If you find time is passing you by quickly and feeling as if you are living in 'auto-pilot mode' then you may want to consider adopting intentional living into your life.
In a world where, on average, we are inundated with 6-10 thousand advertisements each day telling us how we should, or should not, be living our lives - intentional living allows you to take a step back and refocus on what matters to you without all the noise.
I started being more intentional about my life 8 years ago and I have never looked back. It has brought so much more peace into my day to day life, it has allowed me to focus on what I can and cannot control, it keeps me more present, calm and better able to manage my emotions in difficult times.
If you are wanting to be more present, feel less worried about the future, to better manage your emotions and to live a more joyful and conscious life - then this article is for you.
What does it mean to live intentionally?
↠ Intentional living is a mindset which brings more awareness into your daily life. It helps you to shut off ‘auto-pilot mode’ and really become tuned into life and all its magnificence and messiness moment to moment.
↠ Living a more intentional life is a holistic and wholehearted approach to living each day. It helps connect you to your body, mind, emotions, personal energy and spirit - allowing you to live a healthier and happier life.
↠ Intentional living is when you become consciously aware of how you are reacting to situations around you and focusing on what is in your circle of control versus what is outside of it.
↠ Living intentionally allows you to build emotional resilience, emotional wellness and emotional strength - allowing you to better manage strong emotions and feelings as they arise.
↠ Intentional living means making conscious choices and taking aligned action that help you to get closer to where you want to be in life and how you want to show up each day. It’s about defining what you want your life to look like and having a plan to move you towards that life.
Before we dive in further - if you already know you want to live more intentionally discover how to set intentions with this 5 step framework. Get Your Free Intention Setting Workbook here.
Mental health and wellness is becoming an epidemic in our world. People are not living intentional, emotionally balanced and conscious lives leading us to a variety of mental health concerns.
Depression and anxiety plagues adults, teenagers and even children. Studies show that 1 in 3 adolescents will experience an anxiety disorder, and 63% of college students feel overwhelming anxiety and childhood mental health is on the rise.
People must start investing in their EMOTIONAL WELLNESS to better their overall health and wellness of themselves, their families, their communities and the world.
We are responsible for our lives and as a society and as individuals, we need to begin to take personal responsibility for our mental and emotional wellness.
One step towards better mental health is by starting to live a more intentional life.
If you are interested in learning how to set intentions and start living a more intentional life then I encourage you to sign up for my free Intention Setting workbook where I walk you through 5 steps to setting intentions for your life. Check out the workbook here!
Below are 15 intentional living tips to help you to start living a more intentional life.
First, Start with a Foundation:
1. Make the Choice to Prioritize Your Mental and Emotional Wellness. Just as you prioritize going to work, getting your hair done, taking kids to activities, watching your fave TV show…. You need to make the choice to invest in your emotional well being. Life is made up of choices and becoming intentional means you have to consciously choose to empower yourself by investing in your self awareness journey.
2. Start to Examine Yourself - So often we glide through life not fully embracing our unique talents, passions and skills. Becoming more confident in knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your passions, your talents and your abilities - you learn to start loving yourself for who you genuinely are. Give your time and energy to this - it is by far one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
3. Know your Core Values - figure out what is really important to you in life. By really honing your values into your top 3-5 values it provides a compass on how to live your life.
4. Set Intentions for your Life - once you know your values start to set intentions for how you want to show up each day and align them with your future life aspirations. Setting intentions is a more holistic approach to goal setting. It is a more fluid, fun and practical way of staying aligned with your future dreams while still grounding yourself in the present moment. Need some guidance? Check out this free 5 step intention setting workbook as a starting point.
Second, add in practical strategies for each Day
5. Guard Your Time - Start being aware of time and the importance it has in your life. Time is the new currency. Start saying no to things that no longer serve you or bring your energy down and saying yes to things that ignite passion and sparks curiosity in your life.
6. Slow Down by Practicing Mindfulness in Your Everyday - start small with bringing mindfulness into your life. Becoming more aware of the moments in life re-centers you and allows you to focus on the present. To enjoy the magic that is in life.
