Intentional living looks like a firm commitment to living in alignment with your values, setting and sticking to your goals, and being mindful in the present moment.
It looks like acting with integrity, approaching situations thoughtfully, speaking your reality into existence, and choosing to cultivate a world you are proud to live in, even amongst the chaos.
More and more people are switching to intentional living and for good reason. Living with intention offers more satisfaction than simply living life on autopilot.
It tends to strengthen relationships with others, support a more spiritually connected life and provide a sense of purpose leading to deeper fulfillment and joy.
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What is Intentional Living?
Intentional living is the act of approaching every day, experience, relationship, and life itself with purpose, mindfulness and integrity.
Intentional living requires consciously connecting your thoughts, emotions, speech and actions to your goals, values, and visions.
It can provide direction throughout your day and help you stay level-headed in challenging situations. It's a way of cultivating the life and legacy you want, by simply choosing to be focused and intentional in everything you do.
How to Start Living Intentionally?
Start living intentionally by becoming aware of how you function and respond to stimuli throughout the day – be present as often as you can.
Then, spend some quiet time alone taking inventory of your life goals, values, relationships, and personal mission.
Finally, create a plan that you can stick to by approaching each day in bite-size pieces. *see section “prep work below” for further details.
When you choose to start living with intention, you must be honest with yourself about how you behave. If you act like a victim, meaning you refuse to take responsibility for your actions, you will miss out on valuable life lessons that can lead to exponential growth.
At the same time, you must also learn to love yourself no matter what! You’re a human who makes mistakes. Don’t judge and feel guilty, learn from your errors, forgive, and forget! Being intentional takes a firm commitment to developing and loving yourself daily, regardless of your past.
Intentional Living Prep Work
Begin Journaling Your Thoughts, Reactions and Emotions
Writing down what your feeling allows you to honestly assess what’s going on in a safe space.
Weeks later, when you read your own words, you gain valuable insight on how you handled situations and what you can do differently to ensure you respond next time more in line with your values.
Become Conscious of the Foods You Eat and Products You Apply to Your Skin
The saying “you are what you eat” is valid and also applies to what you put on your skin. Everything you ingest via mouth or skin becomes the building blocks for your cells!
When you eat nutritious, organic foods, you’re more likely to vibrate in a wholesome manner. Likewise, when you eat junk food, you operate like junk!
If you apply toxins to your skin, your mood becomes toxic, but if you apply a high-quality, natural moisturizer to your skin, you’re more likely to experience positive moods.
Determine Your Goals and Create Process Goals to Achieve Them
Picture yourself at your own funeral. What do you want your loved ones, co-workers and friends to say about you? What kind of legacy do you wish to leave?
Once you picture the life you wish to live, break down the goals required to create that life. Jot down your 1 year, 5 year and lifetime goals.
Write a bucket list of things you want to experience before you die. Then, jot down smaller, bite-sized “process goals” that would need to be achieved along the way in order to cultivate those long-term goals.
For example: You want to leave real estate for your children when you die as a form of generational wealth, but you barely have enough money to pay your rent. Start backwards! Pick an age when you intend on paying off your future home – 72 years old.
Average mortgages are 30 years so that puts you at 42 years old at the time of purchase. Great. You’ll need a down payment of roughly $10,000 to purchase and you’re currently 29 years old.
So you have 13 years to save or rather 156 months. $10,000 / 156 months = $64.10 per month in savings! There’s your goal! To leave your children some generational wealth, you can start today by saving only $65 a month! Imagine the level of satisfaction and joy you’ll feel putting that little bitty amount aside each month knowing you’re working towards a life goal!
List Characteristics of People You Adore
Listing the ways in which others make you smile and warm your heart allows you to see the characteristics that would help mold you into the person you wish to become.
Do you appreciate your best friend’s loyalty? Write it down. You clearly value being a loyal person.
Do you love how your mother sends a thinking of you note when she knows you’re feeling down? Write it down. You clearly appreciate thoughtfulness.
Do you love that you can trust your father will do what he says he's going to do? Write it down. You clearly value integrity.
List these values, then ponder what living with those values looks like and commit to a life aligned with these values.
Take Inventory of How You Entertain Yourself
How you spend your free time has a significant impact on how you live. When living with intention, our free time must be purposeful and with intent. Binging on a tv series for 2 days will never get you closer to your goals, nor will it leave you with a sense of satisfaction.
When preparing to live with intention, take mental notes of how much time you spend on your phone, watching tv, gossiping with others, sleeping excessively, running arrands, Googling things, scrolling social media, etc…
How much of that time could be used to further your goals and what could you do instead of those things to support you?
Start Living With Intention
Using the insight collected from the prep work above, create a game plan for living with intention. What can you do every single day to get you one step closer to your goals?
Write out your plan and stick to it! Every morning when you wake up, speak gratitude into your day, then recount the things you planned for that day that will help you achieve your goals.
Be mindful of how you interact, staying true to your values. Be present in each moment to squeeze every ounce of life you are gifted.
Check in with yourself every hour to ensure you are living in alignment with the person you wish to be. And finally, be patience with yourself – living with intention requires a total perspective shift which takes time and effort.
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