Ever wondered what intentional living actually means and how it could benefit you? Read on and tell you about my life-changing experiences with living a more intentional life.
INTENTIONAL LIVING AND WHY YOU MIGHT NEED IT
‘Intentional living’ and ‘living intentionally’ are terms that have been bandied around a lot over the last few years.
But what does ‘intentional living’ really mean?
Here is a little about what triggered me to start living more intentionally and what intentional living means to me.
Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom before you can use the force of the impact to bounce yourself up to a new way of living.
I discovered and adopted intentional living at a time when I was running on empty. It felt like I was stuck on a hamster wheel. The faster I went round the wheel, the more rundown, unfulfilled and melancholy I felt.
At the moment of impact I realised enough was enough, something had to change.
I made myself look at my life to work out which parts of it were working for me and which weren’t.
Which habits and ways of living were helping me live the life I wanted to live and which were holding me back, pulling me under and making me unhappy.
So, if you are looking for a definition of intentional living, I would say that intentional living is about taking the time for a truthful look at your life and identifying what is important to you and what isn’t. Then mindfully shaping your life by focusing your daily, weekly and monthly actions around the things you hold most important.
Intentional living is about making your life better through good choices.
Of course, it is one thing to identify the things that are most important to you, but quite another to do anything about it.
It takes determination and focus to intentionally cultivate more of what you value and intentionally saying no to the things you don’t.
TOWARDS living INTENTIONALLY
If you’re not sure how you would even get started, perhaps answering these questions will help you to form a plan for living a more intentional life:
- Do you ever have the feeling that your life is more complicated than it needs to be?
- Are you constantly busy, but regularly feel like you’ve achieved very little?
- Do you have a monkey mind? A mind that is unsettled and easily distracted by information overload?
- Do you find yourself trying to keep up with the (Instagram)Joneses, but never quite getting there and never quite being happy with your lot?
Any of these things sound familiar to you?
Well, this is where you can start to think about being more intentional.
Put your focus on what matters most to you so that you can make better, more considered decisions. This will allow you to create a life you love living, a life where regrets are rare and contentment becomes the norm.
WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU?
How do you decide what matters most? It’s really easy to get bogged down in striving for so much and wanting to achieve so much, that you lose track of what is actually most important to you.
I found the best way to really pin yourself down and define what matters most is to cast yourself as the architect of your life and create an intentional living blueprint
CREATING A BLUEPRINT
Start by defining where you are in life right now and where you’d like to be. You can set a timeframe that works for you, a year, two years, five years…
Look at how you currently live your life and examine how you feel about it. Ask yourself questions that will help you form the basis of your blueprint, there are myriad questions you could ask, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Are you happy with how you spend your working hours?
- Are you happy with how you spend your leisure hours?
- Do you have enough time for true leisure?
- How do you feel about your relationships with friends and family?
- Do you get to spend enough time with the people who matter most?
- Does the way you spend your money make you happy?
- Do you ever feel content, if so, when?
- Which life moments cause you to feel ‘less than’ or upset you?
- Does your home feel cluttered and disorganised?
- Are you happy with the food that you eat?
- Do you have enough energy?
- Do you feel well physically and emotionally?
- Is having enough money a constant worry for you?
- Do you know what your values are?
- Do you feel like there should be something ‘more’, but you can’t quite define it?
Don’t try to shape your answers to fit with perceived social norms, obligations or the current zeitgeist. Give yourself permission to be completely honest and true to yourself.
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can create your blueprint.
focus on living intentionally
You will need to actively accept responsibility for bringing your blueprint to life. This is where the intentionality comes in.
Use your blueprint to start creating the life you want to live by focusing on the things that are most important to you and letting go of the things that aren’t.
Focus intentionally on your daily, weekly and monthly choices and actions to make your life better and cut out the aspects of your current daily life that don’t really benefit you in any way.
One thing to remember is that your blueprint is a tool to help you focus, not a stringent set of rules to imprison yourself in.
Your blueprint will need to be revised and updated as your life ebbs and flows and as you gain a greater understanding of what really makes you happy and brings you contentment.
The other golden thing to remember is that your intentional life is YOUR intentional life. This isn’t about anything other than creating an intentional life that works for you – and your family if this is a family project.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
There is no better time than now to get started creating the life you truly want to live.