Living with intention is mindfulness at its peak. How many days do individuals trudge to work, pick up the kids, watch television, and go to sleep only to repeat the process the next day? While these tasks are unavoidable, they also may create a way for individuals to emotionally ‘check out’ from dreams, goals, and personal development.
Here are some simple ways to add intention to your life and reap the benefits of introspection and personal achievement:
1. The Importance of Health & Well-Being
It is hard to focus on anything when feeling lethargic, burnt out, or unhealthy. The first step to living with intention is treating yourself and body with respect. That means eating healthy, engaging in moderate exercise, and receiving an adequate amount of sleep. Create a realistic routine, and try to stick with it. Being physically healthy is an important aspect of maintaining emotional well-being, and this is the first step.
2. Set Goals and a Plan of Action
Research supports that the best way to reach a goal is to set sub-goals and determine a plan of action for how to methodically solve each obstacle until the goal is reached. This is less about timelines and more about knowing each step. For example, running a marathon requires months of prep work. Working backwards can help figure out how much training is needed per week until the big race. By using sub-goals such as “running one mile this week, and two the next” helps individuals stay focused and excited about goals.
3. Recognize Your Control (or Lack of Control)
It is important to recognize what aspects of life are controllable and which are not. Many people get sucked into fulfilling the status quo without really doing anything to make them happy. For example, it is hard to control how a boss or manager may act, but it is in an individual’s control to have a discussion with a boss to address the feeling of lack of respect or value.
4. Celebrate Your Successes
Anything worth doing takes time. Enjoy the journey, and celebrate small victories. Little league wins, finishing a poem, or de-cluttering the home office are all tasks that should be celebrated with something that makes you feel happy, alive, and intentioned.
Living with intention provides helpful scaffolding in finding a purpose in life. Intention stems from knowing what brings joy, gratitude, and meaning to life. Another important factor to consider in living with intention is the recognition that goals, identities, and values change over time. Many individuals fixate on a point in the past or an old goal that was never achieved, and they fail to realize that life is fluid and ever changing. Dreams and aspirations may have evolved, and it is okay to change your mind, direction, and thought processes.
For more information or to speak to one of our staff, please contact us at (818) 758-9450 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
West Valley Counseling Center is located at 19634 Ventura Blvd. Suite 212 Tarzana, CA 91356