WHAT IS INTENTIONAL LIVING?
Intentional living is about identifying what values are important to you in life and finding ways to prioritise them. This post outlines your questions about what is intentional living and raises some points to think about when it comes to exploring practical ways to be intentional in your own life.
WHAT IS INTENTIONAL LIVING?
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 and perhaps most importantly, asking myself, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
Keeping in mind these two questions helps me create the best life I can for myself and my family.
- Focus on things that mean the most to us and that really add value to our lives. These are the things that bring us the most fun, the most joy and the most meaning to life.
- Let go of things that bring us down, distract our minds, clutter up our home and take our attention away from the people and things that mean the most to us.
Intentional living is a lifestyle choice that enables you to purposefully focus on your priorities and values to create a life that truly supports you without clutter or distraction.
WHY DOES INTENTIONAL LIVING MATTER?
I think, these days, living a life full of intention matters more than ever before.
Wherever we turn, we’re bombarded by messages to buy more. We’re told that we need more stuff to make us happy, that success is measured by the size of our houses or the number of cars in our driveway.
Once we have success and more stuff, then we’re led to believe that we’ll be happier, more content and fulfilled. We’ll have a great life. But, I’m not sure that’s always the case…
There’s a growing movement that firmly believes more isn’t always better. I like to think that less is the new more. Less stuff in my home, my heart and my head that weighs me down, at least.
Which in turn means more room for love, laughter, happiness and appreciating the intrinsic value of the simpler things in life which often bring the most joy and fulfillment.
The question then, is how to go about identifying what constitutes more of the right stuff and less of the stuff that just clutters, distracts and provides empty padding to our life?
I think the answer to this question lies with intentional living. This is why intentional living matters.
IDENTIFYING WHAT MATTERS
Before we continue, let me ask you some questions to help you identify what matters to you…
- What makes you truly happy in life? Think about your priorities, what drives you to get out of bed each morning or what do you really look forward to doing in your day?
- How do you spend your time? Is it a healthy mixture of things you need to do (work or school, for example) and leisure time to spend as you wish? Or is your diary crammed full, you rush around from morning to evening being busy but achieving nothing?
- Do you have any goals or dreams? Do you know where you’d like to be in 5 years’ time or maybe take a step up the career ladder? If so, do you know how you’re going to get there and make these things happen.
- What’s your relationship like with your partner? Do you spend quality time together and work to prioritise your relationship? Or, if you’re being honest, do you take each other for granted sometimes?
In these examples we looked at how you feel about your life, your time, your future plans and your relationship.
WHAT IS INTENTIONAL LIVING?
For some, intentional living can be quite a fluffy concept to get their head around. At face value, it might be difficult to understand exactly how to be intentional in practice to live this wonderfully purposeful and focused life.
The questions we looked at above were designed to get you thinking about what’s important to you in life right now. That’s your first step.
These questions helped you identify your values. What things are important to you and what are not so important.
For me, my current values would be – nurturing my family, looking after myself, using my time wisely to achieve my goals (and still juggling my kids and home!) and building a legacy for the future.
If I live my life with intention, then I’m finding ways to promote, prioritise and honour these values as much as possible.
I can either:
- Let things happen and hope for the best, or
- Be intentional and make them happen.
Read more about practical ways you can live with intention today.
WHAT INTENTIONAL LIVING IS NOT
In this post I’ve tried to share my interpretation of what intentional living is, but I couldn’t finish without talking a little about what intentional living is not.
Intentional living is NOT:
- A magic wand to make everything better – Your problems will hopefully feel more manageable and you might even be able to solve a few by making things simpler, but it won’t make everything easy.
- An instant fix – Intentional living isn’t a plaster over a wound. It takes time for you to get used to thinking differently and for the momentum to build.
- A case of once and you’re done – Intentional living requires ongoing maintenance. Life throws many temptations, opportunities and challenges at us. Sometimes we’re taken off guard and say ‘yes,’ when really we should have said ‘no’. Always be vigilant and keep reminding yourself to be intentional.
- The same for everyone – We all have different priorities and motivations in life. Your life will look different to mine so our choices, decisions and actions will differ according to our priorities. An intentional life comes in many different shapes and sizes.
- A case for perfection – Lastly, intentional living is not about trying to achieve perfection or never making a wrong choice. Instead it’s about learning more about ourselves and the life we need to create to support us best.
READY TO LIVE YOUR INTENTIONAL LIFE?
I hope this post has given you an introduction to intentional living.
To explore more about intentional living and practical ways you can start to live intentionally, then why not try my short course, Your Intentional Life?
If you’re struggling to find real purpose or motivation, assess your priorities or just want to find ways to make life that little bit easier, Your Intentional Life can help.
YOUR NEXT STEP…
Many of the ways to make life easier that we’ve covered in this post are simple and practical.
They’re also about being intentional.
- About your priorities
- Where you spend your resources – time, energy and money
- Getting organised and planning better
If this is something that you struggle with, or you want step-by-step support to make changes quick, then Your Intentional Life is a great place to start.
Your Intentional Life is a free 7-day email course that will make you look at your life differently.
With daily emails and simple challenges, we’ll cover the exact steps you need to take to simplify your life.
Find your focus, carve out more time and create more freedom.
This is a small course with a big purpose!