Have you ever asked what it means to be intentional and live a more purposeful and meaningful life? And why does living more intentionally even matter? Well, that’s what this post is all about! Get ready to discover what being intentional means and the benefits of living a more intentional life. Let’s dive in!
What does being intentional mean?
For me, being intentional means that I’m doing things in my life – with intention and purpose – in order to feel happy and fulfilled.
Being intentional means that I know what I’m aiming for in life. And when I know what I’m aiming for, it’s so much easier to achieve my goals.
And it can be the same for you too.
Knowing what being intentional means and the impact of living intentionally can have on your life and the life of your loved ones can be incredibly motivating. It gives you the energy and confidence to become your best self and live your best life.
But what does being intentional mean?
Let’s take a look at what being intentional means and how it can help you to lead a happier and more fulfilled life.
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Being intentional means taking control…
When we’re living life on autopilot without intention or purpose, we’re letting life pass us by. Instead of us calling the shots, we’re letting the things and people around us control us. But when we start to become more intentional, we take back that control.
And when we take back control, we become the masters of our destiny again. It’s an incredibly empowering feeling! It’s also one of the main reasons why living with intention increases self -confidence and happiness.
When you’re living life intentionally, you’re thinking about what you want to accomplish. You know what you’re aiming for in life and you’re taking the steps to make it happen.
For instance, say you decide that you want a closer and more loving relationship with your spouse. Or that you want to get that promotion at work. Or that you want to lose those last 10lbs. It takes effort and work to accomplish these things. But you take control, put in the work and make them happen.
That’s how being intentional means taking control. Instead of letting life pass you by, you’re grabbing life by the reigns and steering it in the direction you want it to take.
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Being intentional means planning your life…
In addition to taking control, living life more intentionally means you’re giving yourself the chance to plan your life. That’s a pretty big deal! Imagine all of the positive things that could happen if you intentionally planned your life.
For instance, what if you were intentional about your finances from an early age? What if you consistently saved a small percentage of your income each month? You could have enough to buy your own house or have a decent nest egg by the time you retire.
On the other hand, if you don’t live intentionally, if you don’t save part of your income, you’ll just spend it. And it will be gone come the end of the month. Without planning you won’t have that deposit for your house and you’d have nothing saved for retirement.
See how being intentional with finances and all the other areas of your life can benefit you – both in the short-term and in the long-term?
Being intentional is defining and living within your values…
Another benefit of living intentionally is that it encourages you to define your values. Because, in order to live with purpose, you have to know what’s important to you. And to do that, you have to know what you value most.
Not quite sure how to start living more intentionally or with more purpose? Thinking about your core values is a great place to start.
Then take a good look at each aspect of your life right now. Does what you’re doing align with your core values? If it does, great. Do more of it! If it doesn’t, it’s time to make some changes.
For example, say one of your core values is to have an active role in raising your kids. Are you doing this? Or are you working full-time, putting in lots of extra hours to further your career? If so, it might be time to think about working less and spending more time at home instead.
Being intentional is living your life with purpose…
Life is busy and time is short. It’s easy to get distracted from what we really want to do. How often have you sat at your PC set to pay bills but find yourself two hours later still watching cat videos? I’m definitely guilty of this. Although in my case, it’s usually videos of French Bulldogs doing silly things on Instagram!
It’s easy to get distracted when you’re not in the habit of living with purpose. But once you make that shift, you become more intentional in everything you do. Not only do you have a purpose in mind but you get things done too. You become more productive. And when you’re more productive, you end up with more time on your hands to do the things that are important to you.
Being intentional equals making good choices…
Another benefit of living more purposefully and intentionally is that you’re more likely to make good choices. Instead of taking action based on knee-jerk reactions, you’ll think things through first. And that leads to making good choices.
Let’s go back to the financial example I used earlier. You know you’re trying to save for a deposit on a house, so when you see a pair of gorgeous – but overpriced – heels, you’re able to walk away (without buying them!). Living with intention means you’re able to delay instant gratification for the sake of making the right choice in the long run.
Sure, those heels would be nice to own…after all, who can resist a killer pair of heels?! But let’s be honest, being able to buy the house of your dreams is a whole lot nicer, right?!
Being intentional causes you to improve your confidence…
Want to know something else interesting about being more intentional? It improves your confidence. You see, when you’re intentional about what you do, you have an end goal in mind. You plan along the way and you find it easier to take action. That in turn means you don’t have time to worry or second-guess yourself. And when you’re not worrying, you become more confident.
