10 Ways to Create a More Intentional Life
1. Say No More Often
This is a super valuable lesson that I've been learning lately. There's only so many hours in a day and limited time to do the things and be with the people that bring you life. So, if opportunities come up that aren't an IMMEDIATE heck yes, then make it a heck no! Leave enough time for yourself and stop overcommitting to all the things.
2. Start a Reflection / Gratitude Journal
Lately I’ve been trying to take just a few extra minutes before starting my work day, with a coffee in one hand and pen in the other, to reflect and list out a few things that I’m grateful for in my life. And I’m going to encourage you to do the same because even though it only takes a few minutes, I think you'll be surprised at what a difference it can make on your perspective as you go throughout your day - I definitely can tell the days I spend with my gratitude journal, versus the days I don’t! So here’s your excuse to get another journal and lucky for you, I happen to sell journals!
3. Do a Digital Detox
I must admit, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. While it can be such a great tool to connect with others, encourage and inspire, I’ve often found I leave feeling inadequate or not “enough” after scrolling through many people’s highlight reels. SO I encourage you to take a break from one (or all) social media platform(s) that bring you the least joy for a week, month or even a year. Not only will it save a lot of time, but you’ll be able to really focus on giving your full attention to your loved ones and growing relationships with people that are right in front of you! If you just can’t do it and have to stay on social media, then I at least ask that you consider unfollowing some of those accounts that don’t bring you joy.
4. Set Short Term & Long Term Goals (instead of to-do lists)
It’s all about mindset. I tend to get really overwhelmed when looking at a super long to-do list that keeps getting moved to the next day because I can’t finish it all. But try thinking of a few goals for the day and accomplishing those so you can start reaching your long term goals faster instead of checking off the same old daily to-do list. If you’re type A, like I am, and love the feeling of checking things off of a list then don’t give up the to-do list. Just make sure that your to-do list is aligned with your goals for that day.
5. Start a Budget
If you don’t have one already, you should definitely consider getting a budget started. Finances can be one of the most stressful things and finding a good budget app has been key for me! I highly recommend YNAB (You Need A Budget) which is a paid app that I use and can say it’s totally worth the small monthly price for this gem of a resource. They also have a 34 day free trial if you want to check it out for free. Also, if you’re wanting something completely free, I hear Mint has a great and free budgeting app too!
6. Plan Your Time (and your time wasters)
Plan out the following day the night before so that there are no questions about what you’re going to do when you wake up in the morning. It also really helps me to plan to NOT check my email first thing in the morning, but rather before or after lunch. A simple, but highly productive tip I learned from Tim Ferriss’ book The 4 Hour Workweek - you should totally check it out if you haven’t already! And yes, I also said plan your time wasters because if you plan the time out that you’re going to scroll social media, watch YouTube or Netflix, etc. then you won’t get stuck on an unending rabbit hole only to be mad at yourself hours later.
7. Send a Card or Make a Phone Call Regularly
Reprioritize the relationships in your life and take a few minutes to send a handwritten card or make a phone call to someone you love and let them know how much you care. It'll mean the world to them, plus it'll make you feel pretty great too.
8. Create Health Goals & Check-in
Whether you’re wanting to lose weight, become less stressed, get in better cardio shape, avoid anxiety attacks, make it to the gym x number of days, or just want to start eating a little healthier, creating goals around where we want to be in 10, 20 or even 50 years is so important to avoid waking up one day and wondering how we got in such rough shape (mentally, emotionally or physically). We only have a certain number of days that make up our lives, so let’s take care of the bodies we’ve been given, make the most of that time and maybe even add some extra days where we can!
9. Volunteer More Often
I think this one is pretty self explanatory, but I believe there’s something magical that happens when we put the focus on someone else for a day or even part of a day. Volunteering can really help to bring perspective and your problems or stressors often start to look a lot smaller.
10. Go to Lunch or Coffee with a Friend that Brings You Life
It doesn’t have to be every day, but attempt to make time in your day at least once or twice a month for people who make life feel a little lighter and spark joy in the time you spend together - I promise, it’ll be worth it.