Intentional, purposeful living could very well be the key to wellness.
Let’s face it, we live in a world of constant distractions and an over-abundance of choices. It can be difficult to stay on track with your goals when you face never-ending interruptions.
Living with intention for focus and mindfulness embraces the philosophy of actively shaping your life through making deliberate choices. And those choices, decisions if you will, influence our well-being. Too many choices, getting sidetracked, losing focus all contribute to stress and anxiety. And that ongoing stress affects your overall wellbeing—usually in a negative way.
Intentional living is basically conscious decision-making—micro-decisions of everyday life as well as the big, life-altering decisions. Think about it. In the course of maybe an hour in the morning you make decisions on what to eat, whether to catch the morning news, what to wear, who gets a ‘good morning’ text, and maybe even whether to go into the office or work from home.
Decisions surrounding what you consume or allow into your ‘space’ are going to either further your ultimate goal for life or distract you from it. All of these micro-decisions, if not deliberate, can easily derail your best-laid plans.
Here are a few aspects of life that you might consider with intent:
Choosing nourishing, wholesome foods to fuel your body, providing the energy and vitality needed to maintain a pleasant, positive lifestyle. Opting for a piece of a co-worker’s birthday cake certainly won’t derail your health in one shot, but a habit of over-eating sugary snacks might be something you want to focus on. Intentional task: Eat a mindfully healthy lunch, so when that cake makes the rounds, you’ll only have room for one polite bite.
Be mindful of what you let into your memory bank. Every curse word, every disdainful remark, every insult, every negative or angry thought adds up. How can you reduce the amount of negativity that enters your brain? How about diluting it with positivity? Intentional task: Limit your news intake. Maybe only watch the first and last 5 minutes of a broadcast or eliminate news apps from your phone. Believe me, people will tell you all you need to know without actually seeing the footage. Meanwhile, surround yourself with people who lift you up and add an energizing podcast to your daily routine.
Intentional living includes a conscious effort to cultivate a positive, growth-oriented mindset. Be mindful of your negative patterns and limiting thoughts. Then actively choose to replace those patterns with thoughts that align with your aspirations and values. Practices such as meditation or journalling help to refine our thoughts and foster a more positive mental frame of mind. Intentional task: set aside 5 minutes each day to write out 3 things (or people) you are grateful for.
You may not be able to control who you are related to or work with, but you can certainly create boundaries for how often you connect with them. By the same token, you can ADD positivity to your days by surrounding yourself with uplifting people. And even more importantly, you can ADD positivity to those around you. Being intentional about the company you keep can help reduce toxicity and cultivate growth. Intentional task: Reach out to one person each week who exudes positivity. This can be a podcast or a friend, but you want to cultivate the relationship/habit.
Yes, what you let into that three-square-feet of personal space should be purposeful. From hate to hugs, from mayhem to melodies, from smog to sunshine, you allow a certain amount of negativity that then needs to be diluted by pleasantness. Design your personal space to reflect your creativity, promote tranquility and enhance your overall quality of life. Declutter your physical space as well as your mental space to create room for clarity and focus. Intentional task: Take 3-5 minutes each week to declutter one area of your physical space—a drawer, glovebox, desktop icons—it’s amazing how liberating this can be. Opening up your physical space tends to open up your mental clarity.
Embracing an intentional attitude is a continuous journey.
It includes a certain amount of self-reflection, a willingness to make conscious choices, and the courage to align your actions with your values. In a world filled with distractions, intentional living serves as a compass, directing you back to what you truly value.
I challenge you to choose one intentional category each week to focus on what you ingest, who you associate with, how you fill your personal space and the thoughts you entertain. Each week you bring yourself intentionally closer to your authentic self and a meaningful existence
Intentional living can certainly reduce stress and increase well-being, bringing balance to an otherwise chaotic existence. Need help? We have a certified health coach who can help you find your focus, leading you to an intentional, healthful and rewarding lifestyle.