7. Mind Your Words - Become aware of the language you are using everyday. So often we dismiss ideas, thoughts or taking aligned action due to the language we are using day in and day out. Start letting go of the shoulds, the can’ts, the nevers and start embracing the I want to, I choose to, I can and I will's of life.
8. Stop Comparing your Life to Others - I know it is easier said than done in the times we live in - but seriously start focusing on your life. What makes you happy., Your definition of happiness. It doesn't matter what Johnny and Sue are doing. It matters what you are doing. What makes you happy.
9. Clean up your Social Media and Email - Seriously - decluttering your mind is a HUGE part of being intentional. When you have a messy inbox, and a social media feed that makes you feel crappy it is hard to stay in a growth mindset. Unfollow. Block. Delete. Do it. Trust me. It feels glorious. All those ads from the stores you really don't need to be shopping at...delete. When you need to buy something, re-subscribe at that time. Delete some of the noise from you life.
10. Learn From Others - Curiosity is a gift. Humility is a gift. When you see someone living the life you desire instead of comparing how far they are along - re-frame your thoughts and ask yourself - “what are they doing that I can start doing?” Because guess what - if they can do it, you can do it. Start studying them and learning from them. When I started getting intentional, I focused on 3-5 feeds in my social media (some people, some inspirational feeds) and made sure I clicked to see all of their posts firsts… so when I went to mindlessly scroll, I was still always learning, absorbing and growing.
11. Prioritize Rest and Self-Care - Humans are unable to function without sleep. Running on empty all the time is not conducive for your physical or mental health. Prioritize self care and rest so you can stay in a healthy mindset and tackle life feeling refreshed and energized. Go to bed an hour early and skip that tv show. Start re-defining self care and implementing it into your everyday.
12. Pause and Breathe - Your breath is one of the most powerful self care tools you have and it is totally free. Simply bringing awareness to your breath throughout the day is a major step in living more intentionally. Breathwork and grounding strategies take moments to do, are 100% free and can shift your mindset in moments - bringing your out of fear, negativity and self doubt and back into calmness, level-headedness and awareness.
13. Ask Why Before you Buy - ever find yourself at the online check out and clicking before you even give it another thought? My inbox used to be filled with all my favourite brands - never wanting to miss a sale. Yet when I stepped back and really asked myself “why” before I hit buy - I was able to not only save loads of money, but also start living a more intentional and minimalist lifestyle - helping not only my mental health but the planet too.
14. Start Taking Aligned Action - What the heck is aligned action? Aligned action is consciously saying yes to opportunities that come your way that are inline with your values, how you want to live your life and how you want to show up everyday. If you stop and listen to the little nudges your intuition provides, you start taking small intentional steps to living the life you desire. Whether it be buying that self development book, investing in that course, going for that walk, listening to that podcast, applying for that job… whatever the nudge is start becoming aware of it and being curious and courageous in taking aligned action towards your intentional life.
15. Create More Time in Your Day - The most common complaint among people not being able to live more intentionally or go after their dream life is that they have no time. I am not going to downplay the fact that certain times in our lives are much busier than others- especially the younger child rearing times - however, there is always time to be found when you do a time analysis on your day and determine what is really important versus what you may be able to ditch. It is surprising and enlightening what time you can free up or how you can invest in yourself if you simply delete 20-40 minutes of social media time or netflix watching each day. We all have 24 hours in a day - choose how you spend yours wisely.
I hope you found this article helpful in beginning to live a more intentional life. Living a more intentional life is truly a gift for yourself, for your family and for the future.
We must learn from the generations before us who continually tell us over and over and over again how quickly time goes by. Choosing to live with more intention allows you to slow down time and live more present, joyful and fulfilling lives.
I’ll leave you with a favourite quote of mine by Annie Dillard:
‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.’
Leave a comment below if you have any tips and tricks to add to the list.
PS - If you are ready to start living a more intentional life and taking the next step, I encourage you to download my 5 step Intention Setting Workbook here as a starting point.
Or if you enjoyed this read and wanting to learn more you may be interested in the following articles: