Lately, I’ve been taking the time to live my life intentionally. Now, some of you might wonder what does that mean? Intentional living means living a life on purpose. It means choosing to live consciously and according to your own values or beliefs. This can mean different things for different people. For example, you can choose to only shop sustainable clothing brands, or do a no-buy year in order to reach your self-improvement goals. Here are six ways you can stop just going through the motions and start living your life with intention.
1. Look at your belongings with intention
For many of us, shopping can be a coping mechanism. Shopping gives us an instant shot of endorphins that makes us happy. But then, once we bring home the items, open the electronics, hang up the clothes, then it all loses its magic. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your stuff, though, it does, however, mean that you should start to look at your belongings and truly decide if they serve a purpose or if they bring you joy. If your stuff just takes up space and doesn’t serve any purpose or bring you joy, then it’s time to reevaluate them.
Shopping with intention can also make you live a life with purpose. Every day, we are constantly bombarded by consumerism. It’s in the ads, commercials, our favorite YouTube videos, between Instagram posts… Consumerism is everywhere and we’re constantly being asked to buy something. Deciding what you truly need to buy is a step towards living intentionally.
2. Do less
This may sound like the polar opposite of what we’ve been told to do our whole lives. Society has told us that it’s important to have a long to-do list every day. But rest and recovery are incredibly essential for our bodies and minds. When we keep going despite exhaustion, it can lead to burnout. Learning how to say no and set boundaries can help with this. We do not have to fill up our day with things that we need to do or that others need us to do. It’s important to take time for yourself.
3. Be present and slow down
Be present when performing all your tasks. Moreover, slowing down can really help you live your life intentionally. Enjoy a cup of coffee, taste each bite of the food you eat, take some time and notice your surroundings. It will truly change the way you look at things.
4. Take some distraction-free time
Find time to step away from technology. Most of us have been distracted by our phones on multiple occasions while trying to focus. Our phones and technology are a mindless habit and a black hole of boredom. Set aside some time to turn off all technology and focus on yourself or spend time with others. Finding a space to meditate, going for a walk, or reading a book are all great ways for getting away from technology for a bit.
5. Set goals
Sometimes we set big life goals such as getting married, owning our own home, going to college, or having a career without truly thinking about them. You should start taking the time to think about each goal and how it affects what you want to achieve in your life. Setting fewer goals instead of having dozens without a clear mindset is another way that can help you with that.
I used to have so many goals and when I didn’t complete all of them, I would get upset with myself and see myself as a failure. The problem was that is, I was setting unrealistic goals for myself without intention. I realized that any time I set a goal, I need to sit down and think about why I was setting it in the first place and if it fits into the life I’ve envisioned for myself. If not, then the goal should not be set.
6. Live for yourself, not others
Stop comparing yourself to others. When you take time to learn more about your goals and live your life with purpose, you start to look more inward than at others. Oftentimes, we compare ourselves to others and assume that someone else has it better than we do. We believe that they have a picture-perfect life. However, the truth is that no one’s life is as perfect as they make it seem on Instagram. It is only a portion of what they want you to see. So, stop comparing yourself to that unattainable goal, and live your life for yourself.
Living intentionally can seem daunting at first. However, with time and patience, it will greatly improve your life. By implementing these small changes in your life, you’ll start actually living each day to the fullest rather than just surviving.