When I first heard the terms like intentional living or intentional life I was not sure what that even meant. I thought to myself, isn’t that just a normal life? I was truly confused.
Then I started my personal development journey and I kept hearing other people talk about the importance of creating an intentional life over and over again. All the motivational speakers, successful entrepreneurs, and authors were talking about intentional living. And if they had were able to fulfill their dreams by practicing intentional living, then it’s definitely something to look into.
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- What Does It Mean to Live an Intentional Life?
- Why is Being Intentional Important?
- How Do You Create an Intentional Life?
What Does It Mean to Live an Intentional Life?
My interpretation of intentional living is choosing to live a life that YOU want. Going after what YOU want your life to look like based on your believes and principles. Enjoying your days the way YOU want to enjoy them. And doing that with focus and intention during your everyday activities.
In other words, intentional living is making sure that the choices that you are making are aligned with your priorities in life. You make decision based on your values and not those of other people. You are being deliberate on how you spend your time and energy each day by focusing on what’s important to you.
Why is Being Intentional Important?
There are many benefits to living an intentional life. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed with all your responsibilities at work and home, whether you are constantly experiencing mom guilt, or whether if you are constantly putting your dream on a back burner because you can never find time to work on it – living intentionally can help you.
Helps you concentrate on your priorities
When you start living an intentional life, you will start shifting your time and energy to the things that are important to you. Once you determine your priorities for yourself and your family, you will be able to make them the focal point of your every day life.
You will be able to navigate through your to-do list and easily decide what needs your attention the most. And that decision will be based on your priorities and not the priorities of people around you.
Improves your work life balance
One of the greatest benefits of intentional living is the ability to better balance your life. Between the work, home, family, self-care and other important areas of your life – it may sometimes seem like an impossible juggling act. Working moms often have to choose between competing responsibilities, which may result in mom guilt.
But when you establish your priorities and are intentional with what you do, how you do it, and why you do it – you will be able to greatly improve your juggling act. And it will be not because you can move your hands faster, but because you will be able to decide which balls you can put aside for a time being.
Results in less stress
And finally, creating an intentional life will result in less stress. You will not have as many priorities as you believe you have now. And the ones you have will not be constantly competing with each other. Instead, they will complement each other.
One of the great things you will notice, that when you are intentional with your life, you will not be feeling overwhelmed, when it comes to decision making. Because you already know your priorities, you will be able to make decision much quicker and with easy.
How Do You Create an Intentional Life?
It all sounds great in theory, but how do you actually apply it to your life? It’s not like we can just disregard all your current responsibilities and only concentrate on the dream that you have for yourself. For example, if your dream is to write a book, you will not quit your day job and spend your days writing (unless you are a millionaire of course;)). That would be crazy and irresponsible.
BUT you can absolutely start living an intentional live by implementing some simple steps. Here are five things I have taken that will help you get started.
Have a Vision – Intentional Living Starts with Intention
The first step of intentional living is to know the vision for your life. Sit down and think about your life in 10 years. How do you want it to look like? Where do you want to live? What kind of job do you want to have? How do you want to spend your days?
You are trying to answer the question: what is your intention for your life?
Ask yourself those kinds of questions to help you envision your life in the future. The life that you want to live. This needs to be your own vision filled with things that you enjoy the most and surrounded by people you love and enjoy spending your time with.
One of the things that have helped me with this step is creating a Vision Board. I have created it about a two years ago and have it by my office desk to serve as a visual reminder of where I’m going and why. It helps me stay focused and motivated to go after my goals and dreams.
Set Your Priorities
Now that you know your vision, it’s time to set your priorities. You basically want to write down what areas of your life you want to concentrate on during a given period of your life.
Some of your priorities, such as those related to your family, might remain the same throughout your life. Others will change depending on what goal or dream you are working on. For example, your top 3 priorities for the next six months might be: quality time with my family, writing a book, and decluttering your house. After those six months, you will re-evaluate your priorities based on where you are and how your life has changed in the past few months, and you will adjust them accordingly.
This is a very important step because it will help you set your intentions for the near future and get you closer towards achieving your end goal. If you needs some help determining which life area you should concentrate more, use the Life Balance Workbook to help you navigate through that process.
Choose How You Spend Your Time
Knowing what your priorities are will help you focus on the tasks that are important to YOU. It will help you decide how to spend your time.
It will also make it easier for you to say ‘no’ to others. If your priority is to declutter your house, you will say no to shopping sprees. Similarly, if your priority is to write a book, you will say no to leading a community event that requires dedicating 10 hours each week for the next 3 months. You will say ‘no’ to those activities because they will either take the time away from your priorities or because they contradict your priority in the first place.
As always, it helps to outline goals for each of you priorities and track your progress. It will help you stay focused and it’s the best way to help with accountability.
You will simply look at other activities and tasks and see if they are aligned with your goals and priorities. This will help you practice intentional living.
Be All In – The Art of Intentional Living
One of the cornerstones of intentional living for me is to be all in. Decide what you want from your life and go all in.
Don’t get destructed with what other people are doing. Stop comparing your journey to the journey of others. Simply concentrated on what you want your life to be.
In order to be all in you will also need to eliminate some of the tasks and activities that are no longer serving you and streamline all time consuming activities. Think about implementing routines and implementing systems in your household to make things run smoother and to save time. Concentrate on things that have the most impact and eliminate those that take up a lot of your time but don’t bring significant results.
RELATED: 10 Biggest Time Wasters in 2019
Be Focused on One Thing at a Time
Intentional living means that you need to be intentional with what you are doing. If you are writing a chapter for your book, don’t respond to emails in between paragraphs. If you are on a date night with your husband, focus on a conversation with him and don’t check your Facebook feed every few minutes.
Be intentional with your focus and activity at hand. In other words, stop multitasking. Concentrate on one thing at a time.
Adapting this habit will help you with intentional living on a daily basis. It will significantly improve your life and your relationships with the people you love and people you interact in both personal and professional capacity.