Intentional Living – 10 steps you can take to live more on purpose
We set ourselves up for either misery or joy by the mindset that we have.
Life is tough. It’s easy for us to get consumed by all the negativity that goes on in our lives. Furthermore, it takes work to be able to let go of things we cannot control. We can’t control outside forces and other people’s actions but we can control how we respond to them.
Everyday is a new opportunity to make choices.
I made a conscious decision to live each day with a thankful heart and a positive attitude. Happiness is a choice that I made not only for myself but for my family. After all if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy. I take small steps every single day that help me create and maintain a positive mindset so I can be the best version of myself.
Our everyday small actions can either work for us or against us. We can keep doing what we’re doing and continue getting the same results or we can live more on purpose and create the life we desire.
Each day we have a new opportunity to take steps that will help us create the life we desire and deserve.
This may very well be the rest of our lives. It’ up to us to make it count.
What is intentional living?
According to wikepedia, Intentional living is any lifestyle based on an individual or group’s conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs. These can include lifestyles based on Religious, Political or Ethical values, as well as Coaching, Personal Transformation, and Leadership Training.
To simplify, it means living the kind of life that aligns with your true self that fulfills you.
In this post, I’m going to share with you 10 steps you can take to live life more intentionally that have been a game changer in my life, since I started implementing them.
10 steps you can take to live intentionally
1. Daily Gratitude
When you purposely start focusing on the positive things in your life you shift your mindset to start noticing more positives and less negatives. Practicing daily gratitude is very powerful. There are two ways you can do this:
- Write in a gratitude journal. Every morning when you wake up or every night before going to sleep write down 3-5 things you’re grateful for. This is a great way to start and/or end your day.
- Verbally say what you’re grateful for. Do a gratitude countdown where you start at 10 and counting back to 1 saying things you are grateful for.
Instead of going through life consumed by all the negatives in our lives, we should be greeting each day with gratitude.
2. Set your intentions for the day
Instead of allowing the day to happen to you, you decide how your day will play out. Every morning when you wake up, set your intention for the day. Sat it out loud. For example some things you might say are:
“Today I will create simplicity and peace in my day”
“Today I will encourage, inspire and make an impact in the world”
“Today i will embrace the chaos and go with the flow”
When you set an intention, you manifest what you want to attract and you’re putting it out into the universe.
Studies show that there are tons of benefits to living in a clutter free environment. I personally can not be the best version of myself in a cluttered environment. I have a strong need for things to be clean, neat and organized for me to perform as my best self.
A cluttered home equals a cluttered mind
Positive energy flows better in a clutter free environment. Your home should be a reflection of you and should align with what fills your heart with joy.
Benefits of having an organized home
- Boosts energy
- Reduces stress
- Leads to better eating habits
- Improves sleep habits
- Eliminates mind clutter
As moms we often have a lot of stuff that constantly needs to be cleaned, put away, sorted or handled in some kinda way. Did you ever ask yourself if all this stuff, all the things you own, all of your possessions add value to your life? What purpose does this stuff serve you, other than having to be cleaned or organized?
I love Marie Kondo’s Konmari method that we should surround ourselves with only the things that spark joy in our lives.
I Marir Kondo’d my house and it’s been a real eye opener for me. My home is nowhere near magazine cover, and not even close to my standards 4 kids ago, but for where we are at this current time in our lives, it’s good enough that i can rest easy at night. Most nights.
For more on the konmari method for moms Click Here
4. Set goals
Let’s face it when you have kids, our wants and even our needs get pushed aside. We make one sacrifice after another and before we know it days, months and even years have gone by and we still didn’t’ accomplish what we set out to do. Sound familiar?
You are more than just someone’s mother or wife. You are a real person and your needs and desires shouldn’t take a back seat because you’re too busy caring for others.
I’m a big advocate of goal setting and I feel it deserves a lot of our valuable time. Set goals for yourself. Dream big. Set big goals that seem unattainable and set small goals that seem ordinary.
Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
I like to use my handy, dandy bullet journal to set and track my goals. Pen to paper is a very powerful thing. It makes things real. I know some people who create goal oriented spreadsheets on their desktop or there’s apps you can download. Try different methods and find a system that works for you.
It’s the small steps you take everyday that will lead you to see big results
Yoga has been proven to decrease stress, improve energy, reduce anxiety, promote better sleep and increase muscle strength and tone. Since I started doing yoga I have become more in touch with my emotions, I feel more grounded, more present and better able to handle everyday stressors.
When I first started yoga, i didn’t really love it. It felt awkward to me and I was self-conscious about not being able to do all the poses like some of the more advanced yogi’s in the class. But as time went on I started feeling more comfortable with my yoga practice. I started taking the same yoga classes, with the same instructor and most of the same people. It became familiar and is now a big part of my intentional living practices.
The biggest benefit for me and I think all moms is yoga teaches you how to live in the present moment. With everyone’s overbooked schedules, we are constantly thinking about “what’s next”. Being able to temporarily forget about “what’s next” and live in the present moment is a game changer.
Join a gym that offers yoga, take a local yoga class, or live stream yoga classes on line and do it on your own terms.
Go get your namaste on.
As mom’s we are always on the go and our minds are always running on overdrive. Meditation is a practice that helps calm and quiet the mind. Meditation reduces stress and anxiety and helps you better manage your emotions. It helps you connect with your inner self, be completely focused in the moment and not think about what’s next.
