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The Importance of Being Intentional

I recently had to re-learn the importance of being intentional.  Unfortunately, I had to do it the hard way.

Every fall, Susan, my spouse, and I take a vacation – just the two of us without children.  With 4 children ranging from 7 to 15 and my travel schedule, we have found that this annual trip is really important for our relationship, well-being and mindset.  We are spoiled with generous parents who take care of our children and all of their needs during this trip.  I started planning and researching this year’s trip in February.  I invested a lot of time speaking with friends and family members, and browsing websites such as VRBO to find that perfect place.  I settled on a vacation to the Cabos San Lucas area at the end of September.

Unfortunately, on September 14 and 15, a powerful hurricane severely damaged the area, and as of this writing, the airport is still not open.  I immediately went into the scramble mode and tried to condense those months of research to once again find another “perfect” place for vacation.  After two days of trying to find a vacation spot in less than two weeks, my head hurt, and I was confused and frustrated.

The reason I was confused and frustrated is that I forgot my original intentions for this annual vacation.  Susan and I have taken this annual vacation for 8 years now and the original intentions were to spend time with one another, build our relationship, rest and a few other key goals.  I realized that even when I started planning this trip in February, I forgot our basic goals and intentions.  When the plan changed and I had to identify a new plan, I forgot the original intentions again.

After two days of mind numbing research, Susan finally said, “I can go anywhere.  I just want to be with you, not drive a minivan and cook every night.”  Whoa!  She reminded me of being intentional.  What were the intentions of this vacation?  Once I understood that we did not have to go off to some exotic island or beach resort, as nice as that is, the options became easier.  In the end we settled on Santa Fe, NM because it was a short flight, relaxed atmosphere, great hiking and food.  It met our intentions of allowing us to spend time with one another, relax and rest, minimize spending a lot of money and a couple other key intentions.

That's me being intentional on my hike - enjoying fall mountain air and tree color.
That’s me being intentional on my hike – enjoying fall mountain air and tree color.

We had a fabulous vacation.  We did some great hiking and ate some amazing green chili sauce!

The lesson learned in this and what I want to pass on is this:  remember to be intentional.  When we do not have an intention, goal, objective or whatever you call it then any plan can get you there.  Once I simplified my intentions, my plan became simpler.  I can use this lesson for meetings, weekends, typical work days and more.  Having an intention then guides our actions and mindset.