Intention. This might be one of, if not, the most impactful habits that we can cultivate.
It really doesn’t matter who you are or what you do — focused and deliberate actions can alter the course of your life, yet “intention” is an attribute I rarely see advocated or taught.
Life is a beautiful mess…
There will be times where you’ll get to see the gorgeous sun and other times, in your life, where you have to endure days of torrential downpour. At one moment you can be basking in the news of a blessing and in the next shocked by tragedy — there is no true way to prevent the uncertainties of life.
It is for this reason why every day we should try and get ahead of the what we can, and to do that, takes intention. Without intention, your life can become reactionary. A reactionary life will make you feel as if you’re not in the driver’s seat. You don’t want life to pass you by with your dreams and aspirations in the rearview mirror.
With intention, life tends to slow down. You’re not doing things last minute and you’re not caught off guard as often. Applying intention to your life can make you feel as if you have some control over an existence wherein many things aren’t.
Whether it’s a relationship you wish to cultivate, a dream you’re pursuing or even your physical appearance, we have more power than we think.
When we’re intentional we’re proactive, and it’s with proactivity that we can ensure that we’re on track to properly conquer exactly what we want out of life.
#1: Know where you want to go
A reason it feels like life is hurdling at full force towards us instead of an experiential timeline is that a lot of us are floating without direction.
It’s easy to be blindsided when we don’t know what kind of rooms we’re entering. The first rule of intention and taking control of your life is knowing where you’re going — to have a destination in mind. That way we can formulate the best way to get there.
Without a location in mind or a goal to strive for, its hard to be intentional about anything. With purpose, there’s something to work towards, progress to track, and benchmarks to measure.
If you don’t have an idea of where you’re going then can you complain about situations never going your way? You can’t really be mad about things that slip away from you if you’ve never made a serious claim on them in the first place. That’s all intention is -making a claim on what you want in life
You should have some control over your life and at least some say in how it pans out. With that said, make sure you know what lifepath it is that you need to take.
#2: Intentionally schedule
An easy way to be intentional is to pick up the habit of scheduling. Write everything down, buy a planner, make posters, set dates, etc.
It’s impossible to keep track of everything that crosses our mind and it’s even harder to fit in everything we want to accomplish, but when we make deliberate steps — like writing things down — there’s a bigger chance of them happening.
Everyday wrinkles in life like getting in shape or wanting a stronger relationship with a family member are examples of what we have control over, regardless of circumstance.
It may sound silly, but giving yourself a quota for how many times to call your folks a week is a brilliant way of being intentional about your relationship with your family.
Similarly, meal prepping is universally accepted practice in the fitness world as a way to stay on top of your diet. This is what being intentional looks like.
We can’t always blame life and it’s unpredictability for our shortcomings. All it takes is a little planning ahead, and there’s only so much we can control.
#3: Constantly evaluate yourself and keep pushing forward
It’s up to us to take control of our lives. We can’t wait around for another individual to make it happen for us or for them to magically fall in place.
In fact, the people who wait are the main ones who feel like nothing is happening to them or that their life is out of their control.
When you’re intentional, everything that needs to be done is always at the forefront of your consciousness.
You know what you’ve done, you know what you haven’t, and you know what needs to change. It takes a regular revisitation of what we want for ourselves and the mind-frame to correct it, frequently!
It may take more concentration, headspace and foresight, but living with intention is liberating.
When we do our due diligence in making our behaviors intentional, we put ourselves in the position to be our best selves and to take control of our lives.