When it comes to living a good life, being intentional is key. A lot of people float through life without really thinking about what they want or how to get there. But if you’re intentional, you take the time to figure out what you want and make a plan to get there. It’s all about being purposeful with your actions.
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What Does it Mean to be Intentional?
Intentional living is about setting goals and working towards them, instead of just going through the motions day by day. It’s taking control of your life and making choices that will lead you to where you want to be. When you’re intentional, you’re living with intention – and that’s a pretty powerful way to live.
Intentional living can help you to simplify your life, focus on what’s important, and live with more purpose and meaning. As you take steps towards living more intentionally, remember that there is no one perfect way to do things. The most important thing is to be true to yourself and build a life that feels right for you.
How to be Intentional
A lot of people talk about wanting to live a more intentional life, but it can be hard to know where to start. For me, it was about getting clear on my values and priorities.
Once I knew what was important to me, I could start making choices that aligned with those values. That might mean saying no to social engagements that don’t interest me, or spending more time on activities that I enjoy but don’t always make time for.
It’s also about being mindful of the way I spend my time and energy. Am I spending too much time scrolling through social media, or not enough time connecting with the people who matter most to me? Do the things I do each day make me happy and fulfilled, or do they just add to my stress levels?
So, if you’re looking for a way to live a more fulfilling and intentional life, start by taking a look at your daily habits and routines. You can start by asking yourself a some questions:
- What habits are helping you reach your goals and which ones aren’t. Make more time for the healthy habits you’ve identified and spend less time on the empty ones.
- Are there any areas of your life where you can make some changes? What changes would make the biggest impact?
- What would happen if you made time for things that truly mattered to you?
- What could you let go of in order to make room for what’s most important?
Asking yourself these kinds of questions can help you get a better sense of where you want to make changes in your life. From there, it’s just a matter of taking small steps in the right direction.
Intentional Living for Beginners
Have you ever gotten really excited about something and went in full blast and then the next day you’re so worn out you don’t get anything done? It can’t just be me who does this?
Remember, there’s no need to try and overhaul your entire life overnight. Making small changes can have a big impact over time.
Don’t overload yourself with a huge list of intentional things you want to do and burn yourself out. Start with one or two of these intentional living tips and gradually add more to your days or weeks.
30 Ways to be Intentional Every Day
Remember, this is just a list of ideas. Some might align with your goals and some might not. Hopefully you come away with some tips on how to be more intentional in your life.
1. Know What You Want Out of Life
If you don’t know what you want out of life, how can you start working towards it? It’s important to have some sort of goal to strive for, otherwise you’ll end up just drifting through life without really accomplishing anything.
That’s not to say that you need to have your entire life planned out from start to finish, but having a general idea of the direction you want to go in is important. That way, you can start making intentional choices that will help you get closer to your goal.
Even if you don’t achieve everything you set out to do, as long as you’re moving in the right direction, you’ll be living a more fulfilling life than if you had no goal at all.
2. Set Goals
Speaking of goals, one of the best ways to start living a more intentional life is to set some. When you have specific goals in mind, it’s easier to make choices that will help you move closer to them.
You can set goals for all sorts of areas of your life, from your career to your personal relationships. And it’s not just about big, long-term goals – setting small goals can be just as effective.
Whatever your goals may be, taking the time to write them down and figuring out a plan for achieving them is an important step towards living a more meaningful life. If you aren’t sure how to do that then check out our post about making goals you’ll actually keep.
Of course, it’s important to be realistic when you’re setting goals. If your goal is something that’s totally out of your control, then it’s not really a goal, is it? It’s more like wishful thinking.
So, take some time to think about what you really want in life, and then set some achievable goals that will help you get there. You might be surprised at how much more fulfilling your life can be when you’re living with intention.
3. Make a List
Make sure you have a list of things you need to get done every day. I like to make a list the night before, putting things in order from most to least important.
Then I cross things off the list as I get them done. At the end of the day I go over my list again and see what didn’t get done and put them on tomorrow’s list.
Make sure you remember that not everything on your list has to get done in one day. You can save things for the next day.
If this method doesn’t work for you then consider writing out your list at the beginning of the week. Then spread your list of things to do out over the rest of the week, making sure each day only has a couple of items to cross off.
