Back in February, I did a live video about living with intention (check it out below!), and how easy it is to lose focus when you’re caught up in living that crazy busy life. Well, the entire world has changed a lot since then, and now is the time to make a conscious decision to get back to living intentionally.
For months, we’ve been waiting for things to “get back to normal,” but part of getting out of the crazy busy is taking action no matter the circumstances. We can’t keep waiting for something to happen before we can take action, so shift your focus from waiting to doing.
Here’s what you can do to live with intention, get out of living on autopilot, and be in control of the life you want to live.
Slow Down and Get Quiet
You can’t tune in and listen to your inner self when there’s noise, clutter, and busy-ness all around you. While I’m not saying you have to make the shift to live minimally, do take the time to slow down and embrace the quiet. Noise and constant chatter drown out what your mind and body are trying to tell you.
Your mind can’t even settle in to focus when you have the TV on, notifications buzzing, and all the other noise pollution around you. This can make you feel overloaded and overwhelmed because you can’t focus on what needs to be done.
While some of us don’t have jobs where we can shut off notifications, we can settle in for short spans of deep work. And when we’re at home, we can turn off phone notifications (more on that later!), turn off the TV in the background, and focus on conversation or inner work.
Set an Intention Every Month
So what is your intention right now? At the beginning of every month, reflect on what happened the month before and what you would like to accomplish in the month ahead. Boil it down to a one-word intention. This can be something like focus, fun, motivation, relaxation, wellness, and so on.
Write down this word on a post-it note (or even several of them) and put it where you’ll see it. Stick one on your computer screen, on the dashboard of your car, on your bathroom mirror—anywhere you will be likely to see it and bring your focus back around to this one word that you’re going to work on for this month.
You can even up the ante and set a weekly or daily intention. I recommend starting with a monthly word, and once you’ve mastered living with purpose for the month, home in your focus to weekly and then daily terms.
Regardless of the frequency you choose, start a morning meditation ritual to set your intention every day. Visualize what it looks like to live this intent throughout your day, and how it will make you a happier, healthier person.
Put Your Commitment into Action
It’s one thing to set an intention, but now you have to live that intention. It’s the same as buying a set of pricey workout DVDs—you can buy them, but if you don’t do the work, you’re never going to get into shape.
In the step above, I mentioned putting your word of the month where you’re going to see it often. Well, instead of glancing at the word and moving about your day, be conscious about how you can integrate that intent into your actions. If your purpose is to have more fun, schedule time to have fun! If it’s making more connections, call a friend. If it’s staying more focused, minimize distractions.
I don’t care how tired you are when the time to have fun comes—get off your behind and have that well-deserved time. Come hell or high water, make it happen, even if you don’t feel like it. The more you make this habit over the month, the more likely you are to keep this ritual in your everyday life.
Be Conscious About Distractions
Above, I mentioned finding time for quiet is a huge part of your commitment to living intentionally. But there are other types of distractions outside of noise and clutter that can derail your progress.
Distractions can be things as innocuous as settling in for an hour of Candy Crush or checking your Instagram feed. But it can also come in the form of those around you sabotaging your efforts because they can’t understand your desire to take time for self-care and personal improvement.
Set hard boundaries for yourself and those around you. Be clear by saying, “This is important to me, and while you may not understand why I’m doing this, please honor this part of me.” Don’t make excuses, and don’t settle.
Track Your Progress
I love journaling, and this is a great tool to keep track of your goals and progress. Whether you write out your goals and progress in long form or use something as simple as bullet lists or notes on a calendar, do what works best for you.
At the end of every day, write how you lived your intention. If any roadblocks got in the way, track how you got around them or what you’ll do better next time. The point of this journaling is to check in with yourself to hold yourself accountable, to celebrate, and to stay the course.
Living with intention is a journey, and not a way of living that happens overnight because you decide to. You will have victories. You will have moments where you’ll feel defeated. The point is that you keep going and keep doing the work so that you can intentionally live the life that you want to.
It’s not too late to pivot and get back to that intention you began with at the beginning of the year. No matter where are you right now, you can make the decision to steer the ship back on course. You’ve got this!
In my 8-week coaching program, I will show you how to live intentionally so you can live a happier life that you are more in control of. Learn more about my coaching program here, and sign up for my free webinar!