What it Means to Live With Intention
Everyone seems to be talking about living more intentionally these days, but what does that even mean? It is not just about controlling your choices and making more demands on your life, but is so much more complex and fulfilling than that.
Living life with intention means merely to become the leading agent of your own life. It means to determine the trajectory you are putting yourself onto.
You Act with Purpose
When you live a life of intention, you are living your life with more purpose. The actions you take are more about being more mindful, and less about trying to control your own life with rigid rules and restrictions. A good way to think about it is that the choices you make are more meaningful and serve a specific purpose. Whereas you might have been making decisions based on practicality or pure habit, you are now really making sure you understand the purpose and meaning behind everything you do.
Here are some examples of affirmations that you can use on a daily basis. Pick a few that resonate with you or simply write your own!
- I create a safe and secure space for myself wherever I am.
- I give myself permission to do what is right for me.
- I am confident in my ability to [fill in the blank].
- I use my time and talents to help others [fill in the blank].
- What I love about myself is my ability to [fill in the blank].
- I feel proud of myself when I [fill in the blank].
- I give myself space to grow and learn.
- I allow myself to be who I am without judgment.
- I listen to my intuition and trust my inner guide.
- I accept my emotions and let them serve their purpose.
- I give myself the care and attention that I deserve.
- My drive and ambition allow me to achieve my goals.
- I share my talents with the world by [fill in the blank].
- I am good at helping others to [fill in the blank].
- I am always headed in the right direction.
- I trust that I am on the right path.
- I am creatively inspired by the world around me.
- My mind is full of brilliant ideas.
- I put my energy into things that matter to me.
- I trust myself to make the right decision.
- I am becoming closer to my true self every day.
- I am grateful to have people in my life who [fill in the blank].
- I am learning valuable lessons from myself every day.
- I am at peace with who I am as a person.
- I make a difference in the world by simply existing in it.
Your Choices are Meaningful and Fulfilling
You want your choices and actions to be more meaningful and fill a higher purpose than your day-to-day routine. Similar to acting with purpose, you are trying to find deeper meaning. Is this choice going to have a positive impact on your life? Will it help you find more happiness and fulfillment? Or are you maybe just following along with what someone else said to do, or just kind of choosing without thinking.
You Evaluate More Often
People who live a more intentional life also tend to evaluate their own life and actions more. Not in a controlling way, but as a way to see if you are on a path that will better your life or not. It is another way to live a more mindful life. When you practice mindfulness, you don’t just go from one task to another like you are on autopilot. Instead, you really revel in everything you experience, from eating a meal to having coffee with a friend.
A regular mindfulness practice is a great way to live with intention. Mindfulness is all about being present, being aware of yourself and being grounded. Through mindfulness, you can be more “aware” of your actions, reactions, and the choices you are making. This awareness helps you “take control” of your decisions and live more by your intentions. You can practice mindfulness in many ways, including the following:
- Meditation – Sit and focus on the breath. Notice when your mind wanders and bring it back to the breath. We like the apps Headspace or Calm.
- “Active” listening – Being fully present in the conversation. Noticing the other person’s voice, eyes, mouth, gestures.
- Mindful eating – Paying attention to all of the sensations of eating. The smells, the texture, the different tastes, the warmth.
- Walking – Really feel the sensations of walking. Observe your feet hitting the ground, feel the wind, see the trees, smell the grass, hear the birds chirping.
- Cravings – When a craving hits (whether it’s hunger or need to grab your phone), notice how you feel. What triggered the craving? Was it environmental or physical? Can you hold off? How does not satisfying the craving feel?
You Don’t Just Accept Things as They Are
This is about not running on autopilot and doing things just because. You are on a mission to find more clarity in your life on a regular basis. Stop just accepting things if they aren’t making you happy. If you are not living with purpose, now is the time to make some positive changes. It is not only going to improve your own life and mindset, but that of other people around you who might be watching you and becoming inspired by you.
You can’t expect to make changes and live with intention right away. In order to get what you want, you have to put in the work. You will struggle, you will drift, you will fall back into old habits and autopilot mode.
That’s normal, you’re human. You’re wired for comfort.
To live with intention starts with a deliberate, conscious choice to pursue a particular course of action or direction. We have to practice deliberate intention every day or it won’t work. Just like an exercise plan, you need to stick with it and be consistent long-term to see results. Living with intention is made up of many small, conscious choices each and every day.