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 I've been thinking about living intentionally and what that means for my day-to-day life. 

I have goals. They are good goals according to all goal evaluation criteria I know and preach to others. They are WHY SMART goals.

That means they are:
Written
Harmonious with who I am
Yours (mine -- not someone else's)

And they are:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistically high
Time bound

So I know they are great places for me to focus.

Living intentionally goes beyond setting those goals and choosing activities that will allow me to attain them. It is intentionally paying attention to what is going on around me and shifting my perspective so I don't miss what might be the most important thing for me -- those things that will help me build a better brain. 

Here, from Being Brain Healthy, is what I believe we all need to focus on, intentionally, and roll into our daily lives to live and "Be" better.

Be active
. There is no better way to nourish yourself mind, body, and soul than to take an active approach to life. Be a thinker, a doer, a creator, and a motivator. Move your body, use your mind, and think bigger.

Be social. Not only are we better together, but reaching out to other people also activates multiple areas of the brain. When you interact with others, you stimulate multiple areas of your brain so sensory, language, memory, logic and reasoning, and emotional areas all work in concert.

Be engaged. Participate in things that fire your passion and excite you. Some days, it is not enough to just be active and social. Throw yourself in fully and participate in life by becoming a vital part of every experience. 

Be purposeful. Find what drives you–those things that give you a reason to be—and work toward them. When you live more purposefully, you fill holes in your life and also contribute to something greater.

Be complicated. Combine activities and focuses. Make the most out of each moment by drawing from everything you know that helps you think and live better, and activate as much of that as possible all at once.  

What do you do to Be Intentional in your daily life?


 
 
I thought long and hard about why I was writing Being Brain Healthy before I started but once the process began I pushed that question so far out of my world. 

The question came up again, after the fact, as part of an interview I did for the amazing author and blogger Doreen McGettigan.  And so did a whole line of digging just a bit more deeply to fill in the wholes in what I thought I was doing and why!

DMcG: Have you always wanted to write a book or were you compelled to write this one for personal reasons?

REPLY: I remember the day that my freshman English teacher, Mrs. Chang, told me I was good writer. I was shocked. My handwriting and spelling were (and still are) horrendous so I was used to pages filled with red marks and comments about the benefits of taking my time and neatness – nothing beyond the surface and certainly nothing about the quality of my writing. Enter Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein and my passion for writing took another turn. I was going to be a great investigative reporter uncovering the lies and injustices in the world. Life, as it does, eventually led me in a different direction but every job I had involved some kind of writing.  I don’t think I ever saw myself writing a book until recently. This book got in my head a couple years ago and it was not letting go. I started out writing a much expanded version of my blog on brain health, brain healthy lifestyles, and that connection between how we act and how we think. It was good information with great practical, everyday applications but it was not relevant. After some persistent questions and urging from a dear friend’s husband (who is also a treasured friend but she came first), I got it that I had to tell the story of how I got here and to own the fact that the value of my journey was being lost – especially if I just kept it locked up in a safe in my head. There are moments in our lives that feel safer tucked deeply behind the curtain. I was afraid of again finding myself vulnerable and exposed, and that made me horribly uncomfortable. That piece, just like the practical pieces, became something I needed to get out. My accident and the 18 month journey out of the paper bag that was my life poured out and the rest made  sense.



Motivations are often multi-pronged and digging a bit more deeply to examine the roots of a piece of work, a choice, or a life path helps sort through the chaos. 

Try this exercise:  Think about a life choice you made. Now ask yourself Doreen's wise question. 
Have you always wanted to __________________________________ or were you compelled to _________________________  for personal reasons?


Think harder. Explore more.  Fill in the gaps. The process will help you fire up so many pathways in your brain!