Something that I’ve been doing for the past couple of years is living intentionally.
And it has been the best decision I have made for myself.
Slowly but surely, the kind of life that I have always dreamed of living is coming to fruition.
So what is intentional living?
It means the choices you make in your life is serving you either in the present moment or your future (or both).
In order for intentional living to really work, you have to at least know what you desire.
For example, I desire to live a simple low-stress life, doing the things I enjoy, spending time with the people I love and care for, and paying it forward.
I believe in aligning myself to God’s will and preparing and positioning myself to receive His greatest blessings in my life.
In my dream life, I am healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually.
It’s hectic (purposefully) but full of blessings.
I live in a simple, spacious, minimized home.
My days are routine so that I have room for spontaneous fun.
Internally, I live in peace and joy.
I know what I want and I know where I am going.
And with that, I know what actions I need to take and I know what serves me and what doesn’t in both my internal (what I can control) and external (what I can’t control) environment.
I faithfully act towards my greatest blessings.
Living intentionally doesn’t mean your dream life is going to manifest itself overnight but I do believe that it will happen quicker than if you were to live your life on auto-pilot, which might not even lead you to the kind of life you want to live.
So how do you start living intentionally?
First, identify what you want in life and how you want to live your life.
Do you want more time to exercise and take care of your health?
Do you want to further your spiritual growth?
Do you want to wake up to a peaceful morning routine?
Are you tired of living in uncertainty?
Are you tired of living a strained and ambiguous life?
What’s going to help you shed the things you don’t want (anxiety, stress, chaotic environment, unfulfilling career, etc.) and gain the things you do want (peace, clarity, purpose, passion, creativity)?
The next thing you want to do is shed. Shed the things that’s going to take you away from what you want.
This might look differently depending on what it is that you are “shedding.”
It may mean closing off friends who are holding you back.
It may mean monitoring how much time you spend on Facebook or HOW you spend your time on it (Social Media can also be a great resource for information, motivation, inspiration, and support).
Maybe it’s replacing alcohol and sugary drinks with water.
This depends on what your dream life looks like.
Third, consider what actions you need to take to get to where you want to go.
Do you need to take classes or devote more time to your passion, hobbies, and creativity?
Do you need to listen to podcasts and read personal development books?
Do you need to surround yourself with like-minded individuals?
For me, I’ve learned that this can be the hardest part of it all.
Doing something new can be scary. I struggle with social anxiety so to meet new people takes a high amount of mental and physical energy.
I struggle with self-doubt (am I credible and knowledgeable enough on the subject?) and fear of failure/judgment.
But the more you PRACTICE the habits that serve you, the BETTER at being in uncomfortable situations you become. Note that I didn’t say that it gets easier. YOU become better, stronger, wiser. Doing what is easy only creates complacency and puts you on the path of slow growth.
And not only do you become better at doing the hard things, you get closer to living your dream life both internally and externally.
What do I mean by that?
I have realized that as I have started to change my habits, my way of thinking has also changed and in turn, who I am as a person.
I’m not a completely different person from before but I am definitely reaching a higher sense and understanding of myself and in turn, amplifies the positive habits and thought processing.
It’s the kind of spiral that you want to get sucked into.
My life is still morphing into the kind of life I want to live and one them is living in peace and joy. I am learning to place my faith in God more than feeling like I have lost control. I am learning to enjoy the moments that I do have with my friends and family and experience more joy.
My life isn’t exactly how I want it yet but I’m experiencing it the way I would like to (in spite of my hindrances) when I achieve my external goals.
My habits are transforming me internally as much as it is setting the building blocks for my future externally.
The other part to this is that it’s a process. It takes trial and error. It does take failing and making mistakes.
It takes shedding of our old ways of thinking and coming up with solutions that serves our present and future self.
It takes tweaking or even going in a different direction (much like this blog has) and finding what works for you, your growth, and your transformation.
The important thing is to never lose sight of your dream life, even if it changes.
The last part of living intentionally, and in my opinion, the most fun and powerful part of this process, is visualization.
Not just envisioning your dream home, your dream job, and your dream self but FEELING it.
How it’s going to feel to wake up in your dream bedroom. What it’s going to feel like to live out your dream job. What it’s going to feel like when you step out into your backyard. What it feels like to workout and take care of the body you have worked hard to achieve. What it feels like to cook and consume healthy meals and how your body feels when you fuel it with nutrients. How it feels to wake up to your morning routine. How it feels to go out on a Saturday night with your closest friends and laugh, be goofy, spread positivity, keep each other accountable with each other’s goals, and exchange ideas on how to make your community a better place. How it feels to go to bed at night living the kind of life you’ve always dreamed of.
Visualizing at the deepest level for me has been my drive, my motivation, and my inspiration. It doesn’t mean I have never missed a step and never failed. But it means that I never gave up.
It means I’m chasing my dream life with tenacity and resiliency despite my mistakes, failures, and obstacles.
And I may not be getting closer to my goals EVERYDAY, but I sure am getting closer to it more than I am not.
Write down your goals. Your dream job. Your dream home. Your dream relationship. Your dream friendships.
Write down what it’s going to take for you to live with the kind of peace that you want.
Write down how it’s going to make you feel when you get to that point and achieve your goals.
And then visualize it. Everyday, every moment.
When you wake up, when you pray include it in your prayers, when you are daydreaming, before you go to bed. Envision it. Feel it. And live it out by the actionable steps you need to take.
Living intentionally means you are purposefully and intentionally making the choices that will lead you to the kind of life you want to live.
This has truly been an exciting journey to embark upon for me and I hope you feel inspired to live the kind of life you want to live.
You deserve to ❤