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How to Live an Intentional Life
There's a lot of talk about intentional living. But what does it really mean? Intentional living is living with purpose and making decisions that support that purpose. It's the opposite of what most people do. Most people are satisfied with the status quo and only take action to deal with their disasters that happen along the way. Intentional living is about choosing the type of person you want to be and the type of life you want to live, and then holding yourself to it.
Try these techniques for intentional living and stop relying on luck:
Understand that choices matter. An intentional life is all about making choices that make sense for you and your beliefs. Your choices determine the direction of your life and are the first step to creating the results you experience.
- Your greatest power is the power of decision.
- Your past doesn't have to be an issue. You can change how you view the world and live in a new way.
Describe your dream life. Have a target in mind. Think about how you'd like to live. Be bold and leave your limitations behind for a moment.
- Think about your ideal day. How would you spend your time? Who else would be there? Where would you live? What would your finances be like? Give it some thought.
- Know your values. A big part of intentional living is living according to your values. It's not about reacting to everything in the most expedient fashion. It's about living on your own terms. It's necessary to be intimately familiar with your values to accomplish that.
- Set goals for the major areas of your life. These typically include your finances, career, relationships, and health. Of course, you can add as many categories as you need, depending on your aspirations and values.
- Choose habits that support those goals. Intentional living is much easier with supportive habits in place. You'll run out of willpower otherwise. Pick a couple of simple, but effective habits that will help you to attain each of your goals and begin implementing them.
- Choose how you spend your time. Most of us don't give a lot of thought to what we do each day. Keeping your dreams and values in mind, what is the best thing for you to do at this moment? What do you need to accomplish today? Make choices and avoid operating on autopilot.
Gain control over your impulses. Most of our impulses lead us in the wrong direction. They're often habitual and related to pleasure or avoiding discomfort. Intentional living is about making rational decisions and following through regardless of comfort.
- Following your impulses is the opposite of intentional living.
- Reject distractions. This includes all distractions, including thoughts of the past or future. Intention require presence. Distractions are by definition things you shouldn't be doing at that moment. Even paying your bills can be a distraction if you should be doing something more important at that time.
- Measure yourself. How well did you do today at living intentionally? What challenges did you face? Where did you fall short? What can you do tomorrow even better than you did today?