What Living with Intention Looks Like
We fabulously complicated humans are, sadly, too busy rushing through our precious days to stop and be intentional. If we can manage to fling ourselves off the hamster wheel of life then maybe, just maybe, we can find a way to start living with intention. To me this means waking up with a clear vision for what you want your day, week, year and life to look like. It means knowing what steps you need to take, and who you need to be to make that life a reality.
What kind of a difference do you think it would make to your life if you lived with more intention? What steps can we take to start living with intention? Let’s look at what it means and what it might look like to live a more intentional life.
Where have we gone Wrong?
As I said, we’re on the hamster wheel. We aren’t even catching a glimpse of what is flying on by. That which is our life. Everything is a blur. We need to spin ourselves on off that wheel and land with our feet solidly on the ground. From there we will be able to look around and see what we’ve been missing. Once we’ve done that, we start to realize that living with intention is the only way to be fully connected to our own life experience.
Look at your life. Have you been living with intention, or are you on autopilot? It takes self-awareness for us to be able to make a change, so take the time to think about if you have been tuned in to your life the way you should be. If not, maybe it’s time to zoom out for a minute and see what you’ve missed.
What is it in a Nutshell
Living with intention means taking ownership of the role you play in your life and your future. It means knowing that what you do on a daily basis is literally creating the future experience that you will have. So, if that means showing up every day for your job with intention or showing up every day for your exercise routine with intention, then that’s what you need to do. It means knowing the impact of your choices. And it means embracing the role you have to play in creating your own life.
When you think about it, this is a great thing. It puts you in the pound seats. You realize that you are master of your own destiny. Living with intention means that taking another bite of that damn delicious almond croissant is probably not going to add another year to your life. Tough truth, but there you have it. It is empowering you to look at every decision from a place of weighing up the pros and cons column and deciding to take the next right action for your life.
How to start Living with Intention
What does it look like? How do we do it? Living with intention can look anything like starting a daily routine that centres you, like meditation, to finding ways to manage your day with diaries and planners. You could have an intention setting exercise that you use every morning to motivate you for your health, career etc. Living with intention will look different for everyone, but what it is at its core is a commitment to yourself. It is setting a new standard for yourself that helps you to know you can always rely on yourself to show up.
Start by choosing an area of your life that you know needs attention. If it’s your self-care you may need to think about how you can set some healthy boundaries and make a conscious effort to take time for yourself. If it’s your career you may need to sit down and think about what you need to do to achieve your goals, and then create a plan that will start the ball rolling. Whichever area you are looking at this is about first being honest about what area can benefit from setting intentions and then creating a plan or goal to improve on that.
Intentions Help you stay Focused
Naturally if you are living with intention, you become more focused. You are aware of what needs to be done and you are committed to it. This is a recipe for success in any area of your life because when you set your goals you are not doing them half-heartedly, you are setting an intention and committing to it. Setting an intention is like signing a contract with your heart. ‘I……., do hereby swear to show up every day at 5:30am for meditation and yoga’. You’re making a promise to yourself, and that is where the power lies.
This sounds a lot like setting a goal, and it is. But the real power is the emotion behind it. A goal is only powerful if the intention is there. We have to want it, and this is what comes from being intentional. You are more likely to stay focused on your goal if there is an emotion attached to it. It has to matter!
Lean into Gratitude
When we start living with intention, we also start to see all the good in our lives. Why? Because we are paying attention. Quite simply, as soon as we pay attention to our lives, we inevitably feel grateful because there is so much to be grateful for. Every one of us has something to be grateful for, but far too often we are caught up in the daily grind and don’t take the time to look for it.
When you think about your intention to eg. cut down on sugar, you have a sense of pride in yourself for your commitment. You appreciate all the effort that it took for you to reach your goal. You are grateful for yourself!
Knowing what you Can Control
We too easily get caught up in what we can’t control. But, we have way more control than we think. First of all, we control the way we choose to respond to what life gives us. If we don’t like a situation, or an emotion for that matter, we can consciously choose to change it. When we realize that there is more power in our hands than we thought, we can begin to be more intentional. We first need to step back and actually look at our lives, though, and see where we need to take the power back.
Look at your life and see if you can identify areas where you’ve been falsely believing that it is out of your control. It could be your weight, your relationships etc. Try to see things from a different perspective. Is there something you can change to improve the situation? Connect to the why behind it, why you would want to stop yelling at your kids for example. When you’re angry you don’t feel in control, but if you look at it when you’re calmer and see there are options to help with this you can choose differently. With intent.
Some Example of Intentions
Here are some examples of what your intentions could look like. Use these to get you started and tap into what you feel inspired to in your own life.
I intend to:
- Show up with gratitude
- Have a positive outlook
- Stay resilient during challenging times
- Acknowledge my weaknesses and celebrate my strengths
- Use creative thinking in overcoming obstacles
- Be more present in my life, with work and family
- Look after myself first
- Trust my own instincts and intuition
Like I said, make it your own and obviously be more specific if there is an area you want to work on. This entire exercise is about creating a purposeful life, one you have consciously chosen and stepped into with intent. Empower yourself with the gift of intent.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful.
A great tool for living with intention is my Conscious Choices Checklist. With prompts and guidance to help you, this easy to print out checklist is a wonderful place to start. Check it out!
If you enjoyed this blog, head over and check out this one: Using Affirmations for Self-Love Daily
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