be intentional

Commitment Requires You to Be Intentional

This week my golf game fell to pieces. The funny part is that, for the first time in a number of years, I’ve been out on the course often enough to feel like I know what I’m doing. But my last outing was an unqualified disaster. Fortunately, I figured it out. I was too loose, too relaxed, too casual, too nonchalant. It turns out I wasn’t committing to my shots. It really didn’t matter if it was a drive, a chip, or a short putt, the stroke couldn’t work because I didn’t fully commit.

Following through is what we add to intention to produce commitment that has real traction. I think being a dad and a husband are both a lot like that. We feel so comfortable sometimes, so nonchalant, that we don’t apply intention and focus to our commitment. That’s when things start to fall apart. The other part of commitment with intention is “following through.” Following through is what we add to intention to produce commitment that has real traction.

Read the following thoughts about commitment and intention, then try applying them to your relationships.

  • Intention sets our direction: Intention turns a general, “I want to do better,” into a specific action plan. “I will tell my wife how much I love her; I’ll do it before I leave for work and then again before we go to bed tonight.”
  • Intention helps us to weigh the alternative: When we can visualize how a plan is going to play out (I’m leaving my briefcase in the car and  I will be playing games with the kids this evening,), the consequences of NOT following through are hard to miss.
  • Intention knows what to bring to the table: Having a plan to go with our commitment makes it more likely that we will bring the appropriate tools for the job. If I promise my family a  weekend away, intention clears the calendar, makes reservations, plans a trip, and more.
  • Intention isn’t haphazard: But you know I’m committed; I married you, didn’t I? Intention acts like the commitment is actually rooted in something that makes a difference: My priorities change. How I invest my time and resources now supports the relationship. We begin to build our life together. I am defined by my commitment.
  • Intention makes sure we follow through: When I have a specific goal (I’m going to hit the ball over the water and onto the green. I’m going to follow through and complete the entire swing.), then I tend to follow through with a sense of purpose. When we fail to follow through, the original commitment is called into question: You said you were going to be home in time for dinner with the family, but you didn’t follow through. I thought you were committed to speaking to your wife more kindly? But you didn’t follow through.

Huddle with your family and ask, “Do you know what it means to be intentional and why it is important?”