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Living intentionally can truly transform your life. It means making space in your life for what is truly important and only spending your energy on that. It means being more mindful of what you actually want in your life, and getting rid of what you don’t want. Today I’ll share some tips and ways to live more intentionally every day, so you can start living a life with purpose. And stop living on autopilot…
Sometimes, disappointments, stress and other lemons life throws at us have us living our days as they come. Without giving a definition to what we do and why we do it, we engage in our daily activities on autopilot, sometimes hoping for a better tomorrow with little or no action to back up these expectations.
The truth is, everyone has had their fair share of this experience at one time or another. For some folks, it’s just a phase, for others, it’s been their daily testimony. Perhaps it’s time to change that narrative, be purpose driven and live more intentionally everyday.
Ways To Live More Intentionally
Living intentionally every day simply entails having a lifestyle based on CONSCIOUS attempts to align your words and actions with your set goals, values and beliefs. Joshua Becker once said “Don’t just drift through life, live with a purpose,” and I couldn’t agree more!
Also, understand that intentional living is not a one-time choice. It has got a stick-to-it requirement to go with it. That is, you have to keep choosing to live intentionally, everyday.
Living intentionally is setting goals you actually care about and then taking steps to make sure they happen. It is taking charge of your finances and being responsible.
Living intentionally also means getting yourself into a healthy place physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s like picking habits that will help you live a life of meaning. Sometimes, it’s like changing your entire lifestyle.
To help with this, below are 10 ways you can achieve a purpose driven life and live more intentionally everyday.
1. Know Thyself
Have you met you? Knowing yourself is a key ingredient to having a well defined and purposeful lifestyle. Have a self evaluation check today. Getting to know and understand who you really are is like conducting a SWOT analysis on your personality, journaling is the word.
Know your abilities, your weaknesses, your likes and your dislikes. Define your being and it will give you a better view as to how to lead your life. Also, it is noteworthy that knowing yourself is not a license for comparison.
Comparing yourself to others, rather than help you live a more intentional life, would get you entangled in discontent, jealousy, unhealthy competitions and undue stress and anxiety. You sure don’t want that. Know yourself, be yourself and live more intentionally.
2. Get acquainted with your environment
You have got to understand the world you live in and its influence on you. Understand that no one is an island and we all are products of influence.
Where we live, what we see, the people we interact with. They all affect our lives, the choices we make, and even our habits. The influence our environment has on us is either positive or negative.
The human culture, however diverse they are, follows a trend; it’s your responsibility to make sure you don’t get lost in that trend. It’s your responsibility to determine what influence your immediate environs have on you.
For instance, the age we are is characterised by heavy use of social media and it’s no news that most people’s online presence can be rated 10/10. However, knowing when and what to use your social handles for is a way of intentional living.
Rather than just following the trend of coming online, engaging almost every activity on the socials and getting caught up with all sorts of hashtags, you can choose to only connect with friends, market your business if you’ve got one and read informative content.
Here, controlling the effects of the internet on you, not getting lost in trends and choosing to stay with the purpose of the use of the internet is a way of living a more intentional life.
3. Let go of the past
“History has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.” ~ John. F. Kennedy
Do not allow a negative experience from the past to determine your present life or shape future decision making. The past is in the past, yesterday won’t happen again. The more you start embracing the present and living in the moment, the better it is for you.
Learning from past mistakes is great, dwelling on those mistakes is dangerous. Apart from depression, fear of the unknown, stress, anxiety and insomnia, dwelling in the past has no good to offer you.
It will only hinder you from thinking straight, enjoying the moment and making better decisions. Understand that with every new day, comes new choices and opportunities. To be intentional about your life everyday, utilise the opportunities each day brings. Don’t hold on to past losses or grieve over them.
4. Define your purpose
Why do you exist? Why do you do the things you do?
Knowing what you want your persona to radiate, communicate and contribute to the world outside is defining your purpose. Giving a reason or definition even to the tiniest action in your activity log will go a long way in helping you live a more purposeful life.
Your purpose can guide your decision making, influence your behavior, help you find a sense of direction, set goals and even redirect your steps to your purpose (if you ever get distracted or caught up with other things).
5. Set a goal
Either short term or long term, goals are usually the driving force behind our decision-making processes and everyday living. They are the end result we want to achieve in between a given timeframe.
However, you’ve got to align your goals with your purpose. For instance, if you identify your purpose as one who wants to make food surplus and very affordable even to the poorest of individuals, your goals should be centred around owning a farm or something.
