Intentional living is all about living your best life according to the values and beliefs that you resonate with most. In order to make the lifestyle shift from more conventional to intentional, there are many different minimalist habits that you can begin to implement into your everyday life. While some of these habits for intentional living may seem difficult to follow along with, you just need to break them down little by little. These 12 intentional living habits are practices that you can incorporate on a regular basis that will help you to live a more mindful and intentional life, feel better, deal with less overwhelm, and really align your lifestyle with what is most important to you.
A quick disclaimer before getting into the habits: you are shooting for balance here, not perfection. It may seem exciting to start implementing all of these habits at once, but if you try to do too much too fast, the habits won’t stick. I recommend starting with one or two habits to begin with, and continually add more habits later, after you feel comfortable with your current habits. Start out with a few small victories that will motivate you to continue instead of giving up because you are taking on too much at one time.
Habit #1: Eat More Mindfully
Do this by both eating slower and chewing more thoroughly. It is easy to get caught up multi-tasking while eating; many people tend to continue working or watching tv while they eat. We tend to want to hurry through eating to get to the next task as fast as possible. Slowing down and savoring your meal will help to make sure you remain in the moment. You will be able to fully indulge in whatever you’re eating, relax more with less rush, feel more satisfied when you’re done eating, and it helps with digestion!
Habit #2: Reduce Excess Noise
While it is easy to be constantly connected to different sounds, try embracing silence. Listening more closely to natural sounds in our space or our world gives our brain a break and can help us relax. Of course, continue to enjoy music, podcasts, and other things you like to listen to, but give yourself a chance to just be and immerse yourself in the present.
Habit #3: Complete One Task at a Time (Practice Single-Tasking)
Have you ever felt so busy and like you were hopping from one task to another? No matter how busy life gets, we can actually accomplish a lot more by focusing in on one set task, and seeing it through to completion. The next time you find yourself flipping back and forth between too many things, shift your attention to just one thing at a time, and see if it makes a difference.
Habit #4: Focus on Your Senses
It is easy to take our senses for granted, but when we pay a little more attention to them, we become more immersed in the present moment, and much more able to enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer. Practice this the next time you go for a walk. Pay attention to the trees, flowers, or nature, listen for the wind blowing, smell the fresh air, and feel the warmth from the sun. You won’t regret it!
Habit #5: Move Your Body
Physical activity is a must to live more intentionally and feel your best. Aim to get moving every day, even if it is something simple or isn’t for a lot of time. Get up out of your seat, move around a little extra, stretch, and participate in any physical activities that bring joy to your life.
Habit #6: Practice Meditation
Meditation is continuing to become more popular, and with good reason. There are many physical, mental, and emotional benefits to meditation. If you are unsure about how to start, try out one of the meditation apps, programs, or journals that are available. These resources can keep you grounded and help you set up your own meditation practice.
Habit #7: Practice Self-Care
Self-care can take many forms, but it is less about “treating oneself” and more about doing what your body, mind, and soul need to recharge. This is unique to each person, so reflect about what you need to feel better. Some sample ideas include calling a loved one and catching up, making your favorite dinner, or doing something fun that you have been wanting to do for a while, as well as the obvious choices, such as getting more sleep and eating healthier.
Habit #8: Practice Daily Gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a must to live more intentionally. An attitude of gratitude actually shifts our mindsets to view things more positively. Even if some parts of life are not going as well, there is always something to be grateful for, even if it something small. If you are just starting out, try writing down a few things you are grateful for each day.
Habit #9: Improve Communication
Knowing how to communicate well is a must, but it has become a bit more difficult in today’s society, especially with the presence of filter bubbles, where we are more likely to interact with those and consume the content we agree with. We can become much better communicators if we are able to truly listen more and avoid getting defensive. Sometimes people focus more on their response than actually listening, which makes it a lot harder to have meaningful dialogue. If you find yourself doing this, focus more on truly listening to what the other person has to say, and take a little extra time before responding, if needed, to avoid making claims or statements you might regret later.
Habit #10: Schedule Time for Yourself
When balancing many different aspects of life, we don’t always take time for ourselves to recharge. Reflect about the activities that help to rejuvenate you and prioritize actions that increase your wellbeing. Even if it is just small blocks of time, scheduling in time for yourself is a way to prioritize your health and happiness, which can pay dividends in your life later on.
Habit #11: Practice Creativity
If you have ever believed that you aren’t creative, maybe you just haven’t had time to truly explore your creativity yet. The best way to increase your creativity is to try something new, learn something, be spontaneous, or let your mind wander. It’s not about being productive all the time. Give yourself more unstructured or relaxed moments, which can give you a boost of creativity and see things in life in a different way!
Habit #12: Be Kind to Yourself
Sometimes we are our own worst critics, which can be detrimental to our own self-worth. To live more intentionally, it is a must to shift our self-talk to be more understanding, just as we would be if we were talking to someone else. Maybe we have made mistakes in the past, but this is all part of the learning process. We must embrace our struggles and failures and view them as tools that we can use to learn and grow. Be kind to yourself!
When it comes to living your best, most mindful and intentional life, simply remember that it all starts with the habits that you create for yourself. By regularly practicing your new healthy intentional living habits, you will quickly notice a positive shift in how you look at life.
Want to continue working towards a more meaningful and intentional lifestyle? Begin by signing up for Conventional to Intentional, a 30-day course designed to help you live your best life! Get more information and enroll here.