Being an Intentional Man means being proactive rather than just reacting to what life throws at you. It's easy to slip into a reactive mode because of all the responsibilities and roles you juggle daily. You might be on top of things at work but not putting enough effort into your relationships or finances.

One key area often overlooked is our environment, including the people we spend time with, the media we consume, and the places we go. It's important to design your environment intentionally to support your growth and well-being.

Here are five areas to focus on:

1. People

Think about the influence of those you hang out with. Are they uplifting and supportive? Make an effort to spend more time with people who positively impact your life.

2. Home Set Up

Set up your living space to encourage healthy habits and align with your goals. For example, keep healthy snacks visible instead of cookies.

3. Work Environment

Keep your workspace tidy and free of distractions to boost your productivity.

4. Inputs

Be mindful of the media and content you consume. Choose things that inspire and uplift you.

5. Activities

Identify activities that recharge and bring you joy. Make time for these instead of defaulting to passive activities like watching TV.

Your environment can either support or hinder your growth. By designing it to align with your values and goals, you create a supportive space that helps you live more intentionally. Start with one area, improve it, and then move on to the others. Remember, it's about progress, not perfection.

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One of the key elements of being an Intentional Man is being proactive. As a man, you have so many roles and responsibilities thrown at you each day, that it can be very easy to fall into reaction mode…where you are continuously reacting to the things that are thrown at you. 

This happens to me all the time. I might be really intentional in some areas, but passive and reactive in others. I might be really proactive at work, but coasting or on cruise control with my relationships. I might be really proactive with my health and my workout routine, but then completely reactive in my finances…following impulses and choosing short term comforts over what’s best in the long run.

Can you relate? Can you think of areas right now in your life where you are on cruise control? Can you think of areas of your life that you are being reactive instead of proactive?

If so, that’s ok…you can’t always be perfect in every single area of your life. But it is important to continuously evaluate the different areas of your life to make sure some don’t get unattended for too long. 

One of the areas that I don’t proactively design often enough is my environment. This is an easy one to just let happen to us instead of being very intentional about.

What I mean by your environment are things like the people you spend time with, the things you are filling your mind with, the places you often spend your time…all of these add up to create the environment that you live in. 

So let me ask you this, when was the last time that you strategically evaluated your environment and proactively designed it to make sure it was helping you grow and ultimately serving the vision and values you have?

Have you ever taken the time to proactively design the different elements of your environment? Or have you just let them happen to you?

I think we all understand how important our environment is, but oftentimes, we do not actually take some time to proactively design it.

The great personal development guru Jim Rohn has a quote where he says, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.”

If you don’t proactively design the different elements of your environment, chances are you will end up being a product of other people’s designs or a product of your circumstances and emotions. 

As an intentional man, it is important that you take the time to take ownership of your environment and design it to serve the vision that you have for your life, to help you pursue your God-given potential, and to be the best version of yourself so that you can make an impact on those around you.

Alright so I want to give you 5 different areas of your environment to think about this week and make sure you are being proactive in how they are serving you.

The first, the most obvious, and probably the most important are the people you are spending your time with. 

I think you know how important this is. You have probably heard this multiple times from your parents or others, but just because you know that the people you spend your time with greatly influence you, I want to ask you, “Is it actually something that you consciously have considered and proactively designed in a way that best serves you?”

Just because something is common knowledge does not mean that it is common practice.

When was the last time that you took inventory of the relationships in your life to see if they are uplifting you, encouraging you, supporting you, and causing you to grow? 

Jim Rohn, who I quoted earlier, also says that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Take a second to think about your life, who are the 5 people that you spend the most time with? 

If your life and your future are going to be determined by the 5 people you spend the most time with, have you strategically picked 5 people that are ultimate influencing you for the good?

Do these people fill you up? Or take away your energy? Do they bring you closer to God? Do they cause you to dream bigger? Do they encourage you? Do they challenge you? 

This is a huge part of your life that you must assess. 

I am not saying you have to kick everyone out of your life if they are not perfect…not that at all. I more want you to think about the people that truly bring out the best in you and are great influences in your life, and think about how you can have them in your life more. 

Oftentimes as men, we have some good friends in our lives, we just do a pretty poor job of taking the initiative to spend time with them. It’s easy to go months and months without reaching out. 

So I want you to think about who those people are, and then proactively start to get around them more. 

In his book the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell talks about the power of a good environment and he says,

“You cannot take the growth journey alone, not if you want to reach your potential. The most significant factor in any person’s environment is the people. If you change nothing else in your life for the better than that, you will have increased your chances of success tenfold. So think long and hard about who you’re spending the most time with, for wherever they are headed, so are you.”

That’s what I want to encourage you to do today, think long and hard about who you’re spending the most time with. 

I also want to say, it is important when we talk about this that YOU are being someone that uplifts the environment of others. Are you someone that should be someone’s top five list? Are you someone that is being intentional with the relationships that you have to make sure they are positive.

It can be easy to sit back and hope that people uplift and encourage you and bring up the deep conversations and set up the hang outs, but I would encourage you to take the initiative and ownership first.

