“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
-Henry David Thoreau
One of my biggest personal values is to live deliberately and with intention.
What we choose to do, think, eat, buy and believe every day affects the people, animals and very planet that we call home. As often as I possibly can, I want to make conscious and deliberate choices that will improve my life and the ecosystem that I am an intrinsic part of.
I believe that too many of us spend too much of our lives in a state of auto-pilot. We’re sort of half asleep and simply going through the motions of our day, generally repeating the exact same thoughts, feelings and actions what we did yesterday and that we’ll likely repeat again tomorrow.
The only way to grow and expand and truly suck all the delicious juice out of life is to wake up out of that sleepy state and try very hard to be more aware, more intentional and more deliberate about the choices you’re making, the impact you’re having, the life you’re creating and the person you’re becoming.
If you’re in agreement, I want to share with you 10 simple ways that you can start living your own life with greater intention. I’d love it if you’d share with me (in the comments below) other ways that you are bringing more intention into your daily life. Let’s start a massive list of ways to live more intentionally!
1. Notice stuff. Stuff like deer footprints in the snow, the way the light hits the side of your house, the sound your refrigerator makes and the smell of the orange you’re about to eat.
2. Carry the mantra, “slow down” with you throughout your day. Remind yourself to slow down. Catch yourself speeding, rushing and racing as often as you possibly can and tell yourself to slow down. You have the perfect amount of time to do everything.
3. See, smell, taste and savour each bite of your food.
5. Think before you buy. Do I need this? Where did this come from? Who made it and what is their life like? How long will I have it? Where will it go when I’m done? Is there a way for me to get this or something like it with less impact?
7. Listen to your body. Is it hungry, tense, tired, wired? Does it need to dance, stretch, walk, eat, fast, nap, laugh, jump, run, breathe? Where does it feel full or empty? Hot or cold? Tight or loose? Heavy or light?
8. Hug people (and/or pets) just a little bit longer.
9. Listen to other people. People you love and people you don’t. How are they feeling? What are they afraid of? What do they long for? What can you say or do to help them move further away from the thing they fear and closer to what they want?
10. Be curious. Start strengthening your curiosity muscle. Ask crazy questions. Question everything (especially the things it would never occur to you to question).