What Is Intentional Living?
The word Intention is becoming more and more of a buzz word with each and every day, and what generally happens once something becomes a buzz word is that we lose sight of it’s definition and start using it in contexts that fog it’s meaning. [That and the word induces painful eye rolls from people tired of hearing it - just think about “authenticity.”]
Intention is literally defined as "a thing intended, an aim or plan" and to intend means "to have a course of action as one's purpose or objective, to design for a particular purpose or end" from Webster’s Dictionary.
[Good Rule: Don’t be afraid of the dictionary or thesaurus. It may sound old school, but I’m constantly looking up the definition of words so that I don’t lose sight of their meaning. So much truth can be realized just by reflecting on the meanings of a simple word.]
So then, Intentional Living can literally be defined as Living with Intention or to expand a bit, to determine the purpose of your life // the way you want to live and to design a course of action to bring that about, but what exactly does that mean?
For me, it means - actively and purposefully taking actionable steps to improve oneself, our society // culture and our planet. This can take many forms and spans across multiple areas.
There are several lifestyles that I would lump together underneath the umbrella of Intentional Living - Minimalism, Simple Living, Slow Living, Zero-Waste, Veganism, Debt-Free Living and Holistic Living.
Each of these areas focuses on being present, mindful and intentional in their given area - but for me, I don’t just want to focus on one aspect of life - I want to focus on making each and every part better so that they can exponentially get better as a result of interacting with one another, which is why I like to talk about and practice every area of Intentional Living.
So, what do each of those lifestyles focus on? Good question! This is how I would personally define each area of Intentional Living…
MINIMALISM : The pursuit of a meaningful life with an emphasis on living with & consuming less material possessions.
SIMPLE LIVING : The pursuit of a simpler, more environmentally friendly life with an emphasis on participating in simpler forms of activities like gardening, growing your own food, drying the clothes on the line, etc.
SLOW LIVING : The pursuit of a slower paced life with an emphasis on living in the present, being mindful and enjoying the simple pleasures in life - participates in much of the same activities as Simple Living but for slightly different reasons.
ZERO WASTE : The pursuit of an environmentally friendly life with an emphasis on making less trash while also creating a circular economy as opposed to a linear one. Get Started HERE>>
VEGANISM : The pursuit of a kinder, more compassionate life with an emphasis on treating all living beings with respect and dignity - not just humans.
DEBT-FREE LIVING : The pursuit of a financially free life with an emphasis on living like no one else, with zero debt and having the freedom to pursue one’s dream life without being chained to certain jobs, payments or ways of living.
HOLISTIC : The pursuit of a healthy and mindful life with an emphasis on wellness and preventative health practices involving food, fitness & spirituality.
Although, I wholeheartedly believe in adopting all of these lifestyles, or as many as possible, I know it’s hard to do them all at once. Whichever ones you choose to adopt - focus on one at a time and build from there. Each choice, each step you take towards living more Intentionally will get you closer and closer to the life that you truly want.
Because the benefit of living Intentionally as opposed to unintentionally means you are living in a state of awareness as opposed to mindlessness. Being aware of your values, your consumption habits, your spending habits, your amount of commitments, your time, your energy, your health, etc. means that you are able to purposefully design your life with each and every decision.
Just wanting the life you’ve always dreamed of is not enough to bring it about. You have to act. You have to shift your mindsets & beliefs. You have to learn and grow and stretch your way towards your dream life. On purpose. And with Intention.
[Want help with this? Check out my 1:1 Mentoring Packages HERE>>]
Or else, you could wind up looking back on your life with painful regret and no one wants that! It breaks my heart to think that anyone would reach the end of their life and wish things had been drastically different! In fact, it’s one of my greatest fears for my own life! I fear never making a difference with my life and getting to the end of it without ever making an impact on anyone or anything.
I guess I should say, I USED to fear that, because the truth is - if I died today, that fear would no longer be realized BECAUSE I’ve spent the last 5 years living Intentionally and purposefully designing the life that I want - which is one that impacts myself and others in a meaningful way. I know for a fact that I am living that out and each time I realize that - I have to pinch myself!
I’m SO grateful. So very grateful that I woke up to the downward spiral I was headed down and slowly but surely started digging myself out of the mindless mess I had created for myself. I’m grateful, but I’m not complacent - so just because that fear is no longer able to be realized doesn’t mean I’ve “arrived” by any means.
I’ve got more work to do - more life to live and Living Intentionally, using the tools of each of these lifestyle areas, will help me to realize it on an even larger scale, the longer I live this out.
Simply put, Living Intentionally allows you to create your dream life on purpose.
What sort of life do you wish you had? How would adopting a more Intentional Lifestyle create that life for you? What’s your next step?
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below or send me a message HERE>>
Hearing your stories, your struggles & your victories brings me SO much joy and purpose - don’t be afraid to share!
Love & Learning,
P.S. If you know that Living Intentionally would help you build and design the life you've always dreamed of but don't know how to get started - I can help! Check out my Mentoring Packages and schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation to see if we're a good fit. I would be honored to be a part of your journey!