I’ve been seeing the phrase “intentional living” popping up more and more recently. At first, I thought it was an extension of minimalism. And it is, to a point. But, it is also so much more than that.
What is intentional living?
In short, to live intentionally means to live purposefully. It means to not live your life on autopilot and make all decisions in your life with intention to make sure they support the life you want to live and the person you want to become.
Who is intentional living for?
Intentional living is for anyone who feels like they are living their life on autopilot and want control over their life again. It’s for anyone who feels like there are things lacking from their life and want to take a closer look at what those things might be. It’s for anyone who strives to be the best version of themselves.
How do I practice intentional living?
First, visualize your ideal life. What sort of job would you have? What sort of people would you surround yourself with? Where would you live? What kind of hobbies would you have? What would your core values be? Try to think of all aspects of your life, and write these thoughts down if you need to.
Next, think about your life currently. What are your relationships with friends and family like? What is your average day at work like? What do you currently do in your spare time? Think about the things that you are both happy with about your life, but also unhappy with.
Then, think about the things that are missing from your life currently that are keeping you from reaching your ideal life. Is your job as fulfilling as you’d like it to be? What are some qualities that you’d like in a friend or a partner that you’re not seeing? What are some hobbies you’d like to pick up? What are some skills you’d like to learn to further your career? Take note of what these discrepancies are and think about what changes need to be made.
Finally, realize that this is an ongoing process. While the initial reflection on your life is important, intentional living should be practiced at all times. Anytime you need to make a decision, whether it’s who you spend your time with, a new job offer, what sort of book to read next, what company to give your money to, make sure you make those decisions consciously and that your choice reflects who you want to become as a person.
How does this relate to minimalism?
Since intentional living can be applied to all aspects of life, I see minimalism as a facet of intentional living. To be more conscious about your life is to look at the things you consume and to analyze what things you can cut back on to be a more conscious consumer. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to be a minimalist in order to live intentionally. As long as you are aware of your habits as a consumer, that’s all that matters.
Have you ever practiced intentional living? What changes has it brought to your life?