How to live intentionally

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You are bound to be questioned. As much as I agree that you don’t have to explain to everybody, you still owe an explanation to yourself.

As I’m trying to live more intentionally, I found that I constantly reassess and question a lot of decisions in my life. Even as simple as what time will I want to wake up tomorrow.

Although this mentality has helped me to be more intentional, in a lot of ways it also demotivates me when I don’t have a noble reason to do the thing that I need to do.

But now I’m beginning to learn that we don’t always have to do it in an ad-hoc way, but rather, we can design it from the big picture.

As a reminder also for myself, these are the things that I find useful if we want to design a more intentional living:

Defining the values

First thing that we need to do is defining our values which should reflect what we believe in. I usually do this by the beginning of the year.

For me, I try not to limit myself to define one core value that I need to live for the rest of my life (maybe except for kindness), because I believe that as we’re constantly evolving, we’re also going to shift our beliefs at some points.

That’s why I regularly recalibrate and prioritize my values each year. The prioritization is especially useful when we started to lose direction and faced with a few options so we know what to put first. For example, I think I made the right decision to put Health on top of the list for 2020 as opposed to Relaxing.

The why and the what

Why is a fundamental thing that keep us to move forward and can help us to stay connected to the values we want to live with. Which I think will be easy to discover as we solidify our values.

The problem is, the why is also subject to our mental state. Something that motivates us when we’re happy may differ from when we are sad or frustrated. Try to be prepared for both cases.

The what, on the other hand, will determine what kind of tactics we want to take to get to where we want us to be. For me though, it doesn’t really matter to have a perfect “what” at the beginning as we can always tweak it later.

When you’re stuck and frustrated, try to be someone else

As opposed to the normal belief, I would say that we need to keep challenge ourselves to do something that we don’t normally do.

I find it useful to get out of our personality and try something else that we don’t typically do. This is also something that I’m personally still struggle with. But I think it’s kind of expected as this is not natural for most people.

What I think helpful so far is the one-week formula. Which basically, I will let myself to give something a try for a week. If I like it, I’ll keep it as a part of me. If I don’t, then I let it go. One week phase is crucial to give us the time to process the change because very few things feel fantastic the first time we try. For example, in the past, I challenged myself to be a vegetarian for a week instead of going full at once. A week is an easy commitment to trick my mind to feel ok with the change since I could always go back if I don’t like it at the end.

Systemical change

When we find that “the what” has started to not making sense, that would be the time to reassess the system. I found that while the why is still true in a long run in most cases, sometimes we need to change our path to replenish our motivation to keep doing what we want to do.

That means, changing the system, which is a state where I find myself right now. I feel like as I start to get more clarity on a few facets of my life, I need to do this to make sure that I’m adjusted to this new-found clarity.

I feel like I haven’t been fully intentional as I want me to be. But hell yeah, I think I’m progressing and that’s all that matters now.