living-an-intentional-life
Parenting

Intentional Living – The Challenge

I have been inspired recently to live a more intentional life. What that means to me is that whatever I decide to do, whatever life throw at me, whatever I choose to do, I need to do it intentionally. Intentional living is when you consciously choose to do whatever it is with the intention of throwing yourself at it wholeheartedly, as best you can!

I decided to launch the #IntentionalLivingChallenge on Instagram and encourage people to join in with the challenge. It has been so inspiring to hear everyone else’s interpretation of the themes I set for each day.

What Is The Intentional Living Challenge about?

Intentional-Living-challenge

I had such fun reading everyone’s interpretations of the themes. I have decided to share my favourite from each day. Now, a couple of people started late or fell behind, because you know … life! But if you get a chance, please go to Instagram and follow the #intentionallivingchallenge hashtag to see all the awesome contributions to the little intentional living challenge I set out.

Day 1 we kicked off with the theme of Kindness

To me, being kind is one of those things that we just always want to pass on. I need to teach my kids to be kind. I need them to know that kindness is one of the qualities that makes you a good person, a respected person, a kind person.

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Kindest is free. Kindness costs you nothing. One kind word can change someone’s entire day so I’m a world where you can be anything you want, be kind. Living an Intentional life means thinking about what you are doing and committing to do it wholeheartedly. . Today I will encourage my girls to be more kind. To think about how they feel when someone is kind to them and to then pay it forward. . Today is Day 1 of my #intentionallivingchallenge If you’d like to join in check out my Instagram post before this one to find out how you can be part of it. It’s easy. Like kindness. . Share this post or tag someone in the comments to spread the message of Kindness. . #kindness #instagramchallenge #intentionalliving #bekind #ukmummyblogger #raisinggirls

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What was really great was that of all the awesome posts that went up, there were two profiles that linked up the same thing, differently.

This one by Tora Grace of the Apple Watch face saying “Be Kind”.

And this other by Jewels Jean Jam both with the same watch face reminder. It’s clearly a hit.

Day 2 challenged everyone to share their Health & Wellness intentions.

I have been trying to up my game with my own personal health and wellness. I’m never going to be a competitive athlete or anything like that, but I realise now that I was living quite a lazy physical life in South Africa.

Soon after getting back to the UK the girls were asking me if we could walk to school instead of driving all the time. I was very reluctant. After the first few times I decided that if this was what we were going to do then I wanted to do it with intention. I wanted to track my steps, my distance etc. So I bought a Fitbit Charge 2. It tracks my steps, distance, the number of flights of stairs I do every day (p.s. – we live in a three storey house). It even tracks my sleep pattern and women’s monthly cycle if I want to – which I don’t.

I soon realised that I was comfortably doing 10,000 steps a day. Unfortunately I’ve also realised that I’m still picking up weight. That would probably have more to do with the fact that my appetite is out of control. Anyway, when I’m finished procrastinating, then I will tackle that issue.

My special blogging friend, Charlene from High Heels & Fairy Tales shared her idea of Health and Wellness with this picture. She is my closest mirror blogger bestie … we think the same, love the same things, and blog with the same intention. Our values are the same, and she will always hold a special place in my heart as the first ever blogger I connected with and met IRL! We will be friends forever, across the distance, and blogs or no blogs, as moms of daughters, we get each other! This is her idea of Health & Wellness, the exact same way I love to drink my water, except I have lemon in mine! You inspire me my friend, and you’re like my crutch to keep going!

Day 3’s theme of Self Love was an important one … not more so than the others, but …

For me it was important for everyone to understand the difference between Health & Wellness, and Self Love. Sometime people can misconstrue the two and think they are the same thing. To me, they aren’t. Health & Wellness is about your physical wellbeing. Self Love is more about how we take care of ourselves, how we manage our self-care intentionally.

As a Stay At Home Mom and wife, I find that I almost always put everyone else’s needs above my own. Self love is reminding yourself that you are entitled to do the things that make YOU happy too. By loving yourself you will be better able to take care of your family too. It all contributes to your emotional well-being, intentionally loving yourself.