4. Don’t Procrastinate
It’s easy to fall into the trap of procrastination. You tell yourself that you’ll start your project tomorrow, or that you’ll do your homework after you watch just one more episode of your favorite TV show. But before you know it, the day is over and you’ve accomplished nothing.
Procrastination can have major consequences. If you’re like me and struggling to overcome procrastination, there are a few things you can do.
- First, try to break down tasks into smaller goals. This will make it feel less daunting and more manageable.
- Second, set a timer and work for a set amount of time, even if it’s just five or ten minutes.
- And finally, try to find a role model or accountability partner who can help you stay on track.
Remember, the sooner you start working on your task, the sooner it will be finished. So don’t put it off any longer – get started today!
5. Be Kind
It seems like such a simple concept, yet it’s one that we often forget in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Just take a moment to be kind.
Hold the door open for someone, offer a compliment, or simply lend a listening ear. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day, but the impact can be profound.
When we act with kindness, we not only make others feel good, but we also boost our own mood and increase our sense of well-being. So next time you’re feeling frazzled or stressed, take a deep breath and remember the power of kindness. It might just be the very thing you need.
6. Show Gratitude
Whenever something good happens, it’s important to stop and take a moment to appreciate it. Maybe you got a great new job, or maybe you finally finished that project you’ve been working on for months. Taking a moment to appreciate your accomplishment can help you maintain a positive outlook and keep your motivation high.
But it’s not just big accomplishments that deserve our gratitude; even the small things in life can be cause for celebration. Maybe you had a great conversation with a friend, or maybe you were able to help someone in need. Whatever the case may be, showing gratitude for the good things in life can help us stay focused on what’s important and lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
Don’t forget about showing gratitude to others. When someone does something nice for us, it feels good to show our appreciation. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – even a simple “thank you” can make the other person feel good and let them know that their efforts were noticed and appreciated.
Showing gratitude can also help to build and maintain relationships. When we take the time to acknowledge the things that others do for us, we are more likely to forge strong, lasting bonds with those people.
7. Say No
We all have different comfort levels when it comes to saying no. For some of us, it’s easy to say no when we don’t want to do something. Others find it more difficult.
Maybe we don’t want to disappoint someone, or we feel like we have to say yes because we don’t want to seem rude. Whatever the reason, learning how to say no can be very useful. It can help us to set boundaries and protect our time and energy.
Here are a few tips:
- First, know your limits. If you’re already stretched thin, it’s okay to say no to additional commitments.
- Be direct. Don’t make excuses or give long explanations. Just say no.
- Offer an alternative. If you can’t do what the person is asking, see if there’s something else you can do instead.
- Say yes to yourself first. Prioritize your own needs and wants. It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.
Learning to say no can be difficult, but it’s worth it. It will help you set boundaries and avoid burnout. Next time someone asks you to do something you don’t have time for, don’t be afraid to speak up and say no.
8. Be Present
One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to be more present in your life. It’s easy to get caught up in the past or worrying about the future, but living in the present moment is key to happiness and peace of mind.
In our constantly-connected world, it’s more important than ever to learn how to be present in the moment. Whether you’re spending time with family, friends, or simply taking a few moments for yourself, being fully present can help reduce stress, improve your relationships, and increase your overall satisfaction with life. Here are a few simple tips to help you be more present in your life:
- Put away your phone. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how often we mindlessly reach for our phones when we’re bored or have a spare moment. Next time you find yourself reaching for your phone, try putting it away and simply enjoying the moment.
- Be mindful of your surroundings. When you’re talking to someone, really listen to what they’re saying instead of letting your mind wander. When you’re out for a walk, take notice of the sights and sounds around you. The more aware you are of your surroundings, the more present you’ll be able to be.
- Practice meditation or mindfulness. If it’s hard for you to quiet your mind, try practicing meditation or mindfulness. A few minutes of mindfulness each day can help you become more comfortable with being in the moment and better able to focus when you need to.
With practice, anyone can learn to be more present in their life. By being mindful of your thoughts and surroundings and making an effort to put away distractions, you can start enjoying the benefits of living in the moment today.
9. Get Outside
A lot of times, we can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget to appreciate the simple things. One way we can be more intentional is to make a point to get outside more often.
