Personal Growth

4 Practices To Help You Start Living Intentionally

If COVID-19 has taught us anything over these last few weeks and months, it’s allowed us to redefine how we live our lives. Everyone’s lives have been turned on their head, with people out of work or working from home for the first time in their lives. Being apart from loved ones. Or even stuck with loved ones on a daily basis. The way we all live our lives has been changed. And I think one good thing to come from this is how it’s allowed us to start living intentionally.

Living Intentionally

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING good about COVID-19. It’s caused far too much stress and heartbreak. But I’ve always been an optimist and I always tend to try and look for the good in every situation. So what do I mean, when I say that this period of life has allowed us to start living intentionally?

Well firstly, we need to define what living intentionally actually means. In short, it means;

“Having an aim, a plan or something that you want”.

Living intentionally means quite simply that you do things with intention. You know what you want. You have a vision for how you want to live your life. And you take actions to make that happen. Most, if not all, of your actions align with your beliefs and you show up for yourself and your beliefs on a daily basis.

Why is it important to start living intentionally?

Living intentionally isn’t an over night job if it’s not something that you’re used to practicing. In fact, I don’t believe anyone can live 100% intentionally, 100% of the time. Life just doesn’t work like that, does it? I think the current climate has taught us that more than anything.

But for the sake of your own well-being and personal growth, it’s so important to at least TRY and start living intentionally. And adopting some practices into your daily life which will allow you to do that. Which we’ll get too in just a moment! So why is it important to start living intentionally?

  • It’ll help you get a clearer idea on your vision for how you want to live your life
  • It’ll help you start living in the moment
  • It’ll help you realise what you really want and want you really love and allow you to drop anything you don’t
  • It’ll have a positive impact on your daily life and in the future
  • It’ll help you stop making mindless decisions

As you can see, these are all really important things which living intentionally can help you work towards. When you live intentionally, you learn that all your actions and decisions matter. And every decision you make can potentially take you further to where you want to be in your life.

When you realise all your decisions matter… you start making better decisions. 

Are you ready to start living intentionally? Here are some tips to help you get started:

Intentional Living

Define or redefine your values and beliefs

If we know WHAT we want, we’ll be much clearer on what we need to do (and not do) in order to get there. So if we’re floating through life unclear on our values or beliefs, then it’s highly unlikely that we won’t be living intentionally and not even realise it. What are your core values? What are your main priorities in life? What do you believe in? Like, truly believe in? What do you WANT from your life? All hard but necessary questions to answer.

Slow down and stop multitasking

Living intentionally is all about getting out of that autopilot mode, which, let’s be honest, more of us are in these days! The easiest way to do this is by slowing the F down. And to definitely stop multitasking. Most of the tasks we rush through throughout the day aren’t urgent. They’re not a matter of life or death. And we could all do with slowing down a bit and savoring our days rather than rushing through them.

Set regular goals

This ties in nicely with the first point about evaluating your beliefs and values. And a great way to reach those beliefs, values and ultimately what we want from life is by setting goals to get there. I’m a huge goal person. I bloody LOVE a goal. And I make sure to set myself monthly as well as yearly goals of things I want to work towards. Financial goals, blogging goals, fitness goals. Even relatively minor goals like “complete Spyro the Dragon”.

Get offline for a while

Life exists away from the internet. Twitter isn’t real life. Pinterest isn’t what you’re seeing when you look out of your window or when you’re on holiday. I love the internet – it’s provided so many people with so much good. But you have to remember that your life – your ACTUAL living breathing life – isn’t what you post on Instagram. It’s what’s happening to you right now. It’s the smells you can smell. The tastes you can taste. Remember the value of being offline.

Need a bit of a helping hand with living intentionally? I’ve created a free 30 day intentional living challenge for you try! Each day contains one easy task which will help you start living intentionally, even just for a moment!

By implementing these strategies into your day to day life, you’ll notice that you’ll start to making more intentional decisions. Is what you’re doing NOW helping you to where you want to be? In 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? Is the choices you’re making today helping you towards the life you want to live?

This all sounds very strict and dramatic and by all means, I am not saying that by living intentionally you can’t have fun or clown around or chill out. But by living intentionally, you’ll be much more aware of what you need and when.

