestead, you know that is not how I roll! In fact, my goal is to help homemakers live simply and sustainably, so let’s dive into exactly what it means to be intentional daily as a homemaker.
Be sure to read all the way through, because the last intention is likely not what you expect.
What does it mean to be intentional?
To understand what it means to be intentional, let’s define the two words and see how they come together.
Be: to have an objective existence : have reality or actualityMerriam-Webster Dictionary
Intentional: done by intention or designMerriam-Webster Dictionary
To put it plainly, to be is to exist in the space you’re in with no action or inaction. So when you are intentional about being, you are choosing how you want to exist.
How to be intentional as a homemaker
Putting this into the context of homemaking, to be intentional as a homemaker, you are intentionally choosing how you want to be a homemaker.
You decide what does or doesn’t get done, the set of standards you want to present for your home, and how you care for your home and those within it.
Just reading that sounds so freeing! The fact that you can decide what you will and won’t do each day is refreshing.
Why you should be intentional
Being intentional with your day provides freedom because you aren’t held captive by making decisions all day long. You can choose ahead of time, whether it be the day before or through creating systems, what you do.
Another benefit of being intentional as a homemaker is that you get to decide how full your plate is, what to say yes and no to, and many other things. You’re taking control of how you spend your time.
It is also less stressful to be intentional because you are taking a proactive approach to homemaking versus a reactive approach. Trust me! Putting in the work to be proactive is well worth it!
A few quotes to inspire you
I don’t know about you, but I love finding inspiring quotes to remind me why I do the things I do. Here are a few that I hope bring you some motivation to live a more intentional life!
I know that God is intentional with everything that He brings to me and what He does for me. I’m not here just to be here. God made me intentionally! He created me on purpose, for a reason! To throw the shot put for sure. That’s one of the things I am created to do.Michelle Carter
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.Steve Jobs
Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness and bad days give you experience.Unknown
Be intentional with your space. Don’t be afraid to step on a limb and design your home the way you love it.Joanna Gaines
Lean forward into your life. Begin each day as if it were on purpose.Mary Anne Radmacher
Each of these quotes inspires me to look at homemaking as the blessing it is. I’m so grateful to have a home to care for intentionally.
Hopefully at least one of these quotes also speaks to you, too!
Things to be intentional about daily
Now that you know what it means to be intentional, let’s discuss how exactly you do that daily as a homemaker.
Note that these are simply ideas to help you live more intentionally. Don’t think you have to implement all of these ideas right away because it won’t work.
Slow and steady wins the race, so if you’re just getting started, pick one or two of these things to implement today, get comfortable with them, then pick another to implement. Keep doing this until you feel you’re living each day with intention.
Remember, this is a journey, not a destination. You can always tweak and try new things.
Pay attention to how you use your time
The busier you are, the more intentional you must be.Michael Hyatt, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want
I love this Michael Hyatt quote because it is so true! It is also a good reminder to slow down and stop living such a busy life. Being intentional with your time takes work, and the busier you are, the more you have to work at it.
To combat this, there are a few things you should do to be intentional with your time.
1 // Have a daily routine
A daily routine allows you to form habits, which help you do certain things on autopilot.
An example of this is waking up and going straight to the bathroom. You don’t have to think about doing it, you just get up and do it.
The beautiful thing about having a daily routine is that the habits within it help you save decisions for things that are actually important.
Related Post: How to Reduce Stress at Home with 5 Simple Routines
2 // Ensure your To-Do List aligns with your priorities
Evaluate the things you’ve done over the last few days and ask yourself if they align with your priorities. If they don’t, it is time to make some adjustments.
The power of being intentional with your time in this way is that everything you do has a purpose. It is easy to toss out a To-Do List that doesn’t align with who you are or what is important to you.
A To-Do List full of things that align with your priorities will get done because these are things that do matter to you.
3 // Create systems that support you
Having things like a cleaning routine, tidying routine, meal planning, running your errands all at once per week, etc. all work as systems in your home to support your efforts.
Take a look at all that you do and ask yourself what systems you could implement to make things easier on you.
Be intentional with your actions
To be intentional with your actions, you must first remove distractions from your life. It is far easier to do things well when you aren’t constantly being distracted by things that aren’t important.
Start your day by focusing on what is most important for the day. Some call this “eating the frog”, but I like to refer to it as simply getting the hard things over with so that you can enjoy the rest of the day.
The truth is that not all action is fun, but things still have to get done.
Be conscious about the things you’re consuming, whether it be media, news, music, YouTube videos, etc. All of these things can derail you from being intentional with your actions.
Choose things that make you happy and bring excitement to your life versus dread and sorrow.
