Living with intention is without doubt one of the biggest gifts I can give myself and a mindset shift that really makes a difference to what I get out of life. It makes me regularly think about my life, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and helps me create the best life I can for myself and my family. Check out this post to learn more about intentional living and how to live with intention this year.
WHAT IS INTENTIONAL LIVING?
For some who haven’t heard the term before, intentional living can seem like a bit of a fluffy term. You might be thinking that you spend your days living with intention anyway. You know what you’ve got to get done and you make sure it IS done. Surely that’s living with intention?
Well, yes and no! That’s part of it but there’s so much more to it than that!
Living with intention is a way of thinking that means you make deliberate and conscious decisions on what is important enough to have in your life.
If you live with intention, everything that you let into your life comes with careful consideration and there is intention behind every purchase, action, decision and motivation.
You avoid getting caught up in buying things you don’t need, saying yes to things you don’t want to do, being overwhelmed by too much stuff, commitments, things to do and plates to juggle because you think about what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, before you actually commit to it.
There is thought, consideration and intention in every aspect of your life. This is intentional living.
WHY DOES INTENTIONAL LIVING MATTER?
Intentional living matters because it makes you regularly evaluate your life.
- Is your life going in the direction you want it to go?
- Do you focus on the important things or get caught up in the clutter?
- Have you worked out what your purpose and priorities are?
- Are you working towards any personal goals?
- Is your life passing you by day-to-day and are you happy with what you’ve got to show for it?
These are some of the questions that you’d be asking yourself if you lived an intentional life.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know all the answers but at least you’re aware of the questions. You can make steps to work out the answers that are right for you!
It also doesn’t matter if your answers to these questions change from one year to the next. People change and circumstances change and that’s ok.
Being intentional about your life means being adaptable to change and embracing it, rather than resistant and scared of it.
HOW TO LIVE WITH INTENTION THIS YEAR
#1 Plan and structure your day
Develop a solid and consistent morning and evening routine. You’ll be able to start and end your day knowing what you’ve got to do, how and when you’re going to do it. No matter how crazy the rest of your day, you’ll know that your mornings and evenings will be calm, organised and productive because you’ve been intentional about how you structure them. Click here to read about setting up a morning routine and an evening routine that works for you.
#2 Don’t spend money like water
How easy is it to hit the shops when we need a quick pick-me-up or if we’re bored and can’t think of anything else to do? Everyone needs to go shopping sometimes and it’s lovely to get new things. However, be intentional about what you spend your money on. Don’t buy things or waste your money on stuff that you don’t really need or want. Check out my post on how to shop with intention.
#3 Declutter your home
Your home is your space and everything in it comes at a price. Either you’ve paid for it in the first place or you now spend your time and energy looking after it, by cleaning it, storing it and tidying it away. Be intentional about what you keep in your home. Declutter the stuff that you no longer love, need or adds value. Enjoy living in an uncluttered space that’s easier to keep clean and tidy and only contains the items that deserve to be there. Check out my post on 20 ways to declutter your home for some decluttering projects to get you started!
#4 Your priorities and goals
How often do you think about your goals and what you want to achieve in life? As a busy person, you might think that your goal is just to get through the day! Priorities and goals help us get clarity on where we’re at right now and why we do what we do. They remind us that we’re still individuals in our own right, as well as being a mum, a partner (and any other of the hundred different hats we wear daily!). Spend some time being intentional about your priorities and goals by checking out this post on how to set goals and achieve them.
#5 Don’t waste time
Time is precious and busy people need all the time they can get. Don’t take on too much, stretch yourself too thin, overbook or double book yourself or say yes to things when you’d rather say no. Be intentional with your time and spend it in a way that is most important to you. Check out this post on how to be intentional with your time for some ideas.
#6 Strengthen your relationships
When life gets too busy, it’s easy to take the relationships we have with others for granted. We forget or don’t prioritise making the effort to connect and spend time with the people who are most important to us. It’s enough of a struggle just to get through the day sometimes. Relationships matter though and to be strong they need work. Be intentional about your relationships. Check out this post on how to strengthen your relationship with your partner if you have one. If you don’t a partner, maybe you could think about some other relationships in your life?
#7 Your attitude
How we think about our life, how we make decisions and whether we take action or not is all down to our attitude. Don’t let your life pass you by without making the most of it. Not only is this important for you personally, but it’s vital for your kids, for example, to see Mummy being a positive and inspiring role model. Check out this post on why mindset is important or this one on why it’s important to show up for your life.
#8 Your body
We all know about the importance of looking after ourselves, getting fit and eating healthy. But, you don’t have to run the marathon or even commit to a gym membership if it’s not realistic! Instead, just be intentional about how you use your body and what you put into it. Decide to take more exercise, even if it’s just regular walks with the kids on scooters. Pay attention to the food you buy and feed your family. You’ll have more energy and feel better. Check out my post on meal planning for some inspiration.
#9 Your mind
Pay attention to your mental health, be intentional about your emotions and state of mind. If you’re feeling angry, upset, anxious or overwhelmed, give some thought to what triggered these feelings, how they’re affecting you and what you can do to make them better. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take up offers of support. Don’t bury your negative thoughts under the carpet and hope they’ll go away. Own them and try to do something about them. A good first step when you’re feeling low or stressed is to write everything down on paper so you can organise your thoughts and come up with an action plan. Check out my post on how to do a brain dump to declutter your mind for some handy help with this.
#10 Looking after yourself
We so easily put themselves at the bottom of the priority list. Instead, be intentional about creating some time for yourself and you’ll be a better and stronger person because of it.
#11 Getting organised
Being intentional about getting organised isn’t about just getting organised. It’s about what getting organised can give you. If you plan and organise yourself more then you can create more time for yourself to do other things. You’re also likely to be less stressed because you’ll feel more in control of your life, what needs to be done, what’s most important and you can foresee and avoid most (unfortunately, not all!) problems. Stop winging it though life and get yourself more organised with this post on 15 ways to make life easier and simpler.
#12 Focus on your life
Stop trying to be anything but you! Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing in their life, focus on your own and making it the best life it can be. Be intentional in creating a great life for yourself. Identify what’s working and what’s not and make changes where they need to be made. This is YOUR life. Be intentional about it!
12 WAYS FOR 12 MONTHS
How you implement these 12 ways for living with intention in your life is up to you. Maybe you could choose just one way each month to concentrate on and really get to grips with before you move on to the next?
The main thing to remember is that you need to be constantly thinking about what you let into your life and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Be aware of the intention behind it. Remember, this is your life.
Make it YOUR INTENTIONAL LIFE!
Much of what I’ve learnt from becoming Minimalist has come down to one thing. Intention.
I’ve always wanted to create the best life I can for myself and my family and have never been one to just ‘make do’ when I know that with a little bit of effort and energy on my part, I can really make some changes. Discovering that these changes are possible if you set the right intention has been one of the biggest shifts in my approach to life. And it’s had the greatest impact.
YOUR NEXT STEP…
Your Intentional Life is a completely free 7-day email course that will make you look at your life differently. I’ll show you how to create a life that supports YOU so you can focus on your purpose, priorities and the things that are most important to you without clutter and distraction.