Consciousness. Awareness. Mindfulness. These are descriptors of what it means to live a life of intention; to realize that humans simply follow what they've always been taught, without asking questions. We, as beings with the most advanced brains on this planet, oftentimes choose not to use them.
We choose to ignore any new information that may disrupt the traditions and lifestyles we've all held so dear for hundreds of years.
Because it's easier. It's easier to go through life mind-less, rather than mind-full. All you have to do is roll with the punches - wake up, go to work, come home, watch TV, go to bed. Throw a spouse, a few friendships, and a couple of vacations into the mix, and you've described the average American life. Your mind doesn't need to be very full to live a life like that.
Living intentionally doesn’t mean you’ll get to do everything you want, nor does it mean you’ll do everything perfectly.
Even though I seek to be intentional every single day, it doesn’t mean I never drop the ball. And I’m okay with that because I will always try again tomorrow.
So here are our best 10 tips for living each day with intention:
1. Get your Sleep. Rest is a vital part of being intentional. Too many of us, get into a cycle of burning the candle at both ends. You need your rest.
When you’re rested, you can think more clearly, which means you can get more done. Being purposeful about getting enough sleep will help you be more intentional every single day.
2. Know what you're putting into your body. Your body is like your very own sacred temple. It houses your mind and your soul - everything that you are - and keeps you on this planet.
You owe it your life. The least you can do is stop poisoning it. Make it your intention to learn about every single thing you're putting inside of your body.
3. Work hard at relationships. If you're thinking about someone, tell them. If you miss someone, don't put off seeing them. Keep track of your friends' birthdays and send them cards.
Be fully engaged in their lives, and make it your intention to put your all into every interaction you have with them. Friends and family are who are always going to be there for you... not your job, your house, or your cell phone.
4. Define a purpose. Identify what you want your life to communicate and contribute. Find a passion to live for that is bigger than yourself.
Write it down. It will bring new meaning to your life. It will wake you from the slow death of only living for yourself.
5. Set goals. Goals move us and goals shape us. Set goals that are directly in line with your defined purpose. By their very nature, they will introduce intentionality into your life.
6. Learn from others. Successful people are curious people. They possess the humility to learn from others. Identify people accomplishing your purpose and goals. Then, study them and learn from them.
7. Know your body. Stretch every morning. Sleep naked. Practice yoga. Whatever it takes for you to know your body - every imperfection; every limit; how each part feels when it moves, bare, unrestricted by clothing - do it. The mind and body are connected.
Knowing your body leads to knowing your mind. Make it your intention to do something that allows you to know your body a little bit more each day.
8. Appreciate everyday beauty. Sunsets. Vast horizons. Twinkling snow. Blue lakes and blue skies. White-tipped mountains. Trees with strange branches. Rainbows.
Whatever type of beauty is in your area, make it your intention to identify it, and then appreciate it. Every day.
9. And finally... Decide to live your life. Stop comparing yourself to others. You were not born to live their life. There is no sense in wasting yours being jealous of theirs. Instead, you were born to live your life – determine today to be good at it.
After all, you only get one shot.