With the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life, it can be easy to fall into the trap of living life on autopilot. So often we find ourselves getting stuck in routines of doing things that just don’t matter to us and aren’t helping us achieve our goals. We live in a busy world that is constantly trying to drag us by the hand and tell us that this is important and that is important. But when we live intentionally and on purpose, we become mindful of how we choose to spend our day.
It’s time to start asking WHY you do the things you do and then, thinking critically about your answers.
This doesn’t mean being perfect or having everything figured out—but it does mean being honest about what you can and can’t control. Here are 5 tips for turning off autopilot, taking control of what you can, and living your life with intention!
1. Define your beliefs and evaluate everything
Ask yourself, is where you’re at now where you want to be? Is it something you like? Are you here because you wanted to be, or because someone else wanted you to be here? Think mindfully, is it what you want to do?
Choose only the things that make you say and feel ‘ HELL YES!’ If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a HELL NO!!
Remember, questioning everything is necessary if you want to be an intentional person.
If something you’re currently doing is not your dream, stop chasing it. Learn to stop being afraid of what others would say. It’s your life — YOU are the writer of it.
Regularly review and check-in with your own priorities. Ask yourself:
- What’s most important to me right now, in my current season of life?
- Do my actions reflect these priorities?
- If not, what changes can I make to move into alignment?
It can be scary, and you don’t necessarily have to change your entire life at once. But NOT doing anything means admitting defeat, and we don’t want that for ourselves, do we??
Acknowledge your trade offs
Everything in life has trade-offs. Any time you choose to do something, you’re also choosing not to do something else. (And remember, doing nothing is a choice too!) Think of it this way:
- If you choose to splurge on a new dress or handbag, you’re also choosing not to put that money into savings.
- If you choose to work late, you’re also choosing not to spend more time with your loved ones.
- If you choose to stay in a job you hate, you’re also choosing not to explore other options.
Of course, despite what these examples might imply, it’s not always clear which option is the right choice. Choosing to work late might mean less time with family—but it might also mean paying the bills on time or treating the kids to a new outfit for school.
There aren’t always right or wrong answers and that’s OK.
What’s important for intentional living is that you’re aware of your options. So many people make choices in life without acknowledging the options. It’s absolutely fine to splurge on a new dress every once in a while for no reason other than it makes you happy … as long as you’re aware of the trade offs.
Try to purchase with intention. Every time you make a purchase, remind yourself what you’re not doing with that money. Do the same every time you trade away your time or energy too—and watch what happens. Odds are you’ll start thinking more intentionally about your choices.
Put yourself in a positive environment
If you want to start living intentionally, then be intentional about your environment.
- What does your living space look like?
- Who do you surround yourself with?
- What media do you consume?
- What language do you use with yourself?
The people you hang out with matters more than you think. Who you surround yourself with impacts your total wellbeing – your mental game, your confidence, AND your ability to grow your business. It’s okay to put some people on a temporary (or permanent) pause. Be intentional about who you invite into your life, and who you have to make those tough phone calls to. Creating intentional relationships can mean many different things. For example:
- If you want to nurture a healthy relationship with your body, stop following people on social media who promote diet culture and instead, surround yourself with those who encourage self-acceptance.
- If you’re looking to take the next step in your business, look for a mentor or business coach.
An environment that supports you and your goals will help you achieve them and allow you to live the life you want. Declutter your home, stop hanging around people who put down your dreams and put down your phone—or whatever feels best for you.
Invest in yourself
If you want to start living intentionally, then you must find the courage to invest in yourself. Get a massage, add to your team, spend money on personal development and educational opportunities—or simply give yourself permission to rest when needed!
It doesn’t have to be an investment of money (it might be time or energy instead) but whatever you’re spending, it’s not self-indulgent to bet on your future and take care of yourself.
I know that it might feel scary and at times, it might require challenging the status quo, but don’t feel guilty about making needs a priority. Actions speak louder than words so if something is important to you, then don’t be afraid to invest in it!
Take baby steps & be patient
Start small, grow steadily until you can finally see the change.
This is especially effective for intentional living goals that may be a little frightening to you.
The little things will begin to snowball as you make the actions and destination part of yourself. Eventually those big things won’t feel as scary. If you’re feeling discouraged, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of thinking, “What’s the use? I can’t see the difference. Nothing ever changes. I give up, this isn’t for me.”
This is the worst thing you can do to yourself. You can’t achieve your dream overnight, and learning to live your intentional life may feel a LOT harder in the middle than you thought it was going to.
You have to be patient. Keep moving and making progress. Things take time to change — maybe even months or years.
Wait. Stay determined, and don’t give up. You CAN build your best life, and it can be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.
The thing is, if you feel stuck and UNintentional, nothing short of at least one major change is going to shake you out of that rut. And maybe that one change won’t take care of ALL the issues in your life, but it will give you ONE thing to focus on and FEEL more intentional about every day. So ask yourself “are you really making the most of the time, money and energy you CAN control?”
Need help prioritizing your life and living more intentionally? We got you! Book a discovery call today, and let’s chat.