Intentional Living - What it is and Why You Need it
Do you ever find yourself struggling to be present and more in the moment? Instead, you get stuck in your head overthinking things, living in a place of worry and uncertainty?
Do you sometimes find yourself living life on ‘auto-pilot’, moving through the motions, yet never really knowing where you want to go next?
Do you try incorporating self care into your life however still feel burnt out, overwhelmed and some days, it feels more like one more thing on your to do list, versus something that lights you up?
Maybe you know you want to make changes, you may even read self development books, but you struggle to really stay consistent with your intentions and you sometimes feel like ‘what is even the point’?
If you can relate to any of the above, then learning how to embrace an Intentional Lifestyle is for you.
In a world where, on average, you are inundated with 6-10 thousand advertisements each day telling you how you should live, how you should look, how you should think how you should be…. it is NO WONDER we sometimes feel like our heads are spinning.
By learning the art of intentional living, it allows you to take a step back and refocus on what matters to you without all the noise.
I started being more intentional about my life 6 years ago and I have never looked back.
It has brought so much more peace into my day-to-day life, it has allowed me to focus on what I can and cannot control, it keeps me more present, calm and better able to manage my emotions in difficult times, all the while keeping focused on my ‘North Star’ - the direction I want my life to go.
What is Intentional Living?
In a nutshell:
↠ Intentional living is a lifestyle which brings more awareness into your daily life.
↠ Intentional living is when you learn how to shut off ‘auto-pilot mode’ and make conscious decisions aligned with your core values, your dreams and your definition of happiness.
↠ Living a more intentional life is a holistic and wholehearted approach to ‘BE-ing” each day. It helps connect you to your body, mind, emotions, personal energy and spirit - allowing you to live a more present, healthier and happier life.
↠ Intentional living is focusing on what is in your circle of control versus what is outside of it which allows you to let go of the worry and anxiety and tune into the present moment.
↠ Intentional living focuses on WHO you and to be and HOW you want to show up each day - for your present and future self. It means making conscious choices and taking aligned actions towards the life you desire and having a plan to move towards that life.
Why is it Important to Live Intentionally?
As many of you know, mental health and emotional wellness is becoming an epidemic in our world.
People are struggling.
Whether diagnosed with a mental illness or not, all of us experience mental health in some way or another.
Adults are struggling.
Adolescents are struggling.
Our beautiful children are struggling.
People must start investing in their EMOTIONAL WELLNESS to better their overall health and wellness of themselves, their families, their communities and the world.
Although there are systemic issues in all of the countries in our world that contribute to the mental wellbeing of all of us, we have to focus on what we can first change - which is ourselves.
Unfortunately we cannot wait around for the world to figure this out for us. We have to take the personal initiative to figure out how we can live a more intentional and emotionally healthy life today so that we can continue to create change for tomorrow.
It is that good old metaphor of the airplane oxygen. If we first don’t put our oxygen mask on - how will we be of use to anyone else?
By learning how to start from within, to start with yourself, you will begin to create a ripple effect in the lives around you. And if enough of the world starts doing this - that is when we are going to see change.
How can you do this? By starting to live a more intentional and life that prioritizes yours and your families emotional and mental wellbeing.
5 Steps to Begin Living a More Intentional Life TODAY!
1. Make the Decision to Prioritize Your Mental and Emotional Wellness.
Just as you prioritize going to work, getting your hair done, taking kids to activities, watching your fave TV show…. You need to make the conscious decision to invest in your emotional well being. Life is made up of choices and becoming intentional means you have to consciously choose to empower yourself by investing in your self awareness journey.
2. Start Being the Scientist of your Life
Awareness is the first step to making any change in your life. In order to live a more intentional life you must pause and become aware of what may or may not be serving you any longer. When you bring a conscious awareness to what you love about your life and what you may want to shift or change, you are taking the first step in becoming more intentional. No one can change your life but you, and how are you going to make changes if you are not aware of what you want to change? I highly recommend embracing a journaling practice for this.
3. Shift from Self Improvement to Self Compassion
Intentional living is not about ‘improving’ yourself or changing yourself. It is about getting aligned with your deeper values and what really matters to you in life. You are already perfect just the way you are. Sometimes though, you may need to take inventory of your life to determine where you may be out of alignment (or out of sync) with WHO you are being and HOW you are showing up each day. Cultivating self compassion versus continually telling yourself you need to ‘improve’ is a powerful way to shift your perspective and will help you to embrace a more intentional life.
4. Create a Life Vision
Have you ever sat down and really thought about what you want in life? I’m not talking about what your parents told you to want, or what social media tells you to want. I’m talking about sitting down and figuring out what YOU want. This is going to look different for every soul in this world. Yet so many of us put ourselves in a box of what we SHOULD want in life - versus really taking the time to figure out what we WANT in life. By getting clear on your Life Vision you naturally become more intentional in your everyday choices so they get you closer to your dream life versus further away. Creating a Life Vision is one of the fundamental steps in really creating a more intentional life. If you are wanting to learn how to make a Life Vision for 2021 - join me in a free 5 day interactive workshop to discover how to do just that! Click HERE to reserve your spot.
5. Give Yourself Time and Space
So often I hear, these are great ideas, but it is easier said than done. When you start making changes in your life there can be resistance. Our brains have been wired to keep us safe. And when we start shaking up our routines and challenging our beliefs, our brain tends to push back. This is normal. The key here is to keep taking the small intentional steps day after day and giving yourself that time to reflect, to just be -- and cliche as it may be - to experience the ups and downs of the journey. The thing I want you to remember is that by being here, reading this, right now, you are planting seeds. Now give yourself the time to nurture and grow them.
Learning how to live a more intentional lifestyle is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, your family and future generations.
As more and more people begin to embrace their emotional and mental wellness and start getting aligned with what brings joy and happiness into their lives, the more we can begin to change the world.
If you are interested in taking the next step in your intentional living journey then I encourage you to discover how to create your 2021 Life Vision as a place to start.
Always remember, you are so much more powerful than you think.
Meet the author
Lora Devries, Social Worker + Holistic Mental Health Blogger