Living With Intention

Simplicity. Let’s talk about living with intention for a sec, shall we? I was thinking about this the other morning, as I made my coffee and sliced up some pineapple, with the mellow tunes of whatever song my favorite Spotify station 'Cafe Con Leche' played to set the mood for the day. 

living with intention

But, what exactly is living with intention? It's a buzzword we all keep hearing. 

For me, living with intention is living with purpose and on a deeper level minimizing, decluttering all aspects of life, letting go of the things that do not serve us purpose, allowing for the things that matter most to take space. By doing so, this "clutter" of life allows you to live with a deeper purpose that is much more meaningful.

I’ve been embracing a much more minimalistic approach to life since the start of the year, more so than before, living the way I want to live and going as zero waste as much as my daily life allows me to be. (Shout out to Chloe for the zero waste inspo and invaluable resources.) It's liberating. It's been a process of setting goals, slowly moving things out of my life, and creating new habits. 

So, how can you start living with intention?

Start with habits.

Everything starts with habits.

Think about an average day in your life. Maybe there is a ton of variety in what you do and how you spend your time. But we’re guessing much of your days that looks the same. In fact, research shows that about 40% of our behavior is repeated daily and in the same context. Whether it’s the food we eat, our daily commute, how we spend our free time, when we get to bed, and (maybe most importantly) everything in between, so much of our lives are spent doing things habitually. So when we’re thinking about how we want to change our lives for the better, habits are a great place to begin.  

On that same note, thinking about how we might begin to form positive, healthy habits, writer Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, encourages us to develop positive habits that help us do the following:

1. Sleep
2. Move
3. Eat/Drink Right
4. Unclutter

She describes these foundation habits and recommends we start with these four. When we do so, we anchor ourselves up to prioritize what is really important to us and can build upon them to achieve our greater, most fulfilling goals. When put into practice, all of these tools conceivably help us live to our full potential.

living with intention

any new habit needs attainable goals

Because any new habit needs attainable goals, writer Leo Babauta, the creator of Zen Habits, advises breaking our larger goals into yearly, monthly, and weekly goals as well as daily action steps. Thinking about how our goals can be achieved within this framework helps us see whether they can and should be what we focus on. When we consider how we can work towards our goals the micro goals (daily, weekly, monthly) we’re better prepared to see the bigger picture of our yearly goals and make adjustments as needed at the start.

Taking daily action steps toward achieving our goals is what he calls a Most Important Task (MIT). An MIT (or you may also know it as one non-negotiable) is the task you most want or need to get done today, and while Babauta identifies three for himself, one is always related to his goals. It's done every single day, typically first thing in the morning, and using this method ensures that he’s always moving his goals forward, keeping them front of mind, and staying on track.

What does living life with intention mean to you? Share here

Valerie is a San Francisco native who loves overall health and wellness. She content creator and recipe developer, helping brands in the Fitness, Health & Wellness space tell their stories through gluten-free, mostly plant-based food, life + travel.