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Day 3 of my#Intentionallivingchallenge is Self Love! Today’s #selflove theme is different to yesterday’s Health & Wellness theme because it’s about what we do that is about taking care of us, not our health, our emotional self. What makes your soul happy? If your version of self love is getting your hair & nails done once a week! Great. If it’s about having a blog that’s just yours, for you, I get it. Ultimately it’s about doing things for you that are just for you and are your way of showing yourself that you love yourself. As a mother I tend to put my whole family’s needs before my own. I put myself at the back of the queue. But I know it’s important to do something every now & then that is just for me. Most of the time, that’s why I blog. It’s my little piece of self-indulgence. But sometimes keeping your blog going can feel like a full time job. So today, I am showing myself some Self Love by eating these beautiful radishes! I LOVE radishes. They remind me of my grandpa, and of course my mom. BUT – they repeat on me. Badly! 🙈🤭 But today, I don’t care. It’s not about everyone else, it’s about me. It’s a Trent tiny little thing, but it makes me happy. So, what do you do to show yourself love? What is your version of self love … because you are also important. You are allowed to indulge yourself, and put your needs first too. . #intentionalliving #instagramchallenge #radishes #putyourselffirst #loveyourself

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One of the best posts linked up for this theme was my a very special lady, who became the Christina to my Meredith in friendship terms. She taught me so much! If there is anyone who is completely unashamed and fully embraces the idea of Self Love, it’s this lady! Not only is she a mom of four kids, an inspirational blogger at Mom Just Saying, but also the creator, designer, model, and all round awesomeness that is her own brand – Muppie Lounge! Next month she is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! I know right!! WHAT can’t she do?!  Anyway, if there is anyone who embraces the who idea of unapologetic intentional Self Love, it’s this empowering and inspirational lady!

Day 4 – Motivation. What intentionally motivates you?

Simple for me – my girls. They are my motivation. I intentionally choose to consider them in all that I do. They motivate me on my darkest days, and are a constant reminder to be the best I can be because it’s all for them.

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Day 4 of my #Intentionallivingchallenge – #motivation. . These two little girls right here, they are my motivation. Being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. I fail often. I am a perfectly imperfect mother. But being THEIR mother is what motivates me, every single day. On my darkest days they motivate me to get up and parent. On my most trying days, they motivate me to be better. On the days when they achieve their little milestones in life, they motivate me to keep going. Every single day they motivate me to do the best I can and set the best example of a woman that I can. They are my motivation. . #intentionalliving #motivationdaily #momofgirls #girlmom #motherhoodrising #girlmama

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Blogger, Madam Shade shared this emotionally charged picture of the two people in her life that motivate her every day.

These two humans are my entire world, they keep me striving to be the best possible person I can be in this life
Everyday I fail, but they are my reason to pick myself up again and try harder

The whole point of motivation, is exactly that, to pick yourself up and to always try harder! Always!

Day 5 Inspiration

I wanted to know what everyone’s inspiration was that intentionally drives them to do better, every day. Now Inspiration & Motivation are both similar things too. Inspiration is more about what it is that inspires your creativity, your passion, your purpose. Motivation is more the ‘why’.

Check out my post for what inspires me.

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The theme of Day 5 of my #intentionallivingchallenge is Inspiration. . Something that has always fascinated me is history. The history of the world, and European history in particular. . By understanding history and learning from the past, we can be inspired to learn, not only from the road travelled by others, but from our own road as well. . I am inspired by the past. Not all history lessons are bad. Our past inspires me to be better, to learn from, and to focus on the future. . Inspiration is defined as ‘the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative”. . It has got to the stage where I intentionally stop when I see a beautiful historic old building, and soak up the inspiration which feeds my soul, and in turn, my creativity. . Being surrounded by so much history, and all the beautiful historical buildings and churches, stirs something inside me, it inspires my creativity. . What inspires you? . #inspired #inspiration #inspireyourcreativity #historyinspired #instagramhistory #churchesofinstagram #intentional #intentionality

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This amazing lady’s inspiration is her son. I believe that is true of all parents. Her son Tristan is her world. She lives in Cape Town (one of the most uniquely beautiful places on earth), and her zest for life really speaks to me. I love that she has participated in this challenge wholeheartedly and with such passion. I really feel like I got to know her so much better and I can’t wait to see what awesome stuff she achieves over the next few years as an honest, kind and inspirational Mommy Blogger. You have to check out My Journey As A Mom.

The theme for Day 6 is Family

I never get my whole family of 5 in one picture. Never. Unless is a professional family photo shoot, but that’s not realistic. If there is one thing I have learnt over the past week it is that you have to get yourself in the pictures! You have to! I am always the one behind the camera, always the one to snap pics of my loved ones. It’s always me taking pictures.