And the more you take action, the more you see you’re making progress and getting results, the more confident you’ll become. It’s like a cycle of reinforced confidence. Progress gives you confidence. Confidence makes you motivated. Motivation leads to more progress, which leads to more confidence. See how it works? It’s pretty powerful!
All you need to do is get the ball rolling by deciding to be more intentional about what you do.
It doesn’t matter whether your intentions are big or small…
One of the things that scares my clients most about embracing the idea of living with purpose and intention is that they think it’s too big a task to tackle. In their mind, they have to become the next Mother Theresa or bring about world peace in order to live a purpose-driven life.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
You don’t have to pick a cause and dedicate your entire life to it to benefit from being intention. Being intentional simply means you’re being intentional about the choices you make. It doesn’t matter how big or small those intentions are. They can be as big or as small as you would like.
Best of all, they’re not set in stone. They’re your intentions so you can tweak them as much and as often as you like. If big scares you, start small.
For instance, if one of your goals is to feel more connected with your kids, start small by sitting down and having breakfast with them each morning. If one of your dreams is to start homesteading, start by growing herbs in your back garden. Start small and as your confidence grows, you can start to make bigger changes. Keep going until you’re at a level of living with purpose and intention that you’re happy with.
Being intentional can help you find meaning in life…
These days, we’re so often completely disconnected from the end result of what we do. We do our job whilst living in our little bubble with no idea of how what we do affects others in a positive way. One of my favourite benefits of living more intentionally is that we’re able to find meaning in life in even the smallest of things.
We are social creatures by nature. We love to help others and have a positive impact on the world around us. Being intentional and living with purpose brings meaning back into our lives. Not only is it a wonderful way to prevent and combat depression, it greatly increases our happiness too.
Being intentional means finding your passion…
One of the first things I ask my clients when they’re not sure how to get started living intentionally is what are they most passionate about. The things, ideas and people that matter to them the most.
But this works the other way too. As you start to live more intentionally and you start to pay attention to what’s important to you, you figure out what your passions are.
For example, as you become more intentional about how you spend your free time, you may rediscover an old hobby and find you’re still passionate about it. This has definitely been the case for me. As I started making more time for myself on the weekends, I rediscovered my passion for quilling, calligraphy and adult colouring books. Colouring is now one of my favourite ways to unwind and relax.
It’s all too easy to let stuff get in the say and feel like we don’t have time for our favourite hobbies. But once we rediscover what we’re passionate about, we make sure we make time for it, no matter what it might be. So, get back into gardening. Dig out that sewing machine. Get back on your bike. Do more of what makes you happy!
Being intentional helps you feel more secure in your place…
We live in a fast-paced world that’s constantly changing. Nothing stays the same and there can be a lot of insecurity in our day-to-day lives. But living more intentionally can help you to feel more secure.
Start restoring balance and feeling more secure in this unpredictable world by taking control and being intentional when and where you can. By being more intentional, you’ll feel more secure in your relationships. You’ll feel more secure at work and you’ll feel safer where you live.
Feel like you’re just a passive spectator in life? Start being more intentional about how you live your life. Get out there, be more intentional about what you do. Take action and take control of your life!
What it means to lead an intentional life…
We might not like to think about it, but our life here on earth isn’t infinite. We only have a few decades before we are gone, but if we live our life well and with purpose, we can leave a legacy behind. It doesn’t have to be anything huge like starting a charity or anything like that (although that’s certainly an option). It can be something small yet impactful such as raising happy, confident kids, a love of cooking and an heirloom recipe collection, or the knowledge and love for a craft.
Being intentional means you examine what you do and the relationships you have with the people you love most. This in turn helps you craft and leave a legacy without even having to think about it. What will your legacy be?
That’s it for this post! What does being intentional mean to you? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
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About the Author
Hey there! In case we haven’t met, I’m Sarah, the founder of A Simple and Contented Life. The online coaching practice that helps moms and mompreneurs with an online biz create more balance so that they can thrive both at home and at work WITHOUT feeling like they have to choose between the two.
A certified master life coach, transformation coach, goal success coach and self-published author, I’m also an Executive Contributor for Brainz Magazine, a proud mum of two, a besotted wife, breast cancer survivor and your mentor for making a change for the better.
When I’m not helping my clients and club members create a great home life and business of their dreams, you’ll find me in my favourite Starbucks curled up in a chair, book in one hand, hazelnut latte in the other or attempting to walk my somewhat lazy Frenchie pup Arthur!
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