Spend time in nature, go for a walk in the park, or simply sit on your front porch and watch the world go by. Breathe in the fresh air and take a moment to appreciate all that surrounds you. Let the worries of the day melt away and just be present in the moment.
When you take time to connect with nature, you can’t help but feel more grounded and centered. You may even find that you have a newfound appreciation for life and all it has to offer.
10. Declutter Your Living Space
Most people don’t realize how much of an impact their physical environment has on their mood and stress levels. Your home should be a haven, a place where you can relax and feel at peace.
But when it’s cluttered and disorganized, it can have the opposite effect. A cluttered space is a constant reminder of all the things you have to do and all the ways you’re falling behind. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed.
That’s why it’s so important to declutter on a regular basis. Not only will it make your space more pleasant to be in, but it will also help you to feel more calm and in control.
11. Put Yourself Together
Every day, we face a barrage of choices: what to wear, what to eat, how to spend our time. And while some may see this as a burden, I view it as an opportunity. Making thoughtful choices about how I spend my time and energy is a way of taking control of my life and my happiness.
When I take the time to get dressed in the morning, I feel more put-together and confident throughout the day. Likewise, planning ahead for healthy meals gives me the energy I need to power through my afternoon workouts.
Of course, there are days when I just want to lounge around in my sweats and eat whatever is easy. And every once in a while I do. But I also try to remember that taking care of myself is a way of showing myself respect and compassion.
By making deliberate choices about how I live my life, I am putting my needs first—and that makes all the difference.
12. Have a Morning Routine
A Morning routine doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It could be a simple as getting up and getting yourself dressed. However, I do encourage you to have something you look forward to every morning, especially if you have a hard time getting out of bed.
Add something special to your routine, like a morning cup of tea or coffee. It could be a podcast you put on while getting ready.
My son created his own playlist of songs he liked. We’d listen to it on the ride to school and it always pumped him up and got him in a good mood.
Find your thing and enjoy it. It’s a great way to get you ready for the rest of your day of intention.
13. Have an Evening Routine
A morning routine is what gets you started off on the right foot and an evening routine is what’s going to calm you down and get you ready for a great night’s sleep.
After a long day of work, the last thing you want to do is spend hours getting ready for bed. However, having an evening routine can be beneficial in many ways. First, it can help you wind down and relax after a busy day. Whether you take a warm bath or simply read a few pages of your favorite book, taking some time for yourself can help you ease into sleep mode.
An evening routine can also help you stay on track with your goals. If you have been meaning to start working out or eating healthier, using the time before bed to workout or prep healthy meals can help you get ahead of your goals.
Having an evening routine can simply make you feel more organized and in control. Knowing what you need to do to get ready for bed each night can help reduce stress and give you a sense of peace as you head into dreamland. So, even if it feels like a chore at first, setting aside some time each night to establish an evening routine can be well worth the effort.
14. Get Enough Sleep
Most people know that getting enough sleep is important, but few realize just how essential it is for overall health and well-being. When we sleep, our bodies are able to rest and repair themselves, preparing for the demands of the coming day.
Sleep also helps improve mood, memory, concentration and plays a role in regulating hormones and metabolism. In short, getting enough sleep is crucial for physical and mental health.
Most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. However, the amount of sleep that someone needs can vary depending on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
If you’re feeling tired during the day, it’s a good idea to take a nap or go to bed early. Getting enough rest is an important part of leading a healthy life.
15. Drink Enough Water
It’s no secret that water is essential for our health. Every cell in our bodies needs water to function properly, and yet so many of us don’t drink enough of it every day.
Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. In the long term, it can lead to more serious problems like kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
So how much water should we be drinking? The answer depends on a number of factors, including our activity level and the climate we live in. However, a good rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water a day.
If you find it hard to remember to drink that much, carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. If you are one of those people who find water to be really boring then kick it up a notch with some fun add-ins. Before you know it, drinking enough water will become second nature.
16. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Obviously, fruits and vegetables are good for you. They’re packed with nutrients and vitamins that can help boost your immune system, improve your digestion, and even help keep your skin looking healthy. But sometimes it can be hard to get enough fruits and vegetables into your diet.
