What Is Intentional Living And How Can It Change Your Life
Intentional Living is one of the most simple things that is easily made complicated. But once you understand what it is and what it means, it can change your life and help make you happier.
What Does It Means To Live With Intention?
Living with intention is one of those things that seems so simple yet, so hard to actually implement. But it’s truly a simple concept and once you do understand what it means it can change your life. So what is it?
Intentional Living is the understanding of your fundamental beliefs. These are the values that you live your life by. The underlying beliefs that you hold close to your heart and you want guiding your life. So it makes sense that we should get to know what those values are right?
“Intentional Living is the understanding of your fundamental beliefs”
Right! Because once you have a conscious understanding of what drives you, you can then make decisions rooted in those values and know that you are living in accordance with what is best for you individually. (And not someone else) Because if you don’t know what you want for yourself in life and what mark you want to leave then everyone else will tell you what you want in life and what mark you want to leave.
“If you don’t know what you want for yourself in life and what mark you want to leave then everyone else will tell you what you want in life and what mark you want to leave”
As humans, it’s natural for us to seek advice from others and for others to want to give advice. But if we don’t have a solid grasp on our own fundamental values then it’s all too easy to take on others’ values thinking that we have to adopt the same beliefs. This can lead to unhappiness if that value we took on is not something we actually believe in, but just think we should. So how do you get to know what your true values are?
How To Narrow In On Your Values
Getting to know what your true values are can be as simple or as hard as you make it. And the process can be different for everyone. But a good way to start is by sitting down with yourself and a journal and get writing. Make sure you have some time and room to yourself without distraction and then start off by thinking of some small questions. Such as: “What do I want to do today?” “What are my plans for the week?” “What are my goals for the week?” “What are some things I want to accomplish?”
And once you start to get into the groove of this asking yourself questions maybe start to go a little deeper. “What are things that make me happy, like really happy?” “What do I love to do so much that I lose track of time while doing it?” “What type of life would make me happy beyond belief?” Whether that is running a fortune 500 company or a simple life in the woods with good food and good company. Really get to know yourself. Because you’re the only one who really can.
“What type of life would make me happy beyond belief?”
This seems like a simple exercise, and for some, it may be, but for others, it’s going to feel a little weird at first, maybe even a little uncomfortable. And that’s okay. We’ve all gotten so used to going through life fairly passively without stopping to have some deep conversations with ourselves. But trust me, oh is it worth it. Because once you have your fully fleshed out answer to the main question of “What type of life would make me truly happy?” then you’ll be able to see the things that mean something to you. This is where you’ll find what your values are, what drives you, and what you want to prioritize and live by.
For example, when I did this exercise I came out of it with:
- I want to have an early morning routine of yoga, working out, journaling, setting my day goals + intentions and then starting my day.
- I want to work outside or somewhere local designing for passionate people who want to make a difference.
- I want my business to allow me the freedom to work remotely so I can explore the beautiful/ simple pleasures of this earth with those closest to me.
- I want to have a beautiful marriage where we always invest in our love whether that is with big or small gestures.
- I want to be able to ride my bike, do yoga, meditate, design, draw, read, have campfires on the beach, lay in the sun, eat good healthy food, enjoy slow mornings, live peacefully and go after all my dreams.
- And ultimately, I want to leave this world having left a positive impact: on myself, the people around me, and the planet.
After I got all that out I felt great, I reread that list so many times and each time I smiled more and more like “Yes, this is me. This is what I care about” And from having this list of what matters to me I was able to read between the lines and see what I truly value:
- Having a routine that leaves me feeling my best and keeps me in tune with my mind and body
- Continuously learning, researching, reading, experiencing, and growing myself as a person
- Inspiring myself and others to make a difference for the planet, for each other, and for ourselves
- Building + maintaining an open and honest relationship where we can grow and live out best lives together
- Cultivating a life that will bring me happiness and allow me to enjoy the simple things in life
- Taking care of myself physically + mentally
- Helping other people + the planet
Now it’s your turn to find these out for yourself!
How To Live By Your Values
Once you’ve completed this exercise and have a solid list of what makes you happy and what values you have, you can now consciously make decisions with these in mind. Read these every day, remind yourself constantly why you do what you do. And now when your making decisions in your life, or setting goals and aspirations, look over your list and ask yourself “Is this in line with what I believe?” “Does this help me cultivate the life I ultimately want?”
Keep asking yourself questions like that and you’ll have that life you just detailed out in no time!