With all that happened in 2021, I wasn’t ready to make any plans for this year. Living with intention didn’t seem appealing.
Many of the goals we set for last year, had to be changed, adapted for those who could do that and for some completely stopped.
For the first time in our lives, we were shut up in our homes on demand, and there was so much uncertainty.
But I had a talk with someone, and it kind of gave me a new perspective on things. I realised then that I didn’t need to make big lofty plans, but I needed to still have a goal I was walking towards. The right word for it is to live intentionally.
The truth is, there has always been and there will always be circumstances beyond our control. We are not the creators of ourselves.
But living without intention translates to merely existing. It is living life without a purpose. Just drifting through life like a hot air balloon.
Why is living with intention important?
When you are living life intentionally, you have a drive, you have a goal. Even if you do not meet the goal at the stipulated time you may have set, the fact remains you still have something you are actively working towards.
Living with intention helps to determine how you respond to situations when they happen. It is everyday waking up with an intent and taking steps to live the life you want to live.
You become more mindful of the little things. Things like how you spend your day, the things you allow get to you, the books you read, the things you spend time obsessing over, the music you listen to, the people you relate with and how you actually relate with them, amongst others. It also helps you to be and discover yourself.
For instance, if your goal/intent is to earn a lot of money, you may not mind what job you do to earn as long as it earns you a lot of money. But if your goal is to have job satisfaction, then you will be a lot picky about the jobs you do.
If your goal is to earn a lot of money while having job satisfaction, there are also jobs you will prefer not to do.
Living with intention will involve you living on your timetable not anyone else’s. It involves not just having a vison but also having realistic workable steps to follow through on achieving the plan. Emphasis on realistic, because a lot of us have lofty plans that are not really realistic.
Living with intention involves, discipline and dogged determination.
Someone put it this way, ”we don’t want to be come and go people”, which translates to, we cannot just be living ordinary lives.
We want to look back at our lives and be satisfied because we didn’t waste it on things and people that really didn’t matter in the long run.
Life is good. Be present where you need to be present, not mediocre
Somethings you can be intentional about
- Intentional about giving
- Intentional about your finances
- Be Intentional about your health
- Intentional about maintaining healthy relationships
- Intentional about keeping boundaries
STEPS TO LIVING WITH INTENTION
1. Determine what your core values are
It begins with your core values about life.
Your core values will determine what you can do and not do. They guide your choices.
If for example you want to be intentional about your finances, you want to build it up, so you can maybe buy a house, your core values will determine what you can do to achieve it.
If your core values allow stealing, you will not mind robbing a bank as one way to get what you want.
2. It is an everyday decision
It is all the little choices we make daily that add up to the big choices.
If you want to maintain a certain weight, and your realistic workable plan is to walk at least 30 mins each day, each new day that comes, you have a choice to make.
Either use the time you have set aside in your plan to actually walk, or use the time for something else.
It depends on what is actually important to you.
PIN THIS FOR LATER!
3. Pay attention to what you do
Pay attention to how you currently act about what you want to be intentional about.
Be aware of how you are and what is going on with and around you.
Are you satisfied with the way it is right now or are there ways you believe you can do better?
List those things you dislike about what you want to be intentional about and list out the ways you can work on it and be better.
For example, if its your health you want to be more intentional about, you would have to ask yourself if you are eating healthy and doing the right things for your health and wellness.
It might also mean you going to your doctor for a checkup to get an idea about the general state of things.
4. Be accountable
Truth is, without being accountable most of the things you set out to do will fail. Many of us are masters at dreaming but dreamland is where we always remain.
Nothing will change and you will remain the same as you always were if you don’t hold yourself accountable to your actions.
Being disciplined is a habit that can be worked on and improved upon. When you hold yourself accountable, you are being disciplined.
If you find it hard by yourself, you can recruit a trusted friend/mentor to help keep you accountable.
Even with this, it is still your responsibility to put in the work, because no one else can force you to do the things you have to do, and you don’t want to frustrate the efforts of others who are trying to help you do what you, without coercion decided you want to do.
5. Create balance
Living with intention also means that while working on those areas you want to work on, you also have to create balance and not allow other important areas of your life suffer.
It will be defeating the purpose, if one area of your life is working as a result of you being intentional about making it work and then other areas of your life start failing.
All areas need to be thriving. The key is to strive for balance.
6. Trust the process
Trust the process and always periodically reassess to see how far you have come. It is only then you can fully see the amount of progress you have made.
7. Walk in your own path
You are a unique person so your journey might be different. Appreciate your uniqueness and embrace it fully.
Don’t be distracted by others, and don’t allow others to divert you from your path. Cultivate the habit of being firm in your decisions regardless of others.
The world is not lacking of people who want others to live like them. If that is what you want then that okay, but if not, stay committed to your purpose.
That your friend works 3 jobs at once, does not mean you can/should work 3 jobs. Do you have the capacity to keep up? What will you giving up to maintain that lifestyle?
Your reason for doing anything is as important as what you do when living with intention.
Living with intention does not mean you have gotten everything figured out. It is just having a clear reason why you do anything and making the needed adjustments as you go.
Even when you make mistakes along the way, you are still able to get back on track because you still have your purpose and you can use those mistakes as an occasion to learn.
“Work on Purpose, Play on Purpose, Rest on Purpose. Do not let yourself or anyone else waste your time.” – Izey Victoria Odiase
Also Read: The perks of living alone