I used to feel dread when I would wake up in the mornings. Not because I hated my job. I just hated having the same routine: waking up and getting ready in a rush, dealing with traffic, being at work way too many hours nonstop, traffic again, eating dinner, taking a shower, relaxing for a little bit and going to sleep. Repeat the next day…and the next…I was overwhelmed and going on auto-pilot. I was not living an intentional life. Instead, I was just reacting to everything around me. It was exhausting.
One day, I knew that I needed to make changes. I couldn’t go on feeling that miserable. I couldn’t change certain situations. But I could change my thoughts, my feelings and my perspective. So I decided to change my mindset instead. I needed to be intentional about how I wanted to feel, what I wanted to think about, what energy I wanted to bring around others, etc. I wanted to live life on my own terms, not on everybody else’s agenda. I wanted to live according to my own values and priorities and stay focused on that.
Here’s a list of 5 things that I did and that you can do to live an intentional life:
Start Your Morning Right
What do you do as soon as you wake up? Check your phone? Think about work and dread your busy day ahead? Practice having a consistent morning routine that gets you off in a good mood. This is my morning routine: Write my goals for the day. Set an intention for how I want to feel and be around other people. Think of something that will have me excited for that day. Meditation. Breakfast. Blast music that gets me energized. Get ready for work. Create a morning routine that feels right for you! You’ll feel energized and focused once you master your mornings.
Write Down Short Term & Long Term Goals
What is your vision for your life? What are your dreams? What are your values and your priorities in life? How do you want to be remembered by others? What type of impact do you want to leave in this world? Based on the answers for these questions, write down what are your short term and long term goals. Then, read them daily. This will help you stay on track and focused each day.
Pause, Breathe & Align Yourself
Before starting a new project, a meeting, or entering into a new environment, practice taking a “pause”, a few deep breaths and then Align yourself to who you want to be. Ask yourself, “What kind of energy do I want to bring to this?”. By reminding yourself of your goals, your values and priorities in those moments, you will be more intentional in everything you do rather than reacting to what is happening around you.
Stop the Comparison Game
When you compare your life with others, it is easy to get distracted and chase the wrong things. Everyone has their own journey in this lifetime. Don’t compare your life to other people’s lives. Instead, focus on where you’ve been and where you want to go. Focus on improving yourself so that you can live your best life.
Practice Saying "No" More
When you fill your days with unnecessary tasks, you’re fulfilling other people’s agendas, not your own. If a task/project doesn’t light you up, you can delegate, pay someone else to do it or say “no”. If it’s a task that you absolutely need to do, then try to see the situation with a different perspective (i.e. challenge yourself to do it & then give yourself a reward). The more you say “no” to the things that drain your energy, then you can say “Hell, yes” to the things that light you up. What are the activities that energize you and light you up? Do more of THOSE activities throughout your day.
By practicing these habits, you’ll live a happier and more purposeful life. Which one of these ideas can you start incorporating in your life? Pick one and be intentional about creating a habit of it before you go to your next one. I know you can do this! If you enjoyed reading this, feel free to share to your family and friends so that they can enjoy it too!