A 4-Step Prescription for Intentional Living

Our modern society is so focused on working harder and longer, acquiring possessions, and achieving titles that we often lose touch with our true nature—that wise, beautiful, loving, and vibrant being within each of us.

We can get caught up in unhealthy patterns developed over the years. Before we know it, we’re just going through the motions each day. 

There is a way to return to a more intentional way of living. It begins by setting your intention for a balanced day. String enough together, and you’ll soon be on your way to an intentional life. Living an intentional life involves carrying out each day with consciousness. When you’re living with intention, you do everything with a conscious intent, which aligns with your core values. This involves clarifying your dreams, setting defined intentions, and crafting a lifestyle that aligns with your desires on a daily basis. Part of reconnecting with a life you love involves choosing an existence that aligns with your vision and desires.

Start with this exercise inspired by The Whole Cure to get started:

Step 1

Take some time before you start your day to reflect on and set your intentions for the coming day. Write down one or two affirmations for your day that are positive and aligned with how you choose to live your life overall.

When developing your daily affirmations, ask yourself:

  • How do I want to feel today?
  • How can I act in a way that aligns with my core values?
  • How can I move closer to alignment with my passionate purpose today?
  • What energy do I want to convey today?

For example, some daily affirmations might be:

  • I am thoughtful of myself, and others.
  • I am patient.
  • I am mindful.
  • I am compassionate.
  • I am purposeful.
  • I am kind.

Step 2

Use these mantras and the key focus words you have come up with to set your intentions for how you will carry out your day. Place them on a sticky note on your dashboard, fridge, wallet, or mirror—any place where you’ll see them frequently and be reminded of your intentions.

Use these words throughout your day to reconnect with your true self, especially when you’re faced with dilemmas or challenges. 

Step 3

Be patient and gentle with yourself. If you find yourself straying from your intentions during the day, becoming impatient, unkind or otherwise discontent, use it as an opportunity to return to your mantra and focus words. Use them to help you choose more intentional choices with the next opportunity life presents to you. 

Step 4

At the end of the day, take some time to reflect on what happened and how your thoughts, words, actions, and feelings aligned (or strayed) from your intentions. 

Ask yourself:

  • Was I _____________(kind, patient, compassionate etc. Use your focus word)?
  • How did my words, actions, thoughts, and feelings help me (or cause me to stray from) my intentions?

Use this exercise to remind yourself of your intentions and reconnect with your overall life goals, and values. It can help you to stop and actually think about how you choose to live your life and why you make the decisions that you do. As you develop a greater awareness and insight, you will be empowered to run your day and life instead of allowing automatic, conditioned patterns to take over and run you. 

What is your mantra for living an intentional life today? 

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About the Author

Jennifer Weinberg

Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine Physician and Author
Dr. Jennifer Weinberg, MD, MPH, MBE is a preventive and lifestyle medicine physician, author, corporate wellness specialist, blogger, and the founder of the Simple | Pure | Whole Wellness Method. Weinberg offers innovative online wellness and education programs for individuals looking for sustainable optimal health as well as health care providers seeking health communications support and corporations wanting to integrate a comprehensive approach to corporate wellness. Get a free preview of her best-selling stress management guide ...Read more