Now that I have you convinced that being more intentional with what you do is a good idea, let’s go over some practical tips to help you do just that. I recommend you read through the entire chapter first to get a good overview. Then pick a few of the tips and ideas out and start implementing them. Keep coming back to this book for more ideas, more inspiration, and use it to keep getting better and better at living an intentional and purposeful life.
Let’s start by getting the tough stuff out of the way first. When it comes to living your life with more intent and purpose, there is no magic pill to suddenly make it happen. There is no bright-red easy button. It takes work and dedication. It has, as the name suggests, to be done intentionally. In essence, what you’re doing is creating new habits. That takes time and energy… but I promise it is time and energy well spent.
It’s also not all that complicated and the best news is that you can start small. Your job is simply to take action and do something, anything, to get started.
One of the first things you need to realize that will make being more intentional easier is that you can – and should – start small. You don’t have to change everything at once. Not every little thing you do has to be intentional or serve some bigger purpose. Don’t get overwhelmed to the point where you don’t even start.
Yes, it’s good to have big goals. Yes, it’s great that you’re feeling ambitious and want to change the word. Just realize that it doesn’t have to be today. Today, focus on one small change, one improvement you can make. Break those lofty big goals down into baby steps and they will suddenly seem much more doable. Take it down to individual tasks and you’ll be well on your way to implementing real change.
Changing how you live your life is all about creating new habits and getting rid of old ones that no longer serve you well. The key to making new habits is to make a choice to do things differently every single day. This also holds true with living with purpose and being more intentional.
Set aside a couple of minutes every morning to decide on what intentional choices you’ll make today. Before you know it, they will become habits and living more intentional suddenly becomes effortless.
By making an effort to live more intentional every single day, it won’t take you long to create those new habits and effect a lot of positive change in a relatively short amount of times. Simply remind yourself every morning to do something positive and you’ll be well on your way to making living intentional part of your everyday life.
I’ve mentioned setting goals a few times throughout this short book already. Goals are important because they guide us and give us direction. How we set those goals is important too though. A badly formulated goal can lead us astray. You want to set smart goals that are specific, realistic, and have a deadline. In other words, don’t just say that you want a closer relationship with your daughter. Instead, make your goal to have a 10 minute chat with her every day for the next 30 days to make sure you’re part of each other’s lives. Google “Smart Goals” for more information.
It’s also helpful to have both short and long term goals. For example, in the long run, your goal may be to grow and raise all the food you consume. That’s a great goal, but something that will take years to accomplish, particularly if you’re not currently set up for a small farming operation. A great short term goal would be to raise enough vegetables to eat through the summer and start canning the excess this fall.
How can you break what you want to accomplish into smart goals?
So often we simply act or react to the things around us. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and keep doing what we’re doing because that’s how we’ve always done it. Being more intentional gives us a chance to break those routines. Before you do something that you want to be more intentional about, stop and think it through.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Is this the best way to do it?
- Will this get me closer to my goal?
- Should I do this in the first place? Does it align with my intentions?
- Is this the best use of my time and energy?
By the way, these questions also make great journaling prompts. The more you think on this, the better you’ll be able to formulate and implement your intentions.