Intentional Living Practices You Should Adopt
To take back control of your own life.
Intentional living is a way of describing the removal of an auto-pilot mentality and taking back ownership of your own actions and lifestyle.
We’ve all heard it said many times before that the modern-day lifestyle is fast and hard, well, intentional living makes each day well, intentional rather than habitual.
As we become connected and automated we lose our connection to the real world. Automation has its benefits, it allows us to complete tasks are far better accuracy than before with far more being achieved. We can communicate in a variety of ways while on the move and, we can basically live life by simply asking ‘Siri, Google, or Alexa’ to do as we ask.
Life has completely changed even from when I was born back in the eighties. And, while I appreciate its progression, it's easy to miss some of the old ways that were slower, more mindful, and intentional — it’s these moments that stay with me, especially as I age.
So how do you become more conscious and intentional?
The main aim is to do things that you have mindfully chosen to do. Your day and everything in it is because you have made that decision. Yes, work and responsibilities are a part of that, but, intentional living creates awareness of areas within your lifestyle that you are unhappy with — therefore — allowing you to see clearly what you need to change to increase your happiness.
A few simple but effective practices include:
- Reduce technology — Remove your mobile from your bedroom when you sleep, do you use it as an alarm? Buy a separate alarm.
- Start saving — siphon at least 10% of your monthly salary into a separate account. There are bank-linked apps that allow you to do this, or, you can set up an auto-payment into another savings account. Also, try emptying your wallet or purse of any change each night and starting the next day fresh therefore saving without really noticing a huge dent.
- Say no at least once per day. Sometimes saying no is the hardest thing to say. Practice saying no without explaining your reasoning so that it becomes easier. No does not need an explanation, just remember that.
- Never go to sleep mid-argument. Either resolve it or let it go.
- Laugh every day. Even if you have to search for terrible memes or funny videos or movies — make it a habit.
- Take a deep breath — Before getting stressed, or angry take a moment, take a deep breath and re-assess the situation.
- Clean each room as you go — take dirty clothing with you as you leave your bedroom in the morning.
- Capsule wardrobe — remove anything that doesn’t fit or you don’t really like. Either donate, sell, or flat pack away.
- Try to participate in 1 random act of kindness each month — It really can be as simple as complimenting someone on something they have done or achieved, sharing a friend or associates charity sponsorship post, or even surprising someone with a random treat.
- Money awareness — do you really have to buy that item? Pay for that subscription or spend on a gift, event, and everything in between. If you feel that you ‘must’ but it brings you anything less than satisfaction or happiness then re-consider it. Granted rent, utilities, etc are bills we do not like to pay but to fulfil that Maslow hierarchy foundation these need to be paid, but you can always look into moving, creating a happier home space or, changing to a far more suited utility provider.
While ten practices seems far too easy trust me when I say they are the most effective practices to take back control but do not be fooled — they are by far the hardest to apply to your life mostly due to society in general trying to either fit into a welcoming social group and becoming people pleasers or people simply not wanting to be viewed as outsiders.
Over the years society has become accustomed to a copy and paste mentality therefore loosing control of its individuality.