What if you could have a well-balanced life full of purpose? To wake up each day with intention? Intentional living means living with purpose and doing activities that support your goals. Without intention, you might coast through life on autopilot and live a dull and unfulfilling life. Read on to find out how to live with intention and why it will make a difference in your own life.
What Is Intentional Living?
Living with intention means choosing the life you want to live and then taking the actions to be the person you want to be. It means living consciously and mindfully, avoiding the auto-pilot existence, and noticing the little things.
Living with purpose increases positivity and happiness in our life and improves our well-being.
Why Should I Live with Intention?
Intentions give you purpose. When you have a purpose, you get things done. Think through the days when you don’t have a plan. These are the days you are likely not going to feel good about yourself. These are the days when you just sit around and have nothing accomplished at the end of the day.
Intentional living increases positivity in your life and improves your well-being. Living your life on purpose gives you direction and pushes you towards reaching your lifelong dreams.
Signs that you might be living on autopilot
- You feel apathetic. You don’t care about anything.
- You are unproductive. At the end of each day, you don’t know where the time went, and you accomplished nothing.
- You spend several hours each day on your phone (checking social media and email). And you don’t even realize you’re doing it.
- You eat mindlessly. Without noticing, you grab the chip bag and shove the processed food into your mouth.
- Every day feels the same, and you aren’t making any progress on your goals. Or, you don’t have goals or activities you want to accomplish.
How to Live with Intention: the Steps
- Assess your values and dream big. Choose activities that are in alignment with your values. If you don’t know what your values are, take a moment to list them out. Visualize what you want. Set aside any limitations for the moment and visualize your ideal life.
- Understand that your daily decisions matter. The decisions you make each moment determine the course of your life. Even if you’ve made poor decisions or didn’t use your time reasonably in the past, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change. Start today.
- Enjoy the present moment. Learn to live mindfully. I listed below some suggestions on how you can do that.
- Slow down and appreciate one activity at a time. Don’t multitask. You will be far more productive if you simply focus on the task at hand.
- Learn to breathe mindfully.
- When you have racing thoughts, try to slow down. Notice and appreciate your thoughts, but don’t judge them.
- Practice connecting with each sense. You can practice being mindful with one of your five senses for a few minutes each day. What do you observe outside on your daily walk? What do you hear inside your house before anyone else is awake? What do you smell as your dinner cooks? How does the floor beneath your feet feel? When you take the time to eat, how does each bite taste?
- Savor the simple things. Enjoy your morning tea. Engage each of your senses as you drink your tea or coffee.
- Seek balance in your life. One life-changing activity I do in my coaching sessions is to investigate where you are at in all areas of your life. Then we work together to set goals to bring your life into balance.
- Take the time to help others. Though it’s essential to take part in self-care, it’s also important to take the time to engage with others. Assisting others gets us out of our heads and creates more positive relationships in our lives.
- Create a plan. You can’t live intentionally without a plan. Avoid going through the motions. Set up your intentions the night before. Practice living each day with purpose. In this post, I also describe how to set up a daily intention practice.
- Start implementing simple daily habits. One of the best ways to live with intention is to develop a solid morning routine. Start with one or two simple practices. Putting habits into place helps set you up for success in reaching your goals.
- Choose the way you spend your time. If you keep your dreams in mind, you will be more likely to use your time well. What can you do right now to move you toward your goals?
- Avoid distractions. Distractions are a tremendous problem in everyday life. Anyone can reach us at any point during the day. The amount of streaming shows increases every day, and a majority of us have an addiction to our phones. Just for fun, check the stats on your phone for your screen time amount. It can be shocking. Just think of what you could get done if you put your phone away and gained all that time back.
- Get rid of your stuff and begin living a simplified life. The more you have, the more things you have to care for. Maintaining these items takes time away from pursuing your goals.
Daily Intentions Examples and Activities: Setting up Your Practice
If you aren’t sure how to get started with setting daily intentions, read the following examples of activities you could do:
- Don’t dismiss your dreams. What is something you’ve always wanted to do…. Even if it seems impossible? Tell yourself it’s not impossible and figure out what you can do to bring them to life. If you make the intention, you will formulate plans and goals to make your dreams a reality.
- Once you identify your dreams and goals, brainstorm ideas about how you can make progress towards them. Get clarity on what you want and write it down. Writing your intentions is a powerful way to work towards your goals. Post your big dream somewhere, so you are reminded of it each day.
- Find a supportive person who will help hold you accountable for reaching your goals. Even if you merely tell one other person about what you are doing, you will have a greater chance for success.
- Set the intention to take action every day to work toward your dreams and goals. Even if you have only 15 minutes, you will be that much further ahead than if you did nothing. Fifteen minutes each day will turn into over 90 hours in a year. You can get a lot done in 90 hours.
- Make intention setting a daily practice, even for the small things. The more you set intentions, the easier it will be to be productive with your life.
Learning how to use the power of intention is rewarding! It frees you to be the best version of yourself and gives you a meaningful life. Live intentionally. It’s the best way to respect your time and your life.