Finding little ways to be intentional every day is key, because it's easy enough to move through the motions of life without thinking twice about what you're doing or why you're doing it.
That's where intentional living comes in. Intentional living is the idea that you can create a life of purpose and meaning that truly resonates with you and your values. At its core, that's what Silk + Sonder is all about — giving you the tools to live a life that aligns with what you truly want and believe in.
Sometimes, though, we struggle to know exactly how to live our lives intentionally. Here are 11 ideas.
How to Be Intentional
1. Do something every single day that brings you joy
This "thing" doesn't have to be time-consuming, but taking the time to identify something that brings you joy and doing it every day is an excellent way to start living with more intention. Some examples might include five minutes of dancing around your living room, a short walk outside, listening to your favorite song, or lighting a candle.
2. Wait 15 minutes before checking your phone in the morning
In our high tech society, one of the first things most of us are tempted to do in the morning is check our phones. What texts, emails, social media posts, and news alerts did we miss while we were sleeping? Believe it or not, the world won't end if you wait 15 minutes to find out, so work on easing into the day by waiting 15 minutes to look at your phone. You can use that time to meditate, practice deep breathing, move through a yoga flow, or journal instead. Trust us, it's a much gentler way to wake up.
3. Give the best hours of your day to yourself
What time of day do you feel the most energized, your brain the most sharp? For some people it's first thing in the morning, for others it's sometime in the middle of the day and for still others it's late at night (we see you, night owls). In order to live with more intention, identify when you feel your most energized, both physically and mentally. If possible, use that time to do something that matters to you, whether it's a personal project or physical movement.
If you're a morning person, honor that.
4. Honor your circadian rhythm
Piggybacking on the point above, some of us are night owls and some of us are early birds—this is your natural circadian rhythm. In order to live with more intention, try to pinpoint exactly when your body wants to sleep and when it wants to be awake. While it's not always possible due to work, school, and parenting schedules, try your very best to honor that rhythm. You may find that if you start paying more attention to your body's natural cues, you start living with more intention.
5. Keep an eye on what you consume on social media
There's no way around it: Social media is a part of life, and the idea of all of us quitting social media isn't realistic. But you can be mindful of what you're consuming as you scroll, asking yourself questions like, "does this make me feel better, or worse?" If the answer is worse, mute, unfollow, unsubscribe, the list goes on. It might not always feel like it, but you do have power over what you consume on social media.
6. Spend your free time in ways that make you happy
In our go-go-go culture, when we do have little pockets of free time, we don't always spend it intentionally. If you've fallen victim to Netflix binges and too much time scrolling, you're not alone—but identifying better ways to spend that precious free time, like reading a book or calling a friend, is a good idea.
7. Remember that time sleeping is not time you're wasting
"I'll sleep when I'm dead" is a popular quote, but there's nothing honorable about depriving yourself of sleep. In fact, if you get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, you'll be able to live out your day with a lot more intention than you would walking around in sleep-deprived haze.
Time spent sleeping is not time wasted.
8. Eat food that makes you feel good
Prepared with love, fruits, vegetables, and protein can be delicious—and they'll make you feel so much better and more energized than greasy takeout and high-sugar foods. If you don't consider yourself a cook, there's no time like the present to give it a try. You may just find a new passion.
9. Meditate — or at least practice mindfulness
We're not all meditators, and that's OK. But the purpose of meditation is to anchor ourselves in the present moment, and that's the absolute best way to stay live with intention. If the idea of sitting through ten minutes of meditation every day makes your skin crawl, try three minutes. Or try a few deep breaths. Anything that can take you out of your head and into the moment will help you live with more intention.
You don't need half an hour a day to have a daily journaling practice. If you have five minutes (or even two minutes) to journal, that's great. There's a reason "one line a day" journals are so popular: Everyone has time to write one line a day, and they help us live with more intention. Bonus points if gratitude is part of your journaling practice.
11. Make time to reflect
You can reflect in in a journal, but you can also close your eyes for a few moments and reflect that way. You can reflect by talking to your partner or your kids about your day. Reflection comes in many forms, and reflecting at the end of every day is a surefire way bring more intention to tomorrow.
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