5 steps to living intentionally and creating a life we love
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
Consider an ideal day.
If you could design your ideal day, what would it look like? How would you spend your time in a productive, meaningful and fulfilling way? Working on interesting projects, spending time with your loved ones, playing a sport, reading, pursuing a hobby etc. Take note of the things that are included and more importantly, what wasn’t included? This a great way of knowing what is important to us and what is not.
Most of us just focus on getting through the week and completing our tasks and short term plans. How often do we ask uncomfortable questions about our life and what we want to do with it, what we like and don’t like in it and how we would like to change it?
Am I surviving instead of living? Am I living intentionally?
Intentional living is asking yourself why you do things – and being happy with the answers.
Here are some questions to consider –
- Why are my friends my friends?
- Why did I buy (insert your latest purchase)?
- Why did I choose my career/job?
- Why am I with my partner?
- Why am I working late?
How do the answers make you feel? Living intentionally means getting these answers and re-examining our choices if we are not happy with them. It means having the right purpose, whether tangible or intangible, behind our choices and actions. It helps us be happier and have fewer regrets.
“Most people spend more time planning a one-week vacation than they spend planning their life.” – Michael Hyatt
So how can we live intentionally?
There are 8 main life categories –
- Personal / Spiritual Development
- Environment (like home, work, community)
- Service (like volunteering)
Our lives are made up of choices. We can start living intentionally by assessing where we stand in each of the above categories, with respect to our core values and desires, and then make a plan to bring about changes in the areas that are out of alignment. In every sphere of our lives there are other options, but it means doing hard work, facing criticism and making tough choices.
We can follow the following steps –
1) Identify core values and make a vision for each of these categories
What makes you proud, happy and feel alive? Those are things and actions aligned with your values. Where do you stand in each of these categories? What is your desired future in each of them, and what is the reason behind it?
For e.g. Lets say my vision is to run a full marathon of 42.2 km (desired future) to improve my fitness and resilience (reason). My value is to be healthy and to challenge myself.
2) Set long term and short term goals
Goals give us something to work towards and keep us motivated. Having a goal to meet will put urgency and meaning to our daily actions.
Typically Long-term goals are goals that are greater than one year and short-term goals are goals that are shorter than one year. Our goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Going back to the previous example of running a marathon, my short term goal could be to be able to gradually increase my mileage (or running distance) every every 1-2 weeks. My long term goal could be to be able to do a long run of say around 32 km at a certain pace, 2 weeks prior to the main event.
3) Create monthly and weekly action plans
Goals become a reality when we work on them in a planned and consistent way. Create monthly and weekly task plans that work towards achieving your goals.
To better prepare for my marathon, I would require more than running practice, there would be nutrition, mental toughness and other forms of training. Preparing a task list with time set aside for each of these activities would increase my chances of achieving my goal successfully.
4) Make small repeated decisions
To be able to complete a goal, we have to show up everyday and be consistent in taking steps towards it. We need to ask everyday – What can I do to move in the direction of my goals?
5) Intentional living is a continuous process
We are constantly changing and evolving, and so are our values and beliefs. There is no finish line when it comes to intentional living. Living with intention means being in constant communication with ourself, deciding what’s working (and what’s not) and making small adjustments every day. Its the only way to create a life we truly love!
Bach flower remedies can help us live life intentionally.
If you find yourself drifting aimlessly and passively through life, the Bach flower remedy Wild Rose would benefit you. It will instil in you enthusiasm and exuberance. Listlessness will morph into exhilaration and that should get you well prepped for the next step. You will be able to go after your goals with renewed interest and vigour.
Taking Wild Oat at a time when you are feeling confused about your career would give you direction of purpose and help you in making the right career decisions.
The Bach flower remedy called Clematis is for day dreamers and for those who are generally disinterested in the present. It will help you concentrate and focus on the now. This remedy helps revive interest in the present and gives the will to realise dreams and goals. Once you feel sufficiently grounded you could take the ‘wild oat’ remedy for direction, if required.
Centaury helps if you are neglecting your own path in the service of others, because of your inability to say ‘no’ to those who take advantage of your kindness.
Chestnut Bud would help us to learn from past experience so that time and energy isn’t wasted as we move towards our goals .
Gentian would keep us from feeling disheartened each time there was a setback and we felt like giving up on our plans.
Larch would give us the confidence to achieve our goals. Agrimony would help us introspect and face, take stock, share and deliberate on the unpleasant aspects of our lives, if we are in denial that is.
Honeysuckle would help us let go of the past and to not let regrets and lost opportunities or even past glories keep us from being focused in the present .
White Chestnut is the remedy for the busy and preoccupied mind. Taking the remedy would help clear our worrying thoughts so that we can concentrate our energies on productive goals.
Scleranthus gives us poise, focus, balance and emotional stability. It also helps us to make decisions.
Walnut protects us from outside influences that keep us from achieving our goals and Cerato too can be taken help us trust our judgement and intuition for what’s best for us.
Olive Tree promotes wellbeing through healing with and learning Bach Flower Remedies. As practitioners of alternative medicine our aim is to enhance wellness and healing by restoring the mind and body harmony.
Our services include Bach Flower Therapy consultation (at our centre in New Delhi, and online worldwide) and a Bach Centre UK certified short distance learning programme which can be taken from any place in India and will empower you to heal your family and friends and also to start a fulfilling career in alternative medicine. We also sell Bach flower essences. To know more call us on 9717146337 or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.