You probably have close friends already that could really support you better and who you could have great, life conversations with if you took the initiative to set that up. Or you took the intitivate to ask good questions and have meaningful conversations.

I have a lot of relationships in my life where we could just hang out all day long and never really talk about life, but if I take ownership to bring that level of intentionality, they usually respond well and jump in. 

So don’t just kick people out of your life without first taking ownership yourself and making sure you are brining that culture to your environment

Alright next one to think about, is your home a conducive environment to your growth? I’m not talking about relationships here, I’m talking about the actual design of your home and how you set things up.

Does the design of your home and where things are placed, encourage your healthy habits? Does it encourage you in your goals?

Our habits are triggered by different cue’s in our environment. If you are trying to eat healthier, but you have a jar of cookies right out in the open, it is going to make it extremely difficult.

If you are trying to cut back on alcohol, but you have your bar cart right out in the open, it’s going to be difficult

If you are trying to watch less TV, but your entire house is centered around your TV screen and your TV remotes are right out in the open, it is going to make it more difficult to not watch TV

So I want to encourage you to think about the goals, habits, and vision that you have for your life, and make sure that the design of your home encourages it. 

Instead of cookies on the counter, maybe you put a basket of fruit.

Instead of having a bar cart, maybe you have a cart with your supplements, protein powder, or other healthy items

For your TV, maybe you hide the controllers and unplug it each time you finish watching. Maybe you lay a book out on the counter so you are encouraged to read.

Your home environment is probably affecting your habits more than you are aware so make sure you are hiding the things that encourage bad habits, and then make the things that encourage good habits as visible as possible.

The next one is similar, have you proactively designed your work environment? Is your desk cluttered? Is your office messy? How about your computer screen as you work? Do you have email always open? Do you have slack always open?

If you have an environment where distractions can easily happen, you most likely are not going to be as productive as you could. 

If you’re phone is always on your desk, it is most likely going to get the best of you at some point. 

The same principle applies, make sure the things that encourage bad habits and distractions are invisible and then make sure the things that encourage focus, productivity, and good habits are visible.

The next element of your environment that you need to be proactive in designing are your inputs.

So the Music you are listening to, the movies and the shows that you are watching, the podcasts you are listening to, the books you are reading, 

Have you proactively thought about how these affect your life? Or are you coasting in this area? 

This happens to me all the time. If I don’t design these things in a way that serve me, I think I’m missing out on a big opportunity.

When was the last time you evaluated why you were watching a certain show? Most likely, someone recommended it to you or you stumbled onto it and just started watching it without much thought. 

I’m not saying that you need to ban all TV shows, but if you are spending a significant amount of your time watching them, it is probably worth asking yourself why it is worth spending that much time on

Is the music you’re listening to filling you up? Do you even know what kind of music fills you up?

Are the movies you are watching uplifting? Or are they dragging you down? 

It’s worth an evaluation. We are affected by these things more than we probably realize, so it is important to proactively think through them.

And lastly, I would encourage you to be proactive in the activities that you do on a regular basis.

Do you know what activities recharge you? Do you know what activities fill you up? Which ones bring you life and give you energy?

Have you created time in your life to do some of these activities?

If you don’t make time for them, most likely they are not going to happen. If you haven’t taken the time to identity what fills you up, most likely you will not spend time doing them. 

Be proactive in making sure you are spending time doing things that are enjoyable. 

This goes hand in hand with the last one. What if you replaced some of the shows that you are watching with life-giving activities?

When we are in cruise control and we are coasting through some areas of our lives, it is so easy to come home from a long day of work and immediately turn the TV on start watching. My guess is that you didn’t proactively think through what was going to be the best thing to do in that situation.

But what if instead, you had a list of recharging activities ready to go and you picked one of those to do after work? 

I realized that so much of my life was spent going through the motions and doing things that weren’t necessarily adding much to my life. Television can be fun and a good thing to enjoy with friends and family. I’m definitely not saying you can’t ever do that, I just want to encourage you to be more proactive in the way that you make decisions about your environment and make sure it is designed in a way that serves you and brings you life.

To recap, there are five areas I would encourage you to proactively design when it comes to your environment

  • Think about the people you spend your time with
  • Think about how your living space is set up
  • Think about how your workspace is designed
  • Think about the inputs of your life
  • And think about making time to do the activities that recharge you and bring you life

Your environment can be a powerful tool for you if it is set up to help you in the long run. But it can also be detrimental if it not set up well. Taking the time to design it in a way that is congruent with your vision and your values can be a game changer in living a more intentionally life.

My challenge to you would be to pick just one of those five areas that I brought up today, and spend some time thinking about how to design that element in a way that serves you. Just pick one, come up with some ideas to improve it, and then you can move on to the others.

I hope this was helpful and encouraging to you! I am right there with you on this one and will be working to incoprotarte more of this in my life. The goal is always progress over perfection. Just be being here and listening to this, I know you are someone who is committed to growing and be the best man you can be. I believe in you! I’m proud of you for committing to growth and I am excited to see God work in your life as you pursue your full potential. 

Now Go live a life you are proud of by living intentionally 

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