Living an Intentional Life
Living with intention is a very important tool for a more peaceful life. Using our intention to take us through the day keeps us focused, more productive, and aligned with our purpose.
What does it mean to live intentionally? Living an intentional life is the opposite of living a life of chance with a lack of awareness.
Wonder if you are living intentionally? Just answer these three simple questions. What are your long-term goals? Why did you decide to read this article? Why did you choose the foods that you did for your last meal? If you can’t answer these questions without giving it some thought, you’re not living intentionally. Let’s take a look at how you can live intentionally.
Make a Choice to live an intentional life
Intentional living requires making decisions. You can’t have any intention without having made a decision first. If you haven’t already, sit down and choose a direction for your life. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to own? What kind of life do you want to live? Make some choices and then choose your actions each day based on your decisions.
Evaluate your behavior
To live your most intentional life, you must evaluate and understand yourself. Think about your life as it is today. Why do you do the things you do? Why do you fail to do the things you don’t do? What motivates your actions each day? Are you taking the easy way by moving toward short-term pleasure or avoiding short-term pain? Would you be able to say that your actions are directed toward an intentional purpose?
Now, let’s look at what you are going to do from this point forward. You need to make a commitment to yourself. Before taking any action, ask yourself what your intention is. As you begin this process, question everything. For example, you are on your way to the kitchen – ask yourself why. Are you heading toward the refrigerator to satisfy your hunger, ease your anxiety, cure your boredom, or fuel your body in a healthy manner for what lies ahead in the next few hours?
Evaluate all of your chosen and avoided behaviors. Learn what is truly motivating you.
Know your values and beliefs
Knowing your values and beliefs will make it easier to live intentionally. You might have the intention to live a life based on contribution, honesty, or love. Your belief that everyone should be able to read can guide your life. Giving your values and beliefs priority makes many of your formerly challenging decisions obvious.
Stress important actions over easy actions
Intentional living stresses taking effective action over personal comfort. It’s more about having a higher purpose than it is about taking the easy path. Continuously ask yourself, “Is this the most effective action I could be taking?”
Choose your habits
Most of your habits seemed to develop on their own. It’s important to choose your habits. Habits can mask your intentions by removing the thought process from the equation. Ask yourself why you do what you do.
Know your intentions for each day
An intentional life requires planning. You may have a broad intention of having financial freedom. A more focused intention might be to be debt-free. From there, you may have the intention of saving more money so you can pay down your debt faster. Your intention for today might be to avoid any spending that isn’t absolutely necessary.
Intentional living means not waiting until it’s too late to act. Is your apartment lease ending in three months? Start looking for new place. The alternative is to wait until you’re out of time. Then you have few options and you can’t really live intentionally. You’re forced to roll the dice and take whatever you can find on short notice. This is the opposite of intentional living.
The key to intentional living is mindfulness in all parts of your life. Live in the now – be present. Live each moment like it is the most important moment you will ever have. Be mindful of your intentions, thoughts, actions, and goals. If you’re truly mindful, you’re already living an intentional life.
Make conscious decisions and question your thoughts and actions
An intentional life creates more thought than an unintentional life. Seek to be more aware of your desires and choose your behaviors accordingly. Habits can be the thorn in your side with intentional living unless you chose your habits intentionally.
Be mindful and take responsibility for your results, and you’ll soon find that more of your results please you. In so doing, you will definitely have a more peaceful life.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.