Living an intentional life as a mother holding her family together, means consciously considering my family’s ever-changing needs, intentionally.

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Day 6 of my @#intentionallivingchallenge. The theme today is “Family”. My husband, a hard working intense disciplinarian who is fiercely protective of us all. He is my rock. Where he goes I will always follow! My eldest – she’s 7. She is a very special child who drives me completely insane! She looks like me, thinks like me, but definitely doesn’t behave like me. But we get each other like no one else can. My bonus daughter – she’s 14, nearly 15. She chose to come live with us as soon as we returned to the UK. She’s learning how to cope with the chaos that is our family life. My youngest – she’s 5. She makes everyone smile. She’s the warmest, cuddliest most loveable yet manipulative little madam. The cheese to her sister’s chalk! Their bond is unbreakable … unless the iPad is involved! 🤦🏽‍♀️ And me … the anxiety ridden glue that struggles to hold us all together. Just doing my perfectly imperfect job of wife, mother, and step-mother. The thing that binds is – love, tolerance and understanding! Living an Intentional life means ALWAYS thinking about hem, always adapting to the newest phase of our lives. Intentionally considering them always! How do I know how to do this? I don’t, but I had an awesome childhood and my mom and step-mom were and still are my role-models in everything I do as a mother. We are a family. . #family #blendedfamily #familyof5 #momofgirls #intentionalliving

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Here’s another perfect example of what family means – and sometimes we do get to choose our family, with intention.

Day 7 Travel

Travel is my therapy …

I spent hours trying to find the best picture to sum up the thing that sets my soul on fire. But there were so many! I eventually settled on this one because it highlights the fact that traveling off the beaten track to look out the window and see the natural beauty of wherever I am is the kind of travel that feeds my soul. All our adventures and travels are done with the intention of appreciating where we are and what we’re seeing. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Unless that journey is an 18 hour flight … that I don’t enjoy! lol

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Today is the last day of my #intentionallivingchallenge Today’s theme is ‘Travel’, because for me, travel feeds my soul. . I love exploring, going to new places, staring out the window, every new sight is a feast for my eyes. . I could never stay in one place forever. I need to go … . I travel with intention, the intention of broadening my perspective on life, exposing my children to the differences in this world, educating them about how diverse, and awe inspiring this beautiful world is, and the opportunities that exist. . I also prefer to travel off the beaten track. This photo is from some dirt road near Parys in the Free State, South Africa. And my favourite way to travel is to go on a Road Trip. What’s yours? . #travelismytherapy #travelwithintention #familytravel #gofar #instatravel #realmomswhotravel #intentionalliving

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Here is another beautiful picture from Joanne & Tamarin. This is exactly the kind of sights I love to see when I think of travelling.

The Intentional Living Challenge Community

Thanks to everyone who has joined in the Intentional Living Challenge so far. Sometimes these challenges are hard to  finish, but I appreciate everyone who contributed, even if it was only once. Shout out to the everyone who joined in:

Muppie Lounge   Mom Just Saying   Madam Shade  Joanne & Tamarin  Tora Grace   My Journey As A Mom  Mamma Chef Jozi   JessV83 MissFitJo  Tonic & Tiaras 

Just because the initial challenge week has come and gone, I love that some people are picking up the challenge when they come across it and intentionally deciding to complete it in their own time. Isn’t that what it’s all about – intentional living. Intentionally considering your life and what your take on the themes is. If you do decide to start the challenge, please tag me in your posts so that I can follow your #IntentionalLivingChallenge journey.

 

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Shank You Very Much

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

26 thoughts on “Intentional Living – The Challenge”

  1. I love the idea as well of the intentional challenge! It gives us a great reason to get into the groove on things we know is the right thing to do, but somehow find ourselves putting it off.

    I’m glad you can do 10k steps, because I certainly can’t! Bicycling is my choice for getting into the groove. 🙂

    Keep up the intentional living, Carly!

  2. It’s so easy to race through each day or be always looking ahead to some future event, that we can miss what is really important – I love the idea of living intentionally, a great challenge #KCACOLS

  3. I love this. I keep thinking about doing an Insta challenge but I’m so scatty I would never complete it. 7 days don’t seem so bad though!

    #KCACOLS

  4. I love your challenge!! So great to live more intentionally to be a great example to your children. I also love your graphics 🙂 #KCACOLS

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