So you may have noticed that I write a lot about intentional living. I could go on and on and ON about all the amazing benefits it has brought to my life (and actually, I think I’ll plan on writing a blog about that soon).
Intentional living could be a concept you’re interested in learning more about or possibly are simply curious about what it actually means and what this would look like for you. Here I hope to share with you what intentional living means to me and a few concrete ideas of how you could start living more intentionally.
As I write this, to me intentional living looks like making mindful choices and designing a life with my values and priorities at the forefront of my mind and heart. It’s letting go and saying no to the distractions, obligations, expectations, and ‘shoulds’ that are not aligned with what I truly want and need.
“Essentially, it’s carving out space for the best, and letting the rest go.”
When I am living intentionally, I first peel back the layers and question why I choose what I choose. I dig deep and connect to my intentions, trying to understand and see what it is that’s actually motivating and driving me. This can be trickier than it sounds, as sometimes our intentions aren’t as clear as we think and are usually deeply engrained in us stemming from what we were taught to value from our family and society.
So we must dig deep and we can do hard things. We can ask ourselves the questions and sit with them until we discover what our hearts sincerely long for. It may look different from what the world has convinced us to chase.
Here are 3 ways you can start to live intentionally:
1. Get clear on your values: Without knowing what you deeply care about and what’s most important to you, it’s extremely difficult to know what to say yes and no to. Once you are clear on your values and priorities for this season of life, it gets much easier to choose what is aligned with your vision and walking away from what isn’t. When you know what your values are, you can use this as a compass, pointing you in the direction of the path you want to carve out and the life you want to lead.
2. Get quiet and slow down: It’s really difficult to know what it is that you care about in the loud world we live in. The world tells you what to value and what to prioritize. It’s challenging to even hear your own quiet voice whispering your deepest values, needs, and wants. Because of this, it’s extremely important to take a break and step away from the noise as much as you can in whatever way that may look like to you. Maybe it looks like short social media breaks, spending time in nature, taking a few deep breaths in your car on the way to work, slowing down and protecting your schedule, or simply being in silence when you want to reach for your phone instead. There is no right way, but the point is to slow down so you can hear the whispers of your heart.
3. Choose what is life-giving: A guiding question that I ask myself often is “is this life-giving?” Does this thought, belief, action, and behavior give me life? This is always something I am honing and practicing time and time again, because I do ‘slip’ and forget to tune in and ask myself if this is really good for me on all levels. I don’t believe just because it feels good I should do something. I think we are way more complex than that. It may be serving me on one level, but hurting me on another.
There have been moments or situations where I feel I wasn’t being intentional, but after tuning in, I knew I needed to walk away or say no if I wanted to live the life I claimed I wanted to live….a life that is intentional while making decisions that are life-affirming.
I hope these tips add value to your life. Remember change does not need to happen overnight. In fact, the best kind is when a seed is planted and we slowly make small changes and build on that. Little by little we can craft a life we are excited about.
Please share what intentional living means to you….I’d love to hear from you!