Living an Intentional Life

What does it mean to live intentionally? Living an intentional life is the opposite of living a life of chance with a lack of awareness. What are your long-term goals? Why did you decide to read this article? Why did you choose the foods that you did for your last meal? If you can’t answer these questions without giving it some thought, you’re not living intentionally. The more intentional that you live, the more gratitude you will feel in your life.

Choose to live an intentional life:

  1. Intentional living requires making decisions. You can’t have any intention without having made a decision first. Sit down and choose a direction for your life. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to own? What kind of life do you want to live? Make some choices and then choose your actions each day in accordance with those objectives.
  2. Evaluate your behavior. To live an intentional life, you must evaluate and understand yourself. Why do you do the things you do? Why do you fail to do the things you don’t do?
  • What motivates your actions each day? What makes it easy for you to express your gratitude?Are you moving toward short-term pleasure or avoiding short-term pain? Or are your actions directed toward an intentional purpose?
  • Before taking any action, ask yourself what your intention is. Are you heading toward the refrigerator to satisfy your hunger, ease your anxiety, cure your boredom, or fuel your body in a healthy manner for what lies ahead in the next few hours?
  • Evaluate all of your chosen and avoided behaviors. Learn what make you tick.
  1. Know your values and beliefs. Knowing your values and beliefs can make it easier to live intentionally. You might have the intention to live a life based on contribution, honesty, or love. Your belief that everyone should be able to read can guide your life. Giving your values and beliefs priority makes many of your formerly challenging decisions obvious.
  2. Stress important actions over easy actions. Intentional living stresses taking effective action over personal comfort. It’s about having a higher purpose than taking it easy. Continuously ask yourself, “Is this the most effective action I could be taking?”
  3. Choose your habits. Most of your habits seemed to develop on their own. It’s important to choose your habits. Habits can mask your intentions by removing the thought process from the equation. Do you have the habit of writing in a Gratitude Journal?
  4. Know your intentions for each day. You may have a broad intention of having financial freedom. A narrower intention might be to be debt-free. From there, you may have the intention of saving more money so you can pay down your debt faster. Your intention for today might be to avoid any spending that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  5. Be proactive. Is your apartment lease ending in three months? Start looking for new place. The alternative is to wait until you’re out of time. Then you have few options and you can’t really live intentionally. You’re forced to roll the dice and take whatever you can find on short notice. This is the opposite of intentional living.
  6. The key to intentional living is mindfulness in all parts of life. Mindfulness seems to be the cure for everything except the common cold.
  • Be mindful of your intentions, thoughts, actions, and goals. If you’re truly mindful, you’re already living an intentional life.

An intentional life creates more thought than an unintentional life. You must make conscious decisions and question your thoughts and actions. Seek to be more aware of your desires and choose your behaviors accordingly. Habits can be the bane of intentional living unless you chose your habits intentionally.

Be mindful and take responsibility for your results, and you’ll find that more of your results please you.

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19 Comments

  1. Susan Landry on January 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I think the hardest one is to do the important over the easy. It’s all hung up in actually taking the time to think before the action, which is hard to do. Usually I forget to think, and just act (probably because it is so easy… second nature) realizing after that I should’ve thought about this and may have chosen better. Here’s to being more intentional this year!

  2. Alana on January 2, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Strange that, when I settled in to read this, I had just gone to the fridge to get something to eat. Why? Was I truly hungry? I am doing too much in a non mindful way. I know that has to change. I’ve pinned and shared this. I can be grateful for finding this post.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      It you are mindful about it, rather I should say, when I am mindful of it, i notice I open the fridge and just look around seeing what can I eat. Not because I am hungry, just because it can be a force of habit. May 2017 help me break that habit!

  3. Amrita on January 2, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I write a weekly thankfulNess post .It’s one way of remembering the blessings. Being intentional about thoughts actions and beliefs can go a long way in self improvement.
    #Blogboost

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      I love that you do that, Amitra! What a great practice to start!

  4. Jennifer Hickey on January 2, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Excellent information. I think being mindful is the key to being grateful for things we already have which is something I try to practice every day.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Absolutely, Jennifer! without being mindful, you may not notice that things for which you are grateful! Great point!

  5. Roy A. Ackerman on January 2, 2017 at 11:27 am

    You know, i perform 99% of my daily activities with intention. but your comment about opening the fridge hit me squarely between the eyes. time to be intentional about my evening snacks.

    Thanks!

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      Along with being intentional, this morning I started out that today I will be Mindful, Focused, and disciplined. I know that I can be intentional when I grab a snack, however, that does not demonstrate discipline. Thanks for sharing, Roy.

      And thanks for pointing out the issues you received earlier with leaving a comment. I think it is resolved now.

  6. Ed Miller on January 2, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for the great ideas about what it means to live an intentional life. I agree with Susan that the hardest one is doing the important over the easy. It’s also very key to a successful life. As we work with parents, we’re all about doing the most important things. Thanks for sharing.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Yes! Although the ‘easy’ is… um.. easier to do, the important is what should be done. It sometimes can feel like a bit of an accomplishment to tick off as completed a slew of ‘easy’ tasks, yet it might just be busy work that was completed. Keep your eye on the important and work on that! Thanks, Ed!

  7. J. Ivy Boyter on January 2, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I’m just learning how to be mindful with a new mindfulness journal I received last year. It’s a really difficult thing to learn, but I need this. Not procrastinating is huge!
    Ivy B

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Being in the now, being mindful, being focused – these are all skills that you need to spend time working on and it will all get better for you! Thanks!

  8. Sumudu on January 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    You know this is something that needs to be taught to children from a young age. To live intentionally. Having been a school teacher for many years, and meeting children from all walks of life, the ones who are successful are the ones whose parents have given the children the responsibility of living their lives intentionally.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      That is a great message you share, Sumudu! To live with intention, integrity, love, gratitude… what a life that would be!

  9. Cindy on January 2, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Living with intention is something I strive for every day. I love seeing others incorporate it into their lives as well…it shows when we do (some sort of inner glow I suppose? LOL). I do not live with intention 100% of the time, but I find that when I do my life flows more peacefully and I am more centered. Nice post!

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks, Cindy!

  10. SHALINI BAISIWALA on January 2, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    This is an extremely powerful post and I truly believe universe intended me to land here as my #woty is Gratitiude!
    I have loved your clear and crisp writing with some very good advise- Intentional living is the true living.
    Cheers

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      What a great Word of The year to have, Shalini! As you can see, I have not done much on this site last year and I am slowly fitting it into my schedule to revive! Thanks for stopping by!

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