You may have heard a lot of talk about intentional living or being intentional. It is a popular concept right now and although it may seem like a new fad it is really a great way to appreciate the life you have while working toward the life you dream of.
What is Intentional Living
Intentional living has been defined as any lifestyle based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs. These can include lifestyles based on religious or ethical values, as well as coaching, personal transformation, and leadership training. (Wikipedia)
To put it into simpler words it is living a life that fulfills and enriches you every day. This means focusing on the things that matter and letting go of the things that don’t.
Why It is an Important Practice
Intentional living is the quickest path to getting rid of the stresses and pressures that weigh on us every day but we think are just a part of life. If you are living intentionally, you say yes to what you love and no to what brings you down. Now, you can’t say no to everything you dislike! Laundry still needs to get done and you have to do certain things that may not be at the top of your fun list, but there are things that are 100% in your control to be intentional about.
Let’s take the example of having a hectic morning. If your day starts with your kids waking you or your alarm goes off with just enough time to through yourself together and get out the door, you are setting your day up to feel rushed. If you change your morning to a more intentional routine, where you have time to read or journal or exercise you are changing the tone of your morning. You can create a routine around what is important to you and do it intentionally every morning.
Being intentional means taking stock of what you want your life to look and feel like and figuring out ways to move toward that goal. It also means adjusting other activities in your life that are not serving your goal. Do you want to spend more time with your family but you are too busy with outside obligations? By intentionally choosing where you spend your time you can create the time for what you want to fill your life with.
Five Ways to Be More Intentional In Your Life
- Create a morning routine to start your day off right (link to MM post)
- Express gratitude every day, it can be easy to take what we have for granted. By appreciating what we have you shift into a grateful mindset.
- Create keystone habits. These are small habits you do every day like making your bed, working out in the morning. These foundational habits help create a day full of intentional actions.
- Write a letter to your future self. This letter should outline what you want your life to look like. How you spend your time, where you volunteer, etc. Use this letter to guide the choices you make. If something does not line up with your letter, think carefully about taking on that obligation.
- Create time in your life. Living Intentionally is not meant to give you more time to accomplish more. When we are overscheduled, we can lose sight of our intentionality. Make sure there is white space in your life to just be.
When you are evaluating your life and trying to be more intentional remember that how we spend our days is how we spend our life. By creating more intentionality, we can spend more time on the things and with the people we love and this makes for a happier and more fulfilling life.
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