The practice of being mindful, completely present and deep breathing are all practices that will help you be a more present, happy and calm mother.
I started my meditation journey one year ago and it has been a game changer. I am now more present when I’m around my kids, my energy is more positive, I’m calmer and i’m overall just happier. I’m able to let go of all the mind clutter that so often dominated my thoughts leaving me feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.
There are a lot of good apps you can download to your smart phone. Many of these have a free version or a free trial that you can take advantage of. I use and love the app Calm. I have a paid subscription so I can enjoy its full benefits but there is a free version.
You can add meditation to your morning routine. It’s a great way to start your day on a positive note. Or you can add meditation to your night routine before going to sleep when you are less pressed for time. You can meditate in the middle of the day on your lunch break, or when your baby is napping.
It doesn’t matter when you meditate, as long as you do it.
7. Daily Movement
Majority of people are not meeting the guidelines of physical activity.
Modern society makes it very easy for us to not move. It’s so easy to shop online and get things delivered right to our front door or binge watch a new Netflix series. We need to make everyday movement a priority in our everyday lives.
We need to be intentional about incorporating daily movement into our everyday lives. Simple Small steps can quickly make a big impact.
Look for opportunities in your everyday life to sit less and walk more.
- Walk to and from school
- Park further away and walk
- Do your food shopping at the supermarket don’t order on-line
- Take stairs instead of elevator
- Get off the train or bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way
- Set your alarm if you have desk job to get up off the chair every hour to walk
Sit Less & Walk More
8. Healthy Eating
Our bodies function based on the fuel we are feeding it. When we fuel our bodies with processed, sugary foods that have empty calories, we are going to be running on empty, with little energy and struggling to get through the day. We aren’t going to last too long before our bodies give up on us.
Food we eat has a significant impact on our health.
- Almost 30 million people in the United States have diabetes (Source)
- 32 million Americans have food allergies (Source)
- 40% of Americans have a chronic disease (Source)
- Childhood obesity is the most common chronic disease of childhood affecting more than 30% of children. (Source)
We are in the middle of a health crisis that is quickly getting worse.
The good thing is each one of us has the power to not be just another statistic. We can intentionally fuel our bodies with proper foods by eliminating processed foods and eating a whole foods diet.
Our everyday diet should consist of:
- Whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy – milk, yogurt and cheese
For more on Healthy Eating for the Whole Family click here.
How often do you get to just sit and relax? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say close to NEVER. Burnout is real and can happen to any of us. Us mama’s need to intentionally create relaxation time for our own mental health.
Here are some small relaxation practices you can do:
- Sit in silence for 15 minutes and just be with your thoughts
- Go on a mindfulness walk. Using all of your senses, observe your surrounding and be completely present throughout your walk, making a deeper connection to nature
- Read a book for pleasure. Make your favorite coffee or tea in your favorite mug and sit in a cozy spot and read for 15 minutes
- Music therapy. Music has a positive effect on our overall health. Put on you favorite playlist and just be still for 15 minutes while letting the music invigorate your soul
- Take a hot bath. Sit, soak and relax for 15-25 minutes. Add epsom salt and lavender essential oil to make it a spa bath. (Use Code SPM10 to get 10% off your order)
Make it a priority to take at least 15 minutes per day to spend on quiet, guilt free, relaxing time just for you.
10. Unplug from technology
I made a conscious decision to not spend wasteful time on technology and it has been a true game changer. I am more on purpose about when I’m on technology and what I’m doing while I’m on it.
As great as social media is it’s a HUGE time waster and it has a lot of negatives that are affecting our mental health:
- It can cause stress, anxiety and even depression
- Sets unrealistic expectations
- Creates unhealthy sleep patterns
- It creates FOMO – Fear of missing out
- It can create a negative body image by constantly comparing ourselves to others
- It can cause disagreements, arguments and even end relationships
The more connected we are to social media the less connected we are to the real world
Manage the time you spend scrolling and trolling:
- Give yourself a specified time period when you can use technology
- Do not go on your tech device first thing in the morning or right before going to sleep. Do NOT go on it if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep
- Turn off notifications. Go into the settings menu on your smart phone and turn off as many notifications as possible – social media, email, push alets, etc… No notification is worthy of hijacking you from whatever it was that you were during at that current moment.
- Don’t sleep with your phone next to you or if you do turn it to airplane mode.
Let’s take back control of our lives by being intentional about our social media use.
“There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day”
This is one of my favorite quotes. It’s the theme song from Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Magic Kingdom.
Today is your great big beautiful tomorrow. Make it count.
I invite you to take a peek at my FREE on-line mini course, The Intentional Mom In this course i teach you Mindfulness Practices that will help you create Joy + Balance in your everyday, BUSY mom life.
What are your thoughts?
Do you live intentionally? What was one takeaway you got from this post that you plan on implementing in your life? Leave me a comment below.
Hi there! I'm Danielle, mom blogger, visionary and dreamer.
I'm on a mission to help moms create a Simply Pure life of Joy + Balance + Optimal Health & Wellness for ourselves and our families.
My goal is to un-complicate life and provide moms with the tools and strategies to make informed decisions so you can live your best mom life. .
Read more about the girl behind the blog here
Want to live intentionally? Click here for my FREE Intentional Living mini course