What does it mean to live intentionally?
Living an intentional life is the opposite of living a life of chance with a lack of awareness. It means living with purpose; living on purpose.
What are your long-term goals? Why did you decide to read this article? Why did you choose the foods that you did for your last meal? If you can’t answer these questions without giving it some thought, you’re not living intentionally.
There are very specific things you can do in order to choose to live an intentional life:
Intentional living requires making decisions. You can’t have any intention without having made a decision first. Sit down and choose a purpose for your life. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to own? What kind of life do you want to live? Make some choices and then choose your actions each day in accordance with those objectives.
Evaluate your behavior
To live an intentional life, you must evaluate and understand yourself. Why do you do the things you do? Why do you fail to do the things you don’t do? By being aware of your behavior you can see where you could improve and where you should to applaud yourself.
What motivates your actions each day? Are you moving toward short-term pleasure or avoiding short-term pain? Or are your actions directed toward an intentional purpose?
What is your intention?
Before taking any action, ask yourself what your intention is. Are you heading toward the refrigerator to satisfy your hunger, ease your anxiety, cure your boredom, or fuel your body in a healthy manner for what lies ahead in the next few hours?
Evaluate all of your chosen and avoided behaviors. Learn what makes you tick.
Know your values and beliefs
Knowing your values and beliefs can make it easier to live intentionally. You might have the intention to live a life based on contribution, honesty, or love. Your belief that everyone should be able to read can guide your life. Giving your values and beliefs priority makes many of your formerly challenging decisions obvious.
Stress important actions over easy actions. Intentional living stresses taking effective action over personal comfort. It’s about having a higher purpose than taking it easy. Continuously ask yourself, “Is this the most effective action I could be taking?”
Choose your habits
Most habits seem to develop on their own and if not checked they can drive your life in the wrong direction. It’s important to choose your habits. Habits can mask your intentions by removing the thought process from the equation.
Know your intentions for each day.
You may have a broad intention of having financial freedom. A narrower intention might be to be debt-free. From there, you may have the intention of saving more money so you can pay down your debt faster. Your intention for today might be to avoid any spending that isn’t absolutely necessary. By choosing and follow a daily intention will align your life with your purpose.
Is your apartment lease ending in three months? Start looking for new place. The alternative is to wait until you’re out of time. When you aren’t proactive you have few options and you can’t live intentionally. You’re forced to roll the dice and take whatever you can find on short notice. This is the opposite of intentional living. It is also stressful and can leave you feeling like life is unfair when really you did it to yourself.
The key to intentional living is responsibility and mindfulness in all parts of life. Both seem to be the cure for everything, except the common cold.
Be mindful of your intentions, thoughts, actions, and goals. If you’re truly mindful and responsible, you’re already living an intentional life.
An intentional life creates more thought than an unintentional life. You must make conscious decisions and question your thoughts and actions. Seek to be more aware of your desires and choose your behaviors accordingly. Habits will be the bane of intentional living unless you chose your habits intentionally. You must say “no” to bad habits.
Be mindful and take responsibility for your results, and you’ll find that more of your results please you.
Living intentionally is truly the path to creating the life you love.
Here’s to creating the life you LOVE!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs get from where they are to where they want to be by working smart. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your mentor to creating the business+ life you love. She has cracked the code for creating a lucrative, independent business + an amazing lifestyle. She can help you with your marketing and business growth, your clarity and purpose and help you reach your vision of success. 🙂
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy, non-marketers looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine.