Your small, everyday actions may not seem like much, but don’t be fooled. Those seemingly insignificant interactions and engagements have more meaning than you might think.
The truth is we are, in a sense, the accumulation of what we do over time. Habits aren’t formed overnight, but over time our actions, however insignificant they might seem, begin to consume our lives and start to shape who we are. This means that being intentional in our life, with what we do, how we spend our days, and what we do in our spare time matters, a lot.
With a new season upon us, and as we start getting back into a more structured routine, now is the perfect time to step back, and take stock of your life. Do you find that your days seem to be on autopilot? That you’re constantly going with the flow, and continually getting caught up in other people’s whirlwinds? Do you want to start living with more meaning and intention? Not just for today, but as a way of life?
If so, then take a look at some of these tips for living with intention. See how you can work to create a life that’s meaningful and fulfilled—every day.
1. Do More of What You Love
Life’s too short to do things that you don’t enjoy. This doesn’t mean that we have to relish every single task, but it does mean that it’s important to look to spend more time on those things that you love and are passionate about. If you feel like you are spinning your wheels in a job that you don’t enjoy, then you might want to consider a career change. If you’re not happy with your family’s routine, consider what you can do to start making changes in a more positive direction. Take a look at your schedule. Does it make you happy or is it loaded with obligations and commitments to things that you don’t enjoy and really don’t want to do? If the latter is true, then it might be time to make some adjustments.
2. Make a Plan
Change doesn’t have to happen all at once. Rather, lasting change is the result of careful and deliberate smaller changes that eventually lead to different habits, and finally, to a whole new way of life. Make a plan for doing more of what you love, and outline the steps that you need to take to get there. Then work to make it happen!
3. Be Mindful
While it’s important to plan for the future, don’t forget to enjoy the moment as well! Don’t waste your time dwelling in the past or fretting about the future. Be where you are now, enjoy your time right now, and appreciate every moment that you have. Stop overanalyzing everything and simply live. Right here. Right now. It can be tremendously refreshing!
4. Express Gratitude
Let’s face it; we could all stand to have a little more gratitude in our lives! We live in a day and age where we can have just about anything we want, whenever we want it. From instant food and entertainment to next-day shipping and malls that hold more treasures than we could ever hope for. But very few of us actually stop to realize how much we already have, and how much we should be grateful for. Consider starting each morning by making a list, either big or small, of all the things you have right now that you are thankful for. Not only is the fall season a great time to start thinking about thankfulness, it’s also a great time to remind ourselves that we already have so much, we just need to pause for a moment and take it all in.
5. Ask Questions
Part of living intentionally involves having a curious and inquisitive mind. Instead of doing things simply because they’re a habit, or come naturally, take the time to ask “why?” Why do you enjoy doing these things? Are these habits that you want to cultivate in your life? Your questions can go beyond questioning what you’re doing; it’s also helpful to question why things are the way they are. The more you ask, the more answers you will find, and you’ll become a more inquisitive person.
6. Make Time
“If you’ve ever wondered how everyone “finds the time,” the truth is that they don’t;” says Lee Crutchley, author of How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad). Instead, we make time for things that matter. If you have aspirations for this fall, whether it’s getting into a new exercise routine, spending more time with loved ones, or getting outside more, you’re going to need to make time in your schedule to do those things. Make time for the things that matter—even if it’s only 20 minutes a day!
At the end of the day, an intentional life is a work in progress and something that we’re continually working on. But that doesn’t mean that it needs to be difficult! By making small changes in the right direction, you can create habits that will stick; ones that will benefit you and your family for years to come.