For example, when practicing Yoga, instead of muscling straight in to the flows and the vinyasas, you’ll find yourself thinking, “okay, what does my body REALLY need right now?” And you’ll provide yourself with what you NEED, rather than what external factors are telling you you need.

Where am I in my intentional living journey?

Well actually, since being at home so much due to COVID-19, I’ve found I’ve been living much more intentionally. I’m not sure whether that’s because I’ve got more time on my hands or because I’ve got less plans (well, no plans!) and less to think about. But it’s definitely helped me incorporate these strategies into my life which I can hopefully continue with long after the Coronavirus is over.

I’m slowing down. I’m taking much more time over each task, rather than powering through everything just to tick it off a to-do list. I’m clearer on my vision than I’ve ever been. I know exactly what I need to do moving forward with my blog and I’ve actively taken steps to get there. I’m also listening to my body more than ever. I’m exercising more. But I’m also practicing much more self care both for my body and my mind.

I still have a long way to go. That’s the thing, it’s a journey and an ever-changing process. But the act of living intentionally has started to change my life and I’m all for it! Do you do any of the practices mentioned in this post? Do you want to start living more intentionally?

How To Live Intentionally

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108 Comments

  1. Charity says:

    These are all such great tips for living intentionally. Thanks for sharing them. So Important to live intentionally. Especially during these crazy times.

    1. Absolutely 🙂

  2. I think being at home has really helped me to be more intentional. Instead of rushing from one place or the other I do really have time to accomplish some of my goals that I always put off. Love this post x

    Brynn I https://www.brynnie.com

    1. I totally agree, I’m the same! Thank you 🙂

  3. aimsysantics says:

    This is fab! I couldn’t agree more with everything you have written in this post. Yes, it is so good to have a goal and work towards meeting it, but equally important to take time for yourself and switch off. I have definitely been trying to live more intentionally this past year, and I guess this whole situation we are in puts a lot into perspective, doesn’t it? As much as it is good to work hard, it is also important to live in the moment, that’s when your best memories are formed!

    Thanks for the added motivation!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    1. Oh it totally has. Both are equally important – it’s all about that balance! x

  4. Great post ! Love the idea of stepping away from the internet for awhile. Even the most fun apps need some time apart. Thanks for a great read !

    1. Totally agree! Social media will be there when you get back 🙂

  5. These are really useful tips! I always try to take time offline, but I should think about the others more. Thank you! ☺️

    1. You’re welcome! I try and have one social media free day a week!

  6. I like this. I feel it’s important to try and always be a bit more mindful, it’s so easy to get caught up in everything and forget why we’re even doing anything.
    I sat and properly drank a cup of tea yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve done it in the longest time, but focusing on the tea, and the peace, and stopping and just breathing for a while, it felt so good.
    Cora | https://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    1. Ahh that sounds so lovely! I read that just as I’m chugging my tea whilst replying to comments so clearly need to take my own advice on that one!

  7. sarah says:

    Working from home the last two months made me slow down a lot and fake more time for myself xx

    1. That’s great to hear!

  8. Great post Jenny! I think at the beginning of lockdown I was a bit all over the place in terms of the direction I wanted to go in. But the longer that we’ve been inside for the more I’m starting to set goals and live intentionally. I think it was just a case of getting used to the new, temporary way of life x

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

    1. I think I’m the same too! When lockdown first hit I took a 2 week blogging and work break because I felt frazzled!

  9. Like you, I try to find the positive in every situation. For me, this whole period of time has forced me to take a step back and slow down. I’m one of those people who is always on the go. With everything being cancelled and shut down, I am suddenly at home relaxing with my husband and our pets every evening and weekend. While it’s taken some getting used to, I have really learned to appreciate this quality time. Moving forward, I am going to have to be more aware of the commitments that I take on and how they impact my family time.

