How to Turn Good Intentions into Intentional Living

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I Meant to Do That

Most of us live our lives “going through the motions” and letting the events of each day or even each hour unfold before us and then reacting.  We live in a state of rolling with the punches, putting out fires and just keeping up.  We have good intentions, however do not lead a life of intention.  Letting life just happen to us instead of living a life of intention can have negative effects on many areas of our lives.  Living without intention can be tiresome, unpredictable and uncertain.  A life without intent can lead to unfulfilling relationships and even bad health.  Without intention we are leaving our lives up to chance.

Benefits of Living a Life of Intention

  • Sense of accomplishment and fulfillment
  • Control of one’s destiny
  • Daily and life goals are met
  • Time is spent on things and people we choose
  • Guilt free “me time”
  • More calm and less stress
  • Not being a victim of circumstance

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Long Haired Hippie People Need to Apply

Some may argue that living a life with intention can be too rigid and structured.  They may say they would prefer to have uncertainty than have their entire days and lives mapped out.  They could be afraid that living a life of intention will take away from their free-spirited nature and turn them into a conformist.  They may confuse intent with being content with being in the rat race, busy all the time or unable to play or grow.   Here are some other misconceptions about living a life with intention.

Misconceptions About Intention

  • Intention means not being able to be spontaneous
  • Intention can make us too structured
  • Less time for non-productive yet fun activities
  • People who live with intention are workaholics and have no leisure time
  • Living a life of intention means being a conformist

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Equal Opportunity Intentions

Whether you are a Politician, a stay at home Mom, an Athlete or a Pirate, living a life with intention is for you!  Instead of aimless wishing that we ate better, went to the beach more, or spent more intimate time with our favorite Wench, we have the ability to turn our daydreams into our lives.  If you intend to do it, then there is a much better chance that you will obtain the bounty you desire.

A Why for Help

Before you start a new behavior it’s important to ask yourself why you are creating a new intention.  If your intention is to drink more water, find a personal reason why this new intention will benefit you.  There may be many reasons that drinking more water is a good intention.  By finding one that is personal to you, say, suppressing your appetite or better athletic performance, you are more likely to keep at it.  My own personal reason to drink more water is to get better sleep.  Having your own personal “why” will make it more enjoyable than just drinking more water because it’s the right thing to do.

Intention Attention

Once I set my intention of drinking 82 ounces of water a day I had to find a way to make this intention a lasting reality.  I made it as simple as possible to succeed.  My husband and I researched and purchased a water filtration system that we love  ( Berkey BK4X2-BB Big Berkey Water Filter System w/ 2 Black and 2 Fluoride/Arsenic Filters) so my water tasted yummy.  I purchased a water bottle that held 28 ounces and chose three times daily that I had to be finished and to refill it.  I even wrote refill times on the bottle with a Sharpie marker.  Eventually my intention did not require attention and I realized that I conditioned myself to drink my intended daily water intake without even paying attention to it anymore.  Drinking enough water is now an intention that needs no attention.  It’s just what I do.

Start Small for Big Results

I have spent a lot of time working on my intentions and I currently have about thirty of them that are in various stages of my personal development.  I am proud to say that many of my intentions are now habits and do not need my attention anymore.  I also notice that I sometimes slip on my new habits and have to redirect my attention to them once again.  Living a life of intention keeps me on my toes!  The one thing I can say about my intentions is that I LOVE all of them.  I intend to make them all habits and I also intend on changing them and adding to them as I evolve and reprioritize.  The beauty part of this is that my intentions are mine and your intentions are yours.  I suggest that you start small with things that are most important to you and once they begin to be habits, add some more.  I have listed some of my favorite daily intentions.  I literally started with three things and my list is now over 30.  I am more focused, grounded, clear-minded and hydrated than I have ever been in my life!

Pippy’s Small List of Big Intentions

  • Drink a full glass of water upon wake-up
  • Write three pages (taken from The Artist’s Way)
  • Breathing exercises
  • Rehab/Prefab Stretch routine
  • Read my Mantra
  • Stare into space for five minutes
  • Do not make commitments that I cannot keep
  • Sent a thoughtful message each day
  • Only check email twice a day
  • Expressing Gratitude – Joy Journal
  • Eight hours of sleep a night

You have read How to Turn Good Intentions into Intentional Living” here first on Live Big and Small.

9 thoughts on “How to Turn Good Intentions into Intentional Living

  1. I really love the part about intention no longer needing attention. It is true that conscious behavior that we choose to purposefully enact, with time does become part of our pattern.

    I also love that gratitude to others, and yourself is part of your pattern.

    • Thanks for your comment Liesl. I really like how you are saying that things become part of our pattern. I still have to find ways to remember to make my intentions part of my make-up. I invent ideas to make it fun (like joy journaling) and try not to be hard on myself when I slack off in one area. I also found that self-helping can start to feel self-centered, so many of my intentions now involve opening my heart to others, and connecting with others. This has been bringing me more joy than can fit into my notebook!

  2. Where you’re intention or attention goes, your energy flows. This is beautiful Pippy. My mantra for today was actually “my attention activates my desires” so this fit perfectly in today’s thoughts. I always read your blogs with “Live Big and Small” in my mind and I love this balance. For me this one was sometimes my personal ego intention wants to go big and make too many things happen at once because my past belief is one needs to work crazy in all directions to make things happen. No….I get more distance from small intentions. Moving slower but then I have the
    full me to put into my intentions and then creativity and inspiration spritzes up!

    • It is not easy to stop being “busy”. I find that it is still difficult to relax and take time. I find that life going by just a little bit slower, works for me! It goes by so fast anyway, I don’t want to miss anything by running around being “Crazy-Busy”! Thank you so much for your comments!

  3. Thank you!! Intention…YES! This has been heavy on my heart and mind so much lately as I am still adjusting to being a stay at home mama. Yes, 18 months later..lol..but I love the word ‘intention’ so much more than ‘schedule’ thank you for your wonderful thoughts and words. I’m a fan! Keep writing mama!

    • Thanks for the comment, Kim. Being a new Mom takes some adjusting. It’s not just you anymore! Letting some of the chores get a little behind to allow spending quality time doing wonderful things for yourself, AND your new baby may take getting used to. What a wonderful gift to have that time together to share what you love about life with your baby.

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