I’m not saying don’t ever watch the news, but be mindful of how you do it.
I personally don’t ever watch the news outside of election night, because I choose to be informed differently. Let me just say that I don’t mind not knowing what is happening every second of every day in everyone else’s lives.
Another way to be intentional is through how we interact with others. Be intentional in your marriage, in friendships, with your family, and with everyone you meet.
Relationships take work, and by focusing on the person in front of you, you can develop very meaningful relationships.
I honestly hate the fact that technology has stepped into our daily lives as it has, because it is so easy to pick up your phone as someone, who is physically in front of you, is talking to check what you haven’t missed out on today.
Please don’t be that person.
Be the light in someone’s day and make them feel special because you chose to be intentional with the people in front of you.
Being intentional with God
God is intentional in all that He does. The first quote above proves that I’m not the only one who believes that.
In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon talks about how there is a time for everything and is planned perfectly by God. I love reading through verses 1-8 specifically, because it lays out the perfect foundation of how God is intentional.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens;
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
The great news is that there is time for everything you want to do as a homemaker because God arranged it to be that way. You just have to stay connected to God so that He can show you the way.
You do this by being intentional with praying and reading the Bible each day. It isn’t about the amount of time you devote to it each day, but the fact that you do it. God wants to connect with us each and every day, just like your spouse or best friend does!
Also, remember to give thanks to God for today’s blessings. This is very important because it not only gives us a reason to talk with God randomly throughout the day, it also improves our mood.
I’m not sure about you, but I want to feel renewed and full of purpose each day. My relationship with God definitely provides that.
Be intentional with money
Being intentional with money as a homemaker is very important. You don’t want to spend frivolously on things you don’t need and you need to know where your money is going each month.
To determine how well you’re spending your money, you need to establish a budget and evaluate it monthly. This will help you find ways to get more intentional with your finances.
Another way to be intentional with money is to create more of it by looking for ways to increase your income. Most modern homemakers have some sort of income, if not full-time jobs, so get creative and find ways to grow your money.
Related Post: Gain Financial Freedom with Your Sunny Money Method
Live more sustainably
There are simple things you can do daily to be intentional about sustainability within your home. As a homemaker, I believe it is very important to use the resources you already have on hand before acquiring new ones.
You can do this by implementing the 5 Rs [Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot].
1 // Refuse what you don’t need, like someone handing out goody bags or fliers.
2 // Reduce your consumption by swapping single-use items for reusable items.
3 // Reuse things you already have in the way intended or by finding a different use for them.
4 // Recycle the things that are no longer useful to you.
5 // Rot is another word for composting materials that are compostable.
All five of these are ways to reduce the trash you send to the landfill and will make homemaking much simpler.
Other ways you can be intentional about sustainability include the following:
- Be eco-friendly conscious with your home
- Turn off lights
- Unplug things you aren’t using
- Adjust thermostat
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, so if you want more ideas, check out my post about having an eco-friendly home.
Be intentional about your happiness
Take time to reflect on the good in life. It is easy to focus on what isn’t going right in our lives, but when you take time to think about all the good in your life, happiness is easier to feel and welcome around you.
Checking in with yourself throughout the day is very important. Getting stuck in autopilot isn’t fun, especially when you realize it after the fact. By consistently checking in with yourself, you can prevent getting lost in the day to day tasks of life.
How are you caring for yourself daily?
As a homemaker, you have to be intentional with how you care for yourself, not just those in your family.
There are three areas that I want you to specifically reflect on right now:
1 // Mind – Write down everything you’re thinking to see if your thoughts are helping you live an intentional life or keeping you from it.
2 // Body – It is important to move your body daily, whether it be through an exercise program or going for a walk in nature. You have to care for your body because it’s the only one you’ll ever have.
3 // Rest – Getting quality rest is very important when caring for yourself. If you can’t get 6-8 hours of sleep throughout the night, look for ways to make up for that during the day. Rest keeps our minds clear and focused, which helps us live more intentionally.
If you’re ready to take action to be intentional with your daily actions, I suggest you start with your cleaning and tidying routine. This is a very simple place to start when you follow the steps in my workbook.
A Simple Cleaning Routine will walk you through everything you need to consider to create a cleaning routine that takes 30 minutes or less a day. Routines aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” and neither is my approach within this workbook.
Now that you know what it means to be intentional daily as a homemaker, I encourage you to start with simplifying your life in general. The simpler you make it, the easier it is to live intentionally.
Also, I want to emphasize that you shouldn’t try to change your life overnight to be more intentional. Start with one small change, find comfort in that, then move onto the next thing.
Making changes to live more intentionally as a homemaker takes time, so take it one step at a time and enjoy the process!