Are you trying to gain clarity in a fast-paced world filled with distractions? Are mindfulness and intentional living something you are actively pursuing this year?
It’s time for us to reflect on how we have been spending our time and how we have achieved our goals.
This article will tell you all about what does intentional living really means, the benefits of it, and most importantly, the actions that help you to gain clarity in life.
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What is Intentional Living?
Looking back to your past year, can you recall what you have achieved, and what you are most proud of? Have you taken care of all of your needs in life, and made progress to your new year’s resolutions in the past year?
We are always trying to get things done. More often than not, we are so focused on working on one thing and moving on to the next. It’s so easy to forget what we are really pursuing, what we really wanted to do, and what we were hoping to achieve. We may then make choices or take actions out of habit or routine, or even the views of others, without knowing why we have to make these choices.
Most of the time, we might forget about certain aspects of our lives. We can be very focused on our intellectual growth and forgot about how physical health is equally, if not more, important to us. Or, we may be so used to taking care of people around us that we forget about our own needs.
In short, intentional living is living in accordance with our own beliefs and values. It’s about identifying our own values in different aspects of our lives and consciously spending each and every minute of our lives based on these values. It is about being conscious of every choice that we make and committing to making decisions that are in line with our beliefs.
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Why Do We Need to Achieve Intentional Living?
By encouraging you to take a moment to think about the decisions that we make and the acts that we do, intentional living will allow you to…
- identify the direction you want in life and find confidence in it
- have control over your life and spend time on things that you feel good about
- find the motivation to wake up every day and work on things that you truly want
- find clarity in your life and every decision that your make
- stay mindful and live in the present, and say goodbye to anxiety, confusion, and frustration
- identify the habits that are constructive to your goals
- be able to take care of all different aspects of your lives, including emotional and physical health
- set boundaries and learn to say no to things that are not suitable for you
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The 4-Step Guide to Intentional Living
Excited about starting a journey of intentional living? Here are five steps that can help you find clarity in your life.
1. Identify Your Values and Beliefs
Before we start getting into how we can live in accordance with our values, the first step would be to identify them first. Identifying your values is like finding your priorities – you need to figure out what is truly important to you.
This can be done by first identifying different aspects of your life. This could include the following dimensions:
2. Develop Routines and Good Habits
Living intentionally is about living your values on a daily basis. There is nothing more important than reminding yourself what your values are each and every day to help you act on them.
While there are lots of morning routine ideas out there, your morning routine should really be customized to suit your needs.
For example, if you prioritize your emotional health, you may wish to spend time with yourself and perhaps meditate in the morning. If you would like to focus on your relationships with others, you may wish to connect and get in touch with someone in the morning to start your day.
So how your morning routine is should depend on your life values and beliefs. You can start with your Life Directions and brainstorm activities that are constructive to your goals in each aspect of your life and that you would like to do first thing in the morning.
These acts will not only be one way to help you get closer to attaining your goals but also be a reminder of how you should act throughout the day.
In short, your morning routine acts as your daily dose of energy that motivates you to live according to your beliefs each day.
3. Make Plans and Live with Purpose
To gain control over your life, you need to gain control over your time. How you spend your time each day reflects how you live your life.
As you plan your day every morning or the night before, you can take the time to think about how you could better spend your time in order to do what is constructive to your life goals.
This is especially important you would like to have a balanced, healthy, and fruitful life. It is key to helping you achieve new goals and habits.
When you are making your weekly plans and daily plans, ask yourself these questions:
- Which life goals should I focus on?
- How can I work towards my life goals?
- Is there anything I should avoid?
4. Reflect on Your Life by Journaling
Yes, we are talking about journaling again. But there is a reason why almost every self-help book promotes this.
Intentional living and mindfulness revolve around the idea of self-awareness. Self-awareness means being aware of yourself, and different aspects of yourself, including your behaviours and feelings. In other words, you need to observe what you are doing and what you are thinking.
How can you observe your own actions and thoughts? There is no better way than writing them down.
There are different journaling techniques that you can try, for example:
(1) Setting a timer and just writing down your thoughts
The first way of doing this would be taking a fixed amount of time to write down your thoughts. You can set a timer, say, for 10 minutes, and write down whatever you want in that 10 minutes.
This 10-minute session is a time for just yourself. If you don’t know what to write in the middle of it, you can just write “I don’t know what to write anymore”. The gist of this exercise is to just let your thoughts flow and write down whatever is in your mind.
(2) Using prompts to inspire your thoughts
Using journal prompts is also a very helpful way of reflecting on your life and guiding you to adopt a positive mindset. With specific questions and topics for you to write on, it will help you explore thoughts and ideas that you have never come across before.
This is especially helpful if you are just starting to write but are not sure how to begin. It also helps you to focus on things that matter to you with a positive perspective.