living with intention
19 Jan 2024

Nine ways to Live with Intention

Nine ways to Live with Intention

The idea of living with intention has been advocated by various thought leaders, spiritual teachers, and authors through their teachings, writing and philosophies. Thich Nhat Hanh and Deepak Chopra support this concept that transcends any sole source and has become a popular way of living, a way that seems to resonate particularly with midlifers as they begin to become increasingly conscious, purposeful and present in their own lives.

So, what does living with intention mean?

Living with intention involves aligning your actions, decisions, and thoughts with your values and goals, it’s an ongoing practice. It’s about being aware of your choices and ensuring they align with what matters most to you. Over time, it becomes a way of life that brings clarity, purpose, and fulfilment. Living this way ensures your life is based on your values, aspirations, and deepest desires rather than simply reacting to external circumstances.

Here’s nine ways you can incorporate intention into your daily life:

Define Your Values: This is an important aspect of life and one which I believe is essential to form the basis of a happy purposeful life. I write about the importance of living according to your updated values often. Identifying who you are and what is important to you is so essential to cultivating an intentional life. You need to clarify your core values because knowing them helps to guide your behaviours, decisions and actions. Bear in mind that values can change throughout the lifecycle and what was important in your 20s, can be deprioritised in your 40s and 50s and often replaced completely.

Set clear Goals: Define what you want to achieve in various aspects of life—personal, professional, relationships, etc. Clear goals provide direction and make the decision process much easier. If you shudder at the idea of setting a goal or find it demoralising, then set a theme for your life. Such as ‘freedom, flexibility, kindness’ and guide your actions according to this theme.

Mindfulness and Presence: Be present in each moment. Mindfulness helps you stay aware and make intentional choices rather than reacting impulsively.

Create Rituals or Routines: Establish rituals or daily habits that support your intentions. It could be meditation, journaling, or simply setting aside time for reflection.

Practice Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude for what you have. It shifts your focus to appreciate the present and what’s important to you and helps keep you on track.

Reflect and make Conscious Choices: Take time to reflect on your actions, decisions, and their alignment with your intentions. Don’t be afraid to adjust your behaviour and choices to keep yourself on track. If you are unsure whether an action is correct for you or not then take time our before you carry it out and sleep on it, also try and tune into your intuition and gut for extra guidance. So often we can neglect the impact or the signs we receive from our body -try to attune to your overall action (head and heart) about new choices before you make them.

Simplify and Prioritise: Declutter your life—mentally and physically. Prioritise tasks and commitments that align with your intentions.

Learn Continuously: Keep learning and growing. Seek knowledge that supports your intentions and helps you evolve in the desired direction.

Embrace Flexibility: While living intentionally involves direction, it also allows for flexibility. Life is dynamic, and sometimes adjustments are necessary, embrace change.

Living with intention isn’t about having everything planned or rigidly structured; rather, it’s about being purposeful in your actions and choices while remaining flexible to adapt to life’s changes. It’s a way to live more authentically, finding meaning and fulfilment by aligning your life with your deepest values and goals. It’s the pathway to a happy life.