June 23, 2024
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Learn to Live an Intentional Life

What does it mean to live intentionally? When you live intentionally, you make an effort to live a life that reflects your values. This can means taking more time to do things as you behave in ways that are more mindful and considered. It can also mean making some big changes.

Identify Your Values

The first step is identifying what your values truly are. This can be difficult because most people are influenced by those around them. While your values may be reflected in those you choose to spend time around, this is not always the case. In order to identify these values, you will need to do some introspection. For many people, writing in a journal can help. 

Think about some of the moments in your life that meant the most to you. Consider why you have chosen your career field or the friends you have. Don’t be pressured by what you think is the right answer. For example, you might assume that living a minimalist existence with fewer material possessions is better than buying things for your home as often as you do. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with liking to make the space around you beautiful in a specific way. If this is one of your core values, you should acknowledge it and nurture it.

Prioritize the Steps

Next, identify the steps you can take to live more intentionally. For example, perhaps you have determined that you want to pay more attention to how you use money, and this includes trying to reduce your debts. You might want to consider refinancing student loans to save on monthly expenses. This can give you a lower interest rate and result in paying less overall. You may make changes to your daily routine and other aspects of your life as well. If you have decided you want to spend more time in nature, you might make an effort to get up an hour earlier each morning to give yourself time to walk in a nearby park. What’s important is that the steps you identify are concrete ones that you can put into action.

Be Ready for Obstacles

The tricky thing about living intentionally is that it is not so difficult to do when things are going well, but what about when life throws a wrench into your plan, as it invariably will? The key here is to anticipate that it won’t always be smooth sailing and that you are probably even going to falter at times, but as long as you are honest about those core values and keep trying to come back to them, you can get back on course. There will also be situations in which you cannot easily make changes or when values are in conflict. For example, you might decide that the field you are working in no longer suits you, but continuing to support your family is key. It could take some time to switch into another line of work, or you may ultimately decide that your commitment to your family’s needs overrides your desire to work in a field that better reflects who you truly are. Intentional living is also about prioritizing and making choices that allow you to come closer to your ideal while acknowledging that imperfection is inevitable.

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