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Living more intentionally. It sounds purposeful and appealing, but what does it mean? Many people drift through life as if they are in a trance. Living intentionally is the opposite of this. It enables you to connect with yourself in ways that will benefit you.
I’ve put together some tips to help you make a start. Applying just one or two could make a huge difference. Imagine what could happen if you applied all seven?
DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOUR HEART SING
Can you feel what I mean by that? Maybe you love nothing more than to enjoy a long hike on a summer’s day – or even in the middle of winter when the frost is heavy. If it makes you feel great, do it more often. Take time to read those books you love. Do whatever you feel passionate about. What would that mean for you?
Make a list – it could include big and small things – and make sure you tick off a few each week (or each day, if you can). I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.
IDENTIFY THE THINGS YOU DO THAT AREN’T TRUE TO YOU AND REPLACE THEM WITH THINGS THAT ARE
This could be going to the gym each day even though you dislike it. Ditch the gym membership and find a form of exercise you truly love instead. Maybe it will be walking the dog, where you can enjoy a long walk together and still get exercise.
It could be something as major as your job. It may not be easy to change jobs, let alone careers, but that doesn’t make it impossible. And if you live an intentional life, it means intentionally choosing work that makes you happy, and you will thrive and succeed in.
BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR FEELINGS EACH DAY
It’s easy to power through our days without paying attention to our feelings. This is one reason why we can so easily begin to feel depressed or simply out of sorts. Paying attention to our feelings allows us to change the things that are dragging us down. You can intentionally do something about them.
LEARN FROM YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
We’ve all heard of positive thinking. It is certainly preferable to negative thinking. Living intentionally enables you to identify negative thoughts when they stray into your mind, instead of dwelling on them. It takes hard work and practice, but it pays off. Getting rid of negative thoughts and adopting positive ones instead can relieve stress, make you happier, and make it far easier to live intentionally in the very best way. Learn more about how mindfulness can help reduce internal chatter.
TUNE IN TO YOUR INNER VOICE
What is your inner voice like? Is it supportive, or does it criticise everything you do? If you were given a project at work, what would your likely reaction be? Would you think ‘I can’t handle this, I’m not good enough’? Or would it be ‘okay, I can do this, let’s get started’?
Your inner voice can bring you down. Or it can build you up and nurture and support you. If you intentionally listen to that inner voice, you can silence it whenever it strays into negative territory. It takes time to learn how to replace it with a more positive inner voice, but it’s well worth the effort.
SLIMLINE YOUR LIFE
What do I mean by this? Well, many of us amass possessions like there’s no tomorrow. But have you ever noticed how much lighter and happier you feel when you have a good clear-out at home? It feels great, doesn’t it?
Think about doing this in other areas of your life, too. Do you buy home exercise equipment with good intentions and then never use it? Give it to someone who would love it. Focus on reducing your need for material possessions. Here's 5 ways that de-cluttering helps to clear your mind.
CONNECT WITH PEOPLE YOU TRULY LOVE
Most of us have one or two people in our lives who drain us of energy. Maybe someone in your life popped into your head as you read that. An intentional life is all about making positive decisions that will benefit your life. You deserve to be happy, and if someone (whether it is a friend or relative) is holding you back and draining you every time you are near them, you might question whether that relationship should continue.
A negative person, someone who lies or cheats, or has a negative effect on you physically, emotionally, or spiritually is not someone who is deserving of your time. Try connecting only with the people you truly love and who love you. You’ll be amazed how much lighter you will feel.
Living an intentional life can be done in many ways. How will you begin to live your life more intentionally – and what results could you enjoy by doing so?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.