If you’ve been around since I started my blog back in 2019, then you know that it was founded on helping young adults living an intentional and purposeful life. That is still the foundation of every post that I make! Why? Because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of living on autopilot.
Many of us are going through the motions every day missing opportunities to think about the decisions we make. Instead of living life, we let life live us and miss out in the long run. This leads us to feel unfulfilled throughout the day!
My hope for myself AND for you is that we make a conscious effort every day to find and fulfill our unique purpose. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to simply drift through life and next thing you know I’m 80 years old with hundreds of regrets.
Intentional living isn’t always easy. But it sure is worth it. If you’re ready to find fulfillment in a chaotically busy world, keep reading.
What is intentional living?
If you think about the word “intentional,” it references something that is done on purpose. So when you think about intentional living, it’s basically a life lived on purpose. It’s understanding the core of who you are (aka your beliefs and values) and living in alignment with that!
Unfortunately, intentional living has become a trend that many people say without thinking about what it means for their specific life. living intentionally isn’t going to look the same for everyone. We all have different core beliefs ad values that can (and SHOULD) determine our actions. Living intentionally requires you to slow down and think before you act.
An unintentional life accepts everything and does nothing. An intentional life embraces only the things that will add to the mission of significance.John C. Maxwell
Why is intentional living important?
I briefly mentioned how many of us are living on autopilot throughout our day-to-day routine. We wake up, eat, go to work, watch Netflix, and repeat that same cycle every day. I don’t know about you – but that sounds pretty boring to me. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love routines; however, there’s a difference between an intentional routine and a routine that you just fell into. I’ll explain.
Your routine may be waking up, hitting the snooze button until the last possible moment, rushing to get ready, and feeling “UGH” overall as you start your day. Before you know it you left work feeling exhausted, climbed into bed to watch some shows, then fell asleep without accomplishing anything. Imagine the difference it would make if you woke up and gave yourself enough time to tend to the values that are important to you. For example, if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and deepen your relationship with God, those may be things you take 15 minutes to do each in the morning before heading off to work.
Living intentionally also helps you find more fulfillment. This is because you’re actions are based on the things that you value and actually care about instead of what other people care about. Why do you think people who just follow what others are doing have little-to-no fulfillment in life? Because their actions and decisions aren’t based on their values!
Many times we feel “stuck” with what life throws at us. But if you think about what intentional living looks like to you then you can remember that you are in control of how to respond to different situations. We have two choices: to respond based on our feelings or to respond with our values. Responding with our values ensures that we’re consistent with showing up true to ourselves as opposed to showing up based on feelings, which are only situational and temporary.
How do you live intentionally?
Now that you know the importance of intentional living, let’s dig into how you can live an intentional life!
Know your core values
Knowing your core values is incredibly important to show up authentically and intentionally in your life. Your core values are your specific, fundamental beliefs. They’re guiding principles that should shape the decisions that you make. One of my core values is, ironically, intentional. I want to be intentional in everything that I do and do my best to live purposefully. Remember, your values will change throughout different seasons of your life!
Focus on small, consistent actions
Life is made up of choices. Every single day you get to make choices about the time you’ll sleep, what you’ll eat, whether you take the stairs or the elevator, whether or not you hang out with the person who makes you feel like crap, and so much more. You can find so much fulfillment in making intentional choices that align with those core values mentioned above. Of course we’re not perfect, but we can still do our best to make aligned choices.
Set intentional goals
When people set New Year’s resolutions, they usually hear other people’s goals and adapt them as their own. This is one of the many reasons why 80% of people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions! If you want to start taking a better approach to your goals, check out The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.
I want you to remember that intentional living is a continuous process. It’s not something that you can set and forget. Intentional living is being in constant communication with yourself and realigning with your values, especially since those change!