Intentional Living: Living with Purpose and Fulfillment
May 06, 2018
Do you ever wonder where the day, week or month went? It’s not uncommon and we’ve all literally asked that question at some point. As society has evolved with it the daily tasks of life have taken over. Some are necessary while others are by choice.
When it comes to busyness there are two kinds of people: Those who are actively engaged in their busyness, and those who are always thinking about what has to be done and are exhausted by their own mind.
When is the last time you felt like you had a truly successful day? Or maybe you got a lot done but it’s all just a blur. Intentional Living helps us declutter, focus on purpose and being fulfilled, and take active roles in deciding how our days go.
Imagine if you were actively present and engaged with nearly everything you did, and you also gave yourself permission to do nothing. Let’s look at a couple of simple examples.
Eating: As a fitness professional I help people strategize ways to be proactive in their approach to activity and food management. The act of eating with intention helps people control their cravings and overeating. It is the difference between throwing a few almonds or popcorn kernels in your mouth at once and going for the next handful before swallowing, and eating each piece one by one. Mindless eating encourages continued hunger and overeating whereas intentional eating allows you to savor each piece and slows you down. Experiencing your food completely helps stop us from seeking more because you are more fulfilled.
Organizing a closet: Imagine a cluttered closet that drives you crazy because it is a mess and disorganized. You know you have to clean it but it takes time. At least four times per week you tell yourself you are going to clean it. But it never makes the priority list, and it frustrates you that you keep putting it off. Until you are genuinely ready to allocate the times to clean it out, remove it from the list in your mind. The list of unfinished and unimportant items is daunting and exhausting. Now I’m not saying don’t clean it, what I’m saying is be intentional. Decide that you are not cleaning it until a specific time that is more reasonable, and when you do, add it to an accomplishable list and get it done.
Here are some tips to help you live with more intention:
1. You get to decide how you are going to think and behave. Don’t let other people’s expectations (or your own) of what you’ve done before shape your future. At any point you get to decide you want to do something different.
2. Stop comparing yourself to other people’s successes. It is the killer of joy. They have a unique life experience as do you.
3. Define how you want to contribute to the world around you. Sharing your personal gift is far more fulfilling than living within your own world.
4. Plan and prepare. Prepare your food in advance, and give your day structure to keep you on task.
5. Set goals and prioritize. Define long-term commitments, mid-range and those items that are easy to accomplish.
6. Get rid of distractions. Once you commit, focus. Turn off the TV, phone and internet, and be present in whatever it is you are doing, or engaged with whomever you are with.
7. Give yourself downtime. Letting yourself just be without regret of time wasted is an opportunity to experience what is around you and reset.
8. Be a consummate learner. Observe others, learn new things. When we are not growing and learning we feel stagnant.