One way to make sure you’re getting enough is to eat a wide array of colors. By choosing a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, you’ll be getting a variety of different nutrients.
And don’t forget – frozen fruit and vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh, so stock up your freezer when you see a good sale. Not sure how to use up frozen fruit and veggies? Here are some great super yummy frozen fruit and frozen vegetable recipes for you to try.
With a little effort, you can make sure you’re getting the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
17. Spend Less Time on Social Media
It’s no secret that spending too much time on social media can be bad for your mental health. Constant comparisons to other people’s highlight reels can lead to feelings of inadequacy, while the constant stream of news and negativity can cause anxiety and stress.
If you find yourself spending hours scrolling through your Facebook feed or refreshing your Twitter timeline, it might be time to take a break. Instead, try focusing on positive activities that make you feel good, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing a hobby, or getting outside in nature. You’ll likely find that you’re happier and more productive when you spend less time on social media.
18. Spend Less Time Watching TV
I’m not going to tell you to stop watching TV entirely. That’s unrealistic and, let’s be honest, a little bit boring. However, I do think it’s important to be mindful of the amount of time you spend in front of the television.
Too much television can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It can also make it difficult to focus and concentrate.
If you find yourself zoning out in front of the TV for hours on end, it might be time to cut back. Instead, try spending more time doing physical activity that gets your heart rate up and gets you moving. Not only is it good for your health, but it’s also a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood.
19. Be Intentional at Work
It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and become stuck in a rut at work. One way to stay motivated and engaged with your job is to be intentional about your work.
Set specific goals for yourself and make a plan for how you will achieve them. Take time to connect with your co-workers and build relationships with them. And, when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a step back and refocus on your goals.
By being intentional about your work, you can create a more positive and productive work environment for yourself and those around you.
20. Be Intentional with Your Relationships
We all have relationships – with our friends, family, co-workers, and classmates. And we all know how important these relationships are.
They give us a sense of belonging, support, and love. But what we may not realize is that we have a choice in how we show up in our relationships. We can choose to be intentional.
Intentional relationships are created by being present and engaged with the other person. We listen more than we talk, and we make an effort to understand the other person’s point of view. We also communicate openly and honestly, sharing our thoughts and feelings in a way that is respectful.
When we are intentional in our relationships, we create a deeper connection with the other person. And that connection can make all the difference in the world.
21. Learn and Use Proper Communication Skills
Good communication is essential for successful relationships, whether you’re communicating with a colleague, friend, or family member. To communicate effectively, you need to be able to express yourself clearly.
When you’re able to communicate well, you’ll find it easier to resolve conflict, build trust, and collaborate with others.
Always remember that effective communication is a two-way street. In order to truly connect with others, we need to be willing to listen as well as speak.
22. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Whether you’re scrolling through social media or walking down the street, it’s hard not to feel inadequate when you see someone who seems to have it all together.
But here’s the thing: everyone has their own unique story. You don’t know what someone else has been through in their life, so it’s unfair to compare your own journey to theirs. Plus, comparison is a surefire way to breed jealousy and resentment.
Instead of wasting your time and energy envying others, focus on your own life and what makes you happy. When you learn to appreciate your own experiences, you’ll be much happier and more content.
You have your own unique talents and gifts to offer the world. So instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be.
23. Stop Comparing Others to Others
It’s not just ourselves we compare to others. We often compare our kids and partners as well.
Whether it’s their academic achievements, their physical abilities, or their behavior, it’s all too easy to hold your kids up against someone else’s and find them wanting. It’s important to focus on your own child’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and help them to develop to the best of their abilities.
If you’re in a relationship, it’s only natural to compare your partner to other people’s partners. After all, it’s human nature to want to know how our own relationships stack up against the relationships of others.
However, constantly comparing your partner to other people’s partners can be damaging to your relationship. It can foster a sense of competition between you and your partner, and it can lead you to focus on the ways in which your partner falls short.
Instead of comparing your partner to other people’s partners, try to focus on the qualities that make your partner unique and special. Appreciate the things that make your relationship different from other relationships, and cherish the things that make your partner one-of-a-kind.
24. Make Time for Yourself
Self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary. When we take care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others. We have more patience, more compassion, and more energy.