    1. That’s amazing that this situation has taught you so much already!

  10. It’s so easy to let life pass you by. I think goal setting is crucial for staying grounded in the moment. Thanks for a great post

    1. I agree. I cannot cope without goals!

  11. This post is so important, I’m all for living in the moment and being mindful which I think really helps me to have a perspective and live ‘intentionally’ 🙂

    1. That’s great to hear!

  12. This is such a thoughtful post. 50% of my time during this lockdown was spent in my phone. I think I need some social media detoxing now. It’s scary how the virus spreads so easily from one person to the other. I think we all should start living intentionally now. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh gosh I agree, I need to spend more time away from my phone too!

  13. Such a thought provoking post, Jenny. I am one of life’s multi-taskers and I have to say it leaves me frazzled sometimes. I don’t really have any clear goals as such, apart from trying to support Flora as best we can at this time. That, and keep on top of everything else that needs doing alongside work and home! I’d like to think that when things get back onto more of an even keel I can take some time out to reassess my priorities though – fingers crossed! xxx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    1. It’ll settle down for you! I think supporting a child is a pretty big and important goal to be honest though! 🙂

  14. Great ideas! I recently read an article about this and stopped multitasking and it made such a difference! Everything seems so much less chaotic when you take it one task at a time. Lovely post 🙂

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    1. It really does! You often get more done in a better manner too!

  15. Sarah Pritchard says:

    I love this and it really resonates with me. Since all this craziness started I’ve definitely been doing more intentional living. I have a to do list because I like to tick things off (and I have a terrible memory) but on the list of things to do are the things that are going to get me to the life I want to live. Thanks for sharing x

    1. I’m exactly the same! I love my to-do lists and the act of ticking things off is so satisfying!

  16. Being offline has really made a huge difference to my mental health and also the way I am going about life in general. My phone today told me I was 50% down on my phone usage compared to last week and I love knowing that the time I would have wasted has now been used much more productively.

    Great post Jenny x

    1. That’s AMAZING! I was told I was 6% up so I’m kicking myself a bit!

  17. I love your 20-day challenge! It’s a great way to get started. This was a great read and loved reading about your experiences with living intentianally. Thanks so much for sharing your experiances and tips!

    Kadie | A Story About A Girl & The Great Canadian Housewife

    1. Thank you!

  18. I don’t think I’d ever heard of living intentionally before reading this post so I’m glad to have learnt something new! I’m definitely going to give the challenge a go. I think my main focus is to really slow down, I’m terrible for thinking everything has to be done as soon as possible when it probably isn’t all that important. Great post Jenny!

    1. Good luck with the challenge!

  19. This was so interesting to read! I couldn’t agree more about going offline. Especially with being a blogger it’s so easy to get sucked into that routine of posting all the time and constantly taking photos for the wrong reasons but now I really try to just live in the moment and if it feels right to post afterwards then I do. I want my memories to be for me if that makes sense rather than feeling like I have to share for everyone else. Time away from social media can do so much good xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. I totally agree with you. Living online definitely doesn’t help and the constant pressure to be online and active all the time1

  20. Love this! Thanks for the great tips, advice and workbook. Definitely something I am trying to do more of every day!xx

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

  21. Thanks for the great tips and prompts. This is definitely something I have been trying to incorporate into my life! x

  22. I agree with this! I want to start living intentionally and these are really good tips. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome!

  23. This is so necessary, but very difficult to do. I am challenged to try your 20-day intentional living and see how far I can get. The great intention is to make all these great ideas habitual. Let’s see how I do and maybe I can give you an update on my progress. Thanks, Ms. Jenny!

    1. Good luck with the challenge! Let me know how you get on!

  24. Such a great post Jenny! I’m so with you on everything you brought up. Spending time away from social media and your phone is something I’m really trying to do from time to time. But you know sometimes it’s hard when you have a blog and really want to work on it and make it grow.. But I do think I’ve found a good strategy as a travel blogger where I explore and travel in the moment (taking some time of, maybe posting on Instagram) and then afterwards work on all the travel content over a longer period of time. Living in the present and not through your phone is so important! x

    1. It’s really hard but it’s important to find a strategy that works for you! No blogger has to be online 100% of the time 🙂 x

  25. Loved reading about your experience with this! I definitely think it’s something we should all work towards. Having clear goals and assessing your beliefs and values is something we should all try to do. It makes everything so much clearer and really helps your progress moving forward x

    Sophie

    1. It really does 🙂 Thank you x

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