It is also noteworthy that you ensure you set realistic goals and realistic timelines for them. Having this in my mind will provide a clearer sense of direction and pave way for more intentional living.
6. A goal without a plan is just a wish
He who fails to plan, plans to fail. To achieve your goals, map out a plan on how to go about it. Live your everyday life in reality of your goals. Making regular efforts and creating a daily schedule that recognises them will help you in your journey to purposeful living.
Goals. There is no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them, there is no telling what you can do when you believe in them and there is no telling what will happen when you act on them ~ Jim Rohn
7. Be focused
To live a more intentional life, you have to start saying no to the societal frenzy around and yes to what really counts. However, concentrating on what matters in an era like this with lots of noise could be a tasking one but it’s not impossible.
Learn to get rid of all forms of distraction. If you have to discard non-essential physical belongings so you can concentrate on and spend time with what really matters, please do.
Distraction will have you giving less attention to your goals and values and more attention to garbage thrown around. Try not to mind them. Make certain that you are not just saying no to distractions, also ensure you shift your gaze to your purpose and feed your focus adequately.
8. Disallow laziness
Laziness hinders progress. Procrastination, negative actions and even inferiority complex are all causes of laziness and if you’ve got any or worse still, all of these, then it’s time to let go.
Sometimes, we choose not to make an effort because we feel there’s plenty of time at hand and we end up achieving little or nothing. Sometimes, we choose to ignore some things because our focus is on some other thing/place (which are mostly unimportant).
Other times, our fear of failure and that of not being able do better than others makes us shy away from what really matters.
Perhaps it’s time to let go of all these hindrances and do better because living intentionally means discarding all forms of laziness and being a go-getter. Make efforts to do the right thing at the right time and you’ll live more intentionally everyday.
9. Take good care of yourself
“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralised and exhausted, it is best for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” ~ Dalai Lama
Self care is an activity we do to improve our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. This includes eating well, taking adequate rest, sleeping well, maintaining good personal hygiene, going on trips, taking a break from busy schedules, etc.
Your wellbeing and whatever makes you happy deserves a front row seat in your day to day activities. To be more intentional about your life, you need a healthy body and mind. It’s good to be diligent but know how to balance your work schedule and leisure time.
You sure don’t want to spend your lunch breaks and weekends at the doctor’s. Give yourself a break from work, take a moment and have a deep breath, unwind on a regular to give your body the nourishment it needs. When it comes to being purpose driven and living intentionally, a fatigued individual can only do little.
10. Never stop learning
Finally, to live more intentionally, you have to learn the art of learning. Knowledge is power. Be well informed and pay close attention to vital details in things and events. Pay closer attention to people, learn the art of listening.
Have the humility to learn from others, do not compete with people you should be learning from. Identify people who have accomplished your purpose and goals, study them and learn from them.
You don’t necessarily have to emulate their lifestyle, but having knowledge about their experiences, mistakes and success will give you an idea of what to expect and would help shape your decision making in that field.
There’s a certain level of humility that comes with learning; the truth is you don’t know it all. No one does. Even the most successful people in the world still invest time in learning. When you stop learning, you stop being relevant and before you know it, you won’t be able to add value to yourself and others.
Be patient and humble enough to embrace the art of learning and you’ll live more intentionally everyday.
To live intentionally is to make a decision to be a better person. Like I mentioned, it’s not always going to be easy but it is far from being impossible. The gloom and resentment that comes with not being able to account for a day spent at the end of it is enough motivation to start living a life of purpose.
Time influences everything. At the end of each day, make it a habit to reflect on how you spend your day, who you spent it with and what you spent it on.
Time is money, money is time. For instance, if you’re paid $5 dollars/hour at work and you spend $5 on a soda drink, it simply means you exchanged an hour of your time for a soda drink (never thought of it that way huh).
Ask yourself if it’s really worth it. The same should be applied to having a gist with your friend over the counter for hours. There’s nothing wrong with that! The question of worth simply lies in the content of your conversation.
Are you talking for hours about how a celebrity is making bad decisions for her life and what she should be doing? Or are you discussing your goals or plans for the future?
However, ensure you’re truthful to yourself when questioning your usage of time. How we spend our time depends on how tomorrow is going to be. The more intentional you’re with it, the better for you.
And on that note, I drop the mic (okay, I don’t actually have a real one) and wish you a more intentional life today!