We all need to make self-care a priority. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just taking a few minutes each day to do something for yourself can make a world of difference. So go ahead and treat yourself to a new book, a warm bath, or a walk in the park. You deserve it!
25. Simple Stress Relief
Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. There are lots of things you can do to manage stress and keep it from getting the best of you.
First, it’s important to identify your triggers. What brings on your stress? Once you know what sets you off, you can try to avoid those situations or be prepared with a plan for how to deal with them.
Finding healthy ways to cope with stress is important. Exercise, journaling, or spending time with friends and family are some ways to de-stress. Meditation or breathing techniques are simple ways to beat stress.
Everyone handles stress differently, so experiment until you find what works for you. Then make sure to use the techniques that help you.
26. Acknowledge Your Emotions
It’s important to learn how to manage your emotions. If you can’t control your emotions, they will control you. That can lead to all sorts of problems, like making impulsive decisions, lashing out at people, and acting out in destructive ways.
When you’re in the grip of strong emotions, it’s hard to think clearly or make rational decisions. That’s why it’s important to learn how to manage your emotions. There are a few things you can do to help with that.
- First, get in touch with your feelings. Acknowledge them and label them.
- Second, understand that your emotions are just reactions to what’s going on around you – they’re not necessarily accurate reflections of reality.
- Third, practice some self-compassion. Be patient and understanding with yourself when you’re going through a tough time.
- Lastly, don’t try to suppress your emotions – that usually just makes them come out even stronger later on. Instead, try to express them in healthier ways, like talking about them with a friend or writing about them in a journal.
Like the idea of journaling but don’t know how to start? Journal prompts can be a really helpful way to get yourself writing.
27. Be Intentional with Your Purchases
It’s so easy to get caught up in the latest trends and fads. We see something on Instagram or Pinterest and suddenly we have to have it.
But before you hit “add to cart,” it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if this is a truly necessary purchase. Is it something that you will use often? Is it high quality so that it will last? Is it ethically and sustainably made?
By taking the time to consider your purchases, you can avoid buyer’s remorse and wastefulness. So next time you’re about to make a purchase, ask yourself: is this really worth my money?
28. Be Intentional with Your Money
Have you ever stopped to think about where your money goes each month? If not, you’re not alone. In fact, most people don’t give much thought to their spending habits. However, if you’re not intentional with your money, it’s easy to let it slip through your fingers without even realizing it.
There are a few simple steps you can take to become more mindful of your spending.
- First, track your expenses for one month so you can see where your money is going.
- Then, create a budget and stick to it. Daily spending adds up fast so keep that in mind.
- Finally, make saving a priority by setting aside money each month to reach your financial goals.
By taking these steps, you can take control of your finances and use your money in a way that aligns with your values and goals.
29. Be Intentional with Your Time
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but some people always seem to have more time on their hands than others. How do they do it?
The answer is simple: they’re intentional about their time. In other words, they make a conscious effort to use their time wisely. They plan their days and weeks in advance, and they make sure to schedule time for both work and play. They say no to commitments that don’t aligned with their goals, and they don’t waste time on distractions like social media.
As a result, they’re able to accomplish more and enjoy life more. If you want to be more intentional with your time, start by taking a close look at how you currently spend your days. Identify areas where you could cut back, and make a plan for how you’ll use your time differently.
You may not be able to add more hours to the day, but you can definitely make the most of the hours you have.
30. Be Aware of Your Ecological Footprint
We all have an ecological footprint, and it’s important to be aware of what yours is. Your ecological footprint is the impact you have on the environment. It’s the sum of all the resources you consume, including water, food, energy, furniture, clothing, etc. It also includes the waste you produce and the pollution you create.
There is always something you can do to reduce yours. Consider recycling more, composting, driving less, eating less meat, and using less water, swapping out single use items for sustainable versions.
Every little bit helps! So take a look at your ecological footprint and see where you can reduce your impact on the planet.
Intentional Living Will Change Your Life
Intentional living is all about being purposeful and deliberate in your actions. It’s about understanding why you do what you do, and making sure that your actions align with your values and goals.
Living intentionally doesn’t mean that you have to have everything figured out – it just means that you’re conscious of your choices and working towards something that matters to you.
What are some of the ways you are intentional in your day-to-day life? Let’s chat about it in the comments section below!