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. I’m trying to do this a lot more of late – the goals are something I do already, but staying off social media and living more mindfully are things I really want to do. Just taking some time in the morning to do those things really sets me up well for the day!

    1. Having a solid morning routine really helps with this!

  2. Boss Babe Chronicles says:

    This is such a good reminder in the crazy times we’re living in. I’ve somewhat slowed down, but there is still room for improvement.

    1. There’s always room for improvement for sure!

  3. I really need to start setting monthly goals x

  4. Great post! I definitely feel like I’m on autopilot a lot, and I do need to learn to slow down so this is something I really would love to work on and improve. I do worry that I spend a lot of my time online, its partly because for my job I’m at a computer for 8 hours of the day and then I go on my normal laptop in the evening, but I do know how important it is to switch off and actually take in whats going on around us.

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

    1. I struggle with getting away from the laptop due to work too. It’s all about the balance x

  5. I did a blog post last year about a course I did, which was based entirely around learning to be more intentional. I honestly couldn’t believe I’d gone so long without thinking about the concept – it was one of those lightbulb moments where you’re like “well, duh, of course I should be doing it this way!” It completely changed my way of thinking and although I’m definitely still not where I’d like to be, my approach to life in general has shifted. I definitely need to get a bit clearer with myself though – especially with your tip of regular goals! I need to incorporate that!

    1. Oh wow a whole course about it? That sounds amazing!

  6. Amazing tips here and a great message! I feel like I’ve definitely turned a corner when it comes to living intentionally and I feel so much more sure in myself and my life plan, even if all the finer details aren’t worked out yet! I’ve come to terms with a lot of stuff I’ve been through and feel so much better. I’m so glad you took the time to write this post and are also putting these into practice, and I want to wish you all the love and positive vibes for your ongoing journey xx

    1. Awh I’m so glad to hear that about how far you’ve come xxx

  7. Joanna Journals says:

    I love this! I’ve definitely been working on this over the past few years. I find especially that having goals is a really important part of living intentionally. This way, you have something to work towards, and it makes every action you do more worthwhile. I agree with you; this time has definitely given us a chance to rethink, and I’ve found I’m appreciating the little things, like nature and my garden, more. I’m glad you’re feeling the same!

    1. Absolutely! Rather than doing things willy-nilly!

  8. I like these different things you can do to live intentionally. I am so bad with multi-tasking. I do that way too much that I might miss some specific detail in things. I totally agree with defining your values! This is what drives you as a person and your actions! Thanks for sharing! Glad you’re trying to live more intentionally :).

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. Thank you Nancy 🙂

      1. This post really really resonates with me. I want to start doing this because I zoom around 100 mph doing irrelevant tasks, when if I just slowed down more, I’d enjoy things more too.

        http://www.thekellydianereport.co.uk

      2. Hope you can take something from this post!

  9. Totally agreed 👍🏻

    1. Thank you !

  10. Hannah Louise Blog says:

    Some really good tips here! Sooo important to get offline for a little bit and experience the real world x

    1. It really is!

  11. This is a great post, and actually so needed for so many. Your tips hit the nail on the head too there’s nothing really that I could add here. But slowing down and enjoying the moment rather than always chasing the next is a big on! xxx

    Fy 💗 https://cultureeighteen.wordpress.com

    1. Oh yeah that’s such a big one for me too! I’ve always been one of those people always looking forward to the evening, to friday, to the weekend etc but I’ve completely turned that around!

  12. Such great tips! I definitely want to start living more intentionally. I’ve been working on setting goals and being more purposeful about my time. Need to work on getting offline!

    1. Great start! 🙂

  13. I love how upfront you are about not being able to live intentionally hundred percent of the time! That makes me connect with this piece so much more, because I agree; no matter how hard I try, I know I slip up sometimes, but it feels good to know I am not alone and that doing the best we can is what matters.

    1. Oh for sure. It’s impossible and it’s human nature – no need to beat yourself up about it!

  14. This is such a great post full of really helpful tips. I’ve been finding stepping away from social media has been a real help. Thanks for sharing xxx

    1. Thank you 🙂 Oh yeah me too! I try and have one social media free day a week!

  15. Thank you for this Jenny! This is something I need to work on more. I’m with you in that I’m a big time goals person. I need to have a direction in my life, something that I am working towards. Without it I feel kind of paralyzed. Thanks for the tips, I also got the 20 day challenge!

    1. Same! I get that exact same paralyzed feeling if I don’t have anything to work towards! That’s a really great way to describe it.

  16. Giulia says:

    This is a great article that I’m book marking! Sometimes you need to re-read great posts like this which. This is really inspirational for me. Thanks!

    1. Thank you 🙂 Glad it helped!

  17. I love this! I start everyday writing in my planner and setting my intentions. Helps my mind ALOT.

    Mollie | https://mollieclarke.co.uk

    1. Yesss love that!

  18. I love this idea! I’m a massive drifter with no real direction so this is a great idea. I’m definitely trying this, I’ll let you know how I get on ❤️

    1. Please do! Good luck with the challenge!

  19. adamjnew85 says:

    I will definitely be having a go at the challenge, it’s definitely something I need to do, especially as the current pandemic has somewhat sent things off track.

    Adam – http://daddoesautism.com

    1. Good luck with the challenge!

  20. Some great tips! I need to start to do this more x

    1. Thank you x

  21. Yes to this! Living intentional makes a huge difference in how you feel even through the smallest activities like eating. Lately, I’ve been appreciating my food and it seems to taste better when I genuinely sit down and just enjoy every bite.

    Natonya | https://JustNatonya.wordpress.com

    1. Yesss that’s amazing! Eating is such a huge thing for being intentional. Because we’re so often in such a rush that we just wolf our food down. I’m really trying to slow down eating too!

  22. This served as such an excellent reminder for me today, so thank you! I have definitely not done a great job of living intentionally on a day-to-day basis, but I’m going to utilize your tips to help me begin practicing this more frequently!

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad this helped 🙂

  23. Great advice for someone like me who will wander aimlessly without a plan of some sort. I’m really hoping to work on this for the next couple of months!

    1. That’s great to hear – hope these tips help!

  24. This is a great post and really inspiring!

    Thanks for this

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

  25. Boomer EcoCrusader says:

    Slowing down is such an important message. We go at such a crazy pace and sometimes it takes a crisis for the message to get through. Hopefully on the other side of this pandemic, people will start to see the value of down time.

    1. I totally agree. It’s a shame it sometimes takes something so tragic to make us realise these things though!

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