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Ever wondered how you can be more intentional with your life? Intentional living sounds like a huge undertaking, but it’s actually quite simple. Learn how you can start living intentionally with these tips.
How to Start Living Intentionally
What does intentional living mean? The answer may differ from person to person, but in general it means living a more purposeful life.
It means being more self-aware, questioning your decisions, and living with a goal or direction in mind.
It means no longer mindlessly participating in life, and instead figuring out what’s important to you and letting those principles guide your life.
Intentional Lifestyle Changes
These are the practices I incorporated into my life last year that have made a huge difference over time. It’s not a stretch to say that by doing these things regularly, I have improved my life.
The power of meal planning can be severely underestimated.
While some people are intimidated by the concept of meal planning, others may disregard it as begin unnecessary.
But it requires minimal effort and the payoff can be huge.
Meal planning allows you to stick more closely to your food budget, spend less time cooking throughout the week, waste less food, and be less stressed about food.
My meal planning process is simple, I think about what meals I will need for the week, designate recipes for those meals, and make my grocery list accordingly.
Breakfast is usually oatmeal or eggs and toast so the meal planning is less involved as far as that meal is concerned.
I usually plan to make two lunches for the week, and I like to keep them easy to cook and on the lighter side. It’s usually some combination of lean protein, vegetables, and grains.
For dinner I plan for two or three dinners because they seem to not last as long as the other meals in my household. Dinner is more often the typical home-cooked fare such as spaghetti, burgers, casserole, steak and potatoes, etc.
So, with how many meals I will need to make and my go-to recipes in mind, I create a list of meals for the week.
Then I use that to create the shopping list!
It’s very straightforward, but as someone who used to go to the store hungry, “stock up” on basically everything, and not use discretion when buying anything, practicing meal planning has been life changing.
I finally set a goal and schedule for my devotional. While the ultimate goal is for it to be a daily practice, right now it’s more of an every other day frequency. It used to just be whenever I “felt like” it or had the time.
Since making it a more regular practice I can already sense a deeper relationship with God.
If you aren’t religious, this could be time for mediation, stretching, reading a book, etc.
The point is, carving out time to focus on spiritual or religious pursuits is a small practice that you may be neglecting, even though you know it will bring more joy to your life.
Making Self-Care a Priority
I came across an online quiz once that asked something along the lines of “What Self-Care Activity Have You Done This Week?” and I couldn’t think of a time I did any of the activities on the list within the past couple of months.
It was then that I realized I had stopped making self-care a priority.
It was a huge wake up call.
To make self-care a priority, I created a list of activities that represented what self-care means to me, and I made it a goal to complete anything from the list a few times a week.
If I don’t track my efforts, I definitely catch myself slipping, but overall just being more mindful of my goal has helped me practice self-care more regularly.
I started journaling once a week, as a way to reflect upon the events of the previous week and set intentions for the upcoming one.
I start by listing the things I am grateful for that happened over the course of the week.
Then I write down any progress I’ve made on any of my goals (personal and professional).
I finish by writing down what I want to focus on or achieve in the following week.
This has helped me so much in focusing better, being more intentional, and being more productive when it comes to reaching my goals and living a purposeful life.
More Intentional Living Ideas
This year I would love the be more financially literate, eat healthier, and stick to a regular exercise routine.
While all of the changes I have incorporated recently and my goals for the future can be considered lifestyle changes, that isn’t the be all end all of intentional living.
It goes deeper than that. It involves the reasoning behind all of the changes, what they mean to me personally, and how they affect the course and direction of my life.
Start Living Intentionally
I hope my experiences have inspired you to begin your journey towards intentional living.
Living a more intentional life is a highly personalized endeavor. The only one who can live up to your full potential and purpose in life is you.
Living intentionally simply means discovering your core values and beliefs and making efforts to act upon them.
Always stay true to yourself and what motivates you, brings you joy, and fulfills you.
By keeping yourself aligned through questioning and personal growth, you can develop a greater sense of purpose to start living intentionally.