“We know what we know, but we don’t know what we don’t know.”
At the end of any given day, we may feel like our lives are filled with obligations and little else. Whether it’s because of work, school, or other commitments, there aren’t many moments left for anything more than the essentials. Most of us go from one obligation to another with barely a moment to catch our breath.
How can we make space for living more intentionally in this hectic world?
It might seem impossible at first glance; however, you can live more intentionally every day in several ways. Even if you feel your life is all obligations and no meaning, it’s never too late to change that. Intentional living lets you focus on what truly matters instead of just going through the motions.
Here are five ways you can live more intentionally every day.
Develop your values
Our values are what ground us and give our lives a sense of meaning and purpose.
Remember, the person who does not need to agonize over every decision is typically the one who has cultivated a greater sense of meaning and purpose.
An exhausted person has to think about everything because they lack a proper framework for analyzing and making decisions.
These are the core beliefs that determine our priorities, what we want to achieve, and how we want to interact with the world. A person with solid values doesn’t just “go with the flow” of the day. Instead, they have a purpose and a reason for everything they do — even if it’s as simple as making coffee in the morning or taking the train to work.
If you want to live more intentionally, starting with your values is essential.
Ask yourself important questions to challenge your beliefs and instincts.
If I get what I want, what will change?
Will this incident matter in two years?
The list goes on…
Ultimately, these thoughtful questions can calm your anxieties and force you to slow down.
By centering your life around your values and priorities and asking the questions that lead to your “epiphanies,” you will feel more connected to what you’re doing and be more satisfied with your daily routine.
Your days will have a greater sense of purpose, and you will feel more in control of your life…. One small step at a time.
Set intentional rituals
Rituals are an excellent way to connect to what truly matters in your life.
Rituals are often connected to our values, such as a daily gratitude routine, waking up at 4:30 am, weekly self-reflection exercises, or even family meals. You can proactively make time for what matters to you by setting intentional rituals.
You don’t have to be a servant to your daily obligations.
From what Jocko Willink has said, discipline is the key to achieving freedom.
It’s contradictory, but when you look at individuals who are considered successful and “great”— Tim Kennedy, Lex Friedman, Cody Sanchez, and Mel Robbins of the world...
At first glance, they seem to be completely “free” from arbitrary restrictions and limitations.
But under further scrutiny, you realize although they appear entirely free, they aren’t.
They each have set “intentional rituals” that bring order to their unpredictable lives and carry them safely amid the chaos.
…. Complete freedom isn’t all that great and the grass (typically) isn’t greener.
Be grateful and enjoy the small pleasures
Gratitude and appreciation help you focus on the positive aspects of life.
There are many things to be grateful for, even on your worst days. Start each day by jotting down or speaking out loud about the things you are thankful for. Whether it’s your family, friends, or even the ability to walk— there are always things to be grateful for.
Each moment you experience is a gift. So, stop moving and just be… Enjoy being human!
And remember that appreciation isn’t just for the “good” things in your life; it’s about appreciating yourself too. For example, appreciating the obstacles you’ve overcome in life or the challenges you’ve endured.
Ultimately, if you want to feel more content with your life, try the above.
Take time to recharge
We all need moments where we can completely relax and unwind from the hectic pace of our lives. Whether it’s going for a walk outside or spending time cleaning your home, it’s crucial to find time to recharge.
Because if you don’t find time to recharge, you will burn yourself out. Even Ernest Hemingway took long walks whenever he was stuck in his writing.
You can’t give your all to every task and boast to everyone about how busy you are every day, you will 100% lose clarity.
You will be stressed out, tired, and unproductive.
When you take time to recharge, you can think more clearly about what’s important to you and how you want to spend your time. You can avoid feeling pressured to do everything and make better, conscious choices about how you want to spend your time.
Build new habits.
The daily things you do often become habits. Habits are often positive and can help you save time and energy.
That said, not all habits are created equal, some of them are a detriment to your life.
If your goal is to live more intentionally, you should change or discard some of your current “practices.”
Often, we feel overwhelmed, busy, and get stuck in “survival mode,” where we react to everything and ignore our own needs. We know it’s a problem, but we don’t know how to solve it because we never took the time to cultivate new ways of handling these problems.
If you truly want to change these problems or “habits,” you have to let yourself explore new pathways.
New pathways lead to new discoveries.
… And new discoveries can lead to better habits.
Living more intentionally allows you to experience life fully by savoring the present moment and making the most of your time.
When you’re living more intentionally, you are more mindful of your decisions and how they impact your life. You’re not just “going through the motions” but actively living a purposeful life that you’ve chosen. There may be times when your daily obligations take precedence over your values.
There WILL be times when you feel stressed out or busy, but you can still actively make choices that align with your values during these times of distress.
By living more intentionally, your outcome will be a more succinct inner dialogue, increase in resilience, insight, peace, and happiness...The ability to experience life more fully and appreciate it to a greater degree while still maximizing your free time… even if you are a busy person spinning multiple wheels.
That’s called Intentional living.