How to Live Your Life with Intention

old fashioned compass - How to Live Your Life with Intention

During this time of year, we tend to reflect on our lives and the intentions we have for the upcoming year. I shared my 2023 intentions recently on my Instagram page. One was to spend more time with my friends, which, in practice, presented an interesting surprise: I want to do what they’re doing!! 

As an example, I traveled with work last week and met up with some long, lost friends who were doing such cool things:

  • One was running for public office
  • Another was taking a sabbatical
  • The other was participating in a 75-Day health and fitness challenge

What ensued? Over the course of the week, I dribbled some ideas to my husband of things I now, suddenly, wanted to do, too – like run for public office, take a sabbatical, and participate in an extreme health and fitness challenge.

My husband, who’s a great mirror, challenged my ambition: 

What happened to 2023 being the year you further clarify your vision and live your life based on your self-authored goals? 

(Okay, he didn’t really say it like that – it was more like “What the heck are you talking about? Where did this come from?!? You’re not serious, are you?” But I knew what he meant.)

His challenge sent me into reflection, which is where I determined that my Fear of Missing Out was at war with my intentions … and my FOMO almost won the most recent battle. 

How to Keep Your Intentions Targeted

Does this happen to you? Do your friends’ ideas ever capture your imagination and make you want to take a detour from the path that you’re on so you can join them? 

This has happened to me countless times in life. And while I don’t regret situations when my intentions were hijacked, moving forward I want to be more purposeful with my journey. If you are like me, you may be wondering what you can do to stay focused, work toward your greater life vision, and live your life with intention. Here are three things I’m going to start doing:

1. List My Intentions Daily.

In addition to writing in my gratitude journal, I’m going to start listing my 2023 intentions in my journal. Our intentions can be like our values – the more aware we are of them, the more likely we’ll act according to them.

2. Be More FOMO Aware and Use Your Compass. 

Apparently, I’m a joiner … to a fault. With self-awareness comes the opportunity to be better self-managed. So, the next time I leave a conversation with a friend completely inspired to change my course or invite a new initiative into my life, I need to have a conscious conversation with myself to explain what’s happening. And then quickly find my center, which is where my intentions exist. This awareness practice is a tool, like a compass, that will help me stay on target with my life vision.

3. Get More Resolute with My Dreams. 

This whole experience has made me wonder why I can abandon my amazing, ambitious, inspiring dreams so quickly and want to switch in pursuit of someone else’s. My belief is that this is because I haven’t developed my dreams to the point that I’m so passionate about them that I’d never think to leave them. In other words, I need to stop dating my dreams. I need to marry them. My dreams are pretty amazing. I need to determine the ones I definitely have a future with and be more resolute about them. That is how I can live my life with intention.

Now, with all this said, life’s journey is never a smooth, neat path. The reality is that there are some amazing detours we can take! I’m not suggesting that all things will be a hard pass. If they align with your intentions – go for it! The goal, though, is to keep finding your way back to your vision for you … that’s the path you were meant to be on.

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