Do you want to bring more authenticity and purpose into your existence? Want to live your life with intention and make the most of every minute? Sure you do! But the thing is, sometimes one of the hardest things about attempting to live a life that is true to you is fitting it in around the life you currently have.
The decision to live a life of intention, to make the most out of life, to be more you, usually requires some kind of change. More often than not it comes about as a result of feeling like we’re stuck in a rut, living a life which is less than inspiring. We go through the motions: work, eat, sleep, repeat…
Unless you are super lucky, chances are you aren’t going to wake up, decide you want to live differently and then make all the necessary changes there and then. It’s much more likely you will start with an idea, a concept, an inkling of which direction you want your life to go.
So, while you are working on your big life goals and plans, how do make the transition to living intentionally every day?
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So simple. So important!
Take a moment to press pause. Find a quiet 10-minute slot in your day. Meditate, go for a walk, read a book – whatever appeals to you in the moment, but BE in the moment. Connect to where you are, notice the details around you. Look around a familiar place and see how many unfamiliar things you can spot. Lie down on the floor and look at a room in your house from an angle you’ve never looked at it from before. Small acts like this can really help connect you to the here and now, and that is very much the essence of living life intentionally. When you are in the moment you are directly in the flow of your own life, no past, no future, just now.
“The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”
Connect to your why
Why do you want to live intentionally? What does that mean to you?
Do you want to be more engaged? Do you want more time to do what you love? More control over your future? A slower pace? Wild adventures?
Whatever it is which calls to you, whatever your deepest reasoning is for wanting purpose in your life, hold on to it. I recommend writing it down somewhere that you can return to easily. Write down all the things your life could be, all the things that matter to you.
Have it on your phone or in your journal, look at it regularly, every day if possible, but at the very least, once a week.
Feel all the feels…
Connecting to the feeling of intention is even more powerful. What do you want your life to FEEL like? For all of the reasons you identified as your ‘why’ above, what is the associated feeling?
Try to identify 5 separate feelings you want to experience more often and then do something every day to bring about one of these. Here are a few suggestions to start you off, but you know, you do you:
Work on your priority feelings, deep dive into them – I am a bit of a word nerd… so I suggest you pick a word that appeals to you and research it, find synonyms, really explore its meaning. Once you’ve picked a few that suit you, treat them like lucky charms, like mantras.
Remind yourself over and over again of how you want to feel, and feel it as often as possible!
This one is great for keeping you inspired if you have an end goal in mind. By this I mean a tangible plan for creating a life you love.
Intentional living is more of a lifestyle, a way of being, and isn’t something you will ever “finish”, but I know for me, there were definitely goals I had in mind when I started my own intentional living journey. Not exactly end results, but markers for checking I was living the life I wanted to.
If you are working towards big life changes, research your options:
- Want to change careers?
- Get fit?
- Move abroad?
- Start your own business?
- Travel more?
Do your homework! Watch YouTube videos, take a class, buy a course, take out a book from the library, research holiday destinations. Do one thing each day which moves you in the direction of your desires!
Related reading: Stop Setting Beige Goals!
As above… but act on it!
Maybe this didn’t need to be its own tip… buuut on the other hand, we all know how easy it is to buy a book or download a course – but it’s quite another thing to commit to putting in the time to do the work! So I think it’s worth highlighting.
Don’t be a collector of ideas, be an executor of them.
Do The Things…
Gratitude is a wonderful tool. The tried and trusted method of practicing gratitude is to write down 3 things daily that you are grateful for. You can do this in the morning when you get up, or at the end of the day before you go to bed.
Something I have found even more beneficial has been to use the prompt ‘GROW’
- G – Gratitude.
- R – Reflection
- O – Optimism
- W -Wins
I write down something I am grateful for, something I could improve upon, something I have to look forward to and something I have achieved, or other ‘wins’ for the day.
Feel free to mix it up a bit, pick words that appeal to you – I sometimes switch ‘GROW‘ for ‘GLOW’ – the letter ‘L’ can either represent something I have learnt or something that made me laugh…
The more you reflect on the positive things in your life, the small details which might otherwise go unnoticed, you really start living with one eye on the lookout for these moments, and what is a happy life after all, but a collection of happy moments?
Create habits & routines
Having set routines can be a great way of helping you remain intentional. Just like getting into the habit of journalling your gratitudes daily, setting any kind of routine which reminds you of your goals and keeps you connected to your path can be hugely beneficial.
Make your intention part of your daily practice. Remind yourself each and every day of who you are becoming.
Connect to people
Look people in the eye. Ok, so I’ve been trying this lately. I guess for some this really is a no-brainer, but I (and all my fellow introverts will probably feel me here) really struggle with eye contact.
Seriously. I suspect I actually end up kinda creeping people out, trying so hard to connect and then actually just staring in an intense unblinking manner (PS. apparently this isn’t the aim. They don’t like it… )
You know what I’ve found the key to good eye contact is?
Actually giving a sh*t what someone is saying to you. You can’t be overthinking the process and staring like the undead when you are actually actively listening rather than wondering when you should blink…
Listen to people’s stories, surrender to the moment and genuinely connect. You’ll love it.
Do something nice for someone
Be thoughtful. Do something because you can, not because you’ve been asked to. Make the tea without being asked, pick a bunch of wildflowers for someone you care about, leave a note telling somebody you care. Hold the door open for people, send an encouraging email, ask someone how their day is going (listen to the answer!)
Human connection is a beautiful thing. Make random acts of kindness a part of what you do now and watch how transformative it can be.
Pay attention to yourself. Indulge in things that make you feel strong – Self-care isn’t always bubble baths and candles. Speak your truth. Know your values. Nurture your ideas. Trust yourself.
You are stronger than you know. To live life with intention is to put one foot in front of the other every day, knowing that each step is the right one for you. Prioritising self-care means you will never have to second guess which is your path.
A quick recap
- Pause – Take a mindful moment
- Connect to your ‘why’ – Remind yourself daily what your reasons are
- Connect to your feelings – What emotions do you want to feel? Find ways to feel them
- Research – Teach yourself a thing or two…
- Go for it – Be proactive in creating the life you want to live
- Be grateful – What are you thankful for?
- Get in the habit – Create routines and habits to live by
- Connect – Listen to people, learn from there, be present
- Be kind – Do something nice for somebody else, make someone’s day!
- Practice self-care – Do something nice for yourself, make yours! 😉
In what ways do you like to integrate intentional living into your day-to-day life?