3 Ways I’m Living More Intentionally This Year
Intentional living is something I only really discovered last year. I’d read about the concept before of course, and I’d always bought into the idea of living your life on purpose, rather than following the same path as everybody else. But it was only when I started putting the idea into practice in my own life that I realised how living this way could change my happiness and wellbeing levels so dramatically. Living with intention sounds so simple, doesn’t it? It sounds like something that should come naturally to us, that it should be a completely intuitive and seamless process. But in practice it’s a lot more difficult than that. I know, because it took me years and years to create the space I needed in my life to be able to figure out what it was that I actually wanted.
And something I’m continually learning is that once you’ve figured out what it is you want, you still have to keep working at living life with intention. Because it’s so easy to slip back into old habits. It’s so easy to revert back to saying to yes every request and moving your own dreams to the bottom of your to do list. It’s so easy to convince yourself that you don’t really want your life to change, or that you’re a bad person for choosing to prioritise yourself.
And so this year I’m putting in place some clear boundaries. I’m building better habits and practices that help me to continue to live more intentionally. And I thought I’d share them with you here today, in case you could do with a little extra support too.
1) Blocking out time just for me
One of the things I’ve always been guilty of is overcommitting myself. I’m a grade A people pleaser, and as a result, I always find myself saying yes to any invite or request for help, even if I know that doing so will leave me with very little down time. But I understand how important that quiet time is for me now, both for my mental and physical health, but also to enable me to be the most creative and productive version of myself.
And so this year, I’ve been blocking out time just for me, and treating it as just as sacred as my work commitments or a friend’s birthday party. So far this looks like at least one weekend a month spent at home with minimal plans, blocking out three lunchtimes a week for a walk or a run in the fresh air, and prioritising those early nights that I know my body relies on.
2) Consuming less and creating more
I know we all spend a bit too much time on our phones these days, but I have to admit that I’m probably worse than most. I genuinely love consuming content - I love listening to podcasts and admiring people’s photography skills and reading beautifully crafted blog posts. But there came a point last year when I realised that I was consuming so much content that all of the noise was beginning to cloud my judgements and intuition.
And so this year I’ve made a simple commitment to myself - create more than I consume. Because it’s the creation that really sets my soul on fire - the writing of a blog post, the untangling of thoughts and ideas and opinions, the connection of knowing those thoughts have resonated with you in some way. And so that’s where I’ll be choosing to focus my energy this year.
3) Chasing feelings not goals
I know that I’ve written about the whole feelings not goals approach before, but I wanted to mention it again as it’s one of the best tools for helping me live more intentionally. When I’m too focussed on my goals I treat life like one big long to do list, but by focussing on how I want to feel, I find it much easier to switch out of autopilot and focus on my own purpose.
I love it because it can be applied to so many different areas of life - from choosing where we’d like to go on holiday, to thinking about the next steps in my career. Focussing on how I want to feel rather than a specific goal I want to achieve stops me from comparing myself to everybody else, and in turn, helps me live my life more intentionally.
Do you have any tips to help with intentional living?