9 Keys To Living Life With Intention In 2021

6 min read

You’re about to discover nine powerful keys to living life with intention. 

As an experienced life coach, I am regularly communicating with people who are tired of going through the motions of living life on autopilot.  

These nine keys to living with intention are among the solutions we explore together. 

So, let’s learn what they are and how they work. 

9 Keys To Living A Life Of Intention

The amazing thing about these nine keys is that you can start implementing them all in your life  TODAY.

For each step, I’d recommend writing down what immediate changes you will make to begin living more intentionally. 

After that, it’s up to you to follow through. 

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#1. Decide Your Personal Values  

Write down at least five adjectives that you wish people would describe you as.

It’s not for me to say what they should be, but here are some examples: kind, selfless, understanding, hard-working, brave.

Whatever words you choose, please know that you can become these things today just by changing your behaviours. 

Perhaps you already behave in a way that aligns with some of these words. That’s great! 

Maybe you wrote down a word that nobody would currently even dream of using to describe you. That’s also fine.

You can still take steps to develop this trait.

If you’re not funny but you wrote that word down, start watching more comedy. Perhaps you can take comedy classes. You can definitely start trying to make jokes, even if you’re stealing other people’s jokes initially. That’s three actions right there.  

If you’re not athletic, but you wrote that word down, that’s a clear sign that being fit and healthy is important to you. Now, you know you need to take more purposeful action to improve youe nutrition and exercise routine.     

Whenever you’re faced with a decision in your life, remember the values you wrote down. Then, ask yourself what would that person do? That’s a great exercise to help you live with intention. 

#2. Envision Your Perfect Day

Take the time to imagine what your perfect day would look like. 

What would you spend your time doing? Where would you be? Who would be with you?

Once you’ve painted a clear picture of this perfect day, ask yourself how you can live days like this more often. Maybe it’s possible to create a life where every day involves your favourite things.

If there’s someone out there already living that life, that means you can do it too. 

Perhaps to get there, you’ll need to earn a lot of money. 

So, that leads to the next question…   

What would your perfect work day look like? Is there a way to monetise your passions? 

If there’s someone out there already living that life, that means you can do it too ;).   

Maybe it will take years to get there, but if you’re taking at least one step every day, you’re living with intention.  

#3. Do Something You’re Proud Of

This is a great way to live intentionally!

If you feel like your days are being wasted – or you don’t feel like you’re making an impact on this world, I’d recommend this. 

Do one thing that makes you feel proud.

Perhaps it’s a daily habit for yourself, like waking up early to work out, skipping dessert after dinner or avoiding cigarettes for another day. 

Maybe it’s a selfless act for someone else. Giving to charity. Doing your friend a favour. Giving compliments. Helping someone worse off than you.   

Whatever you choose, take a few minutes to acknowledge your actions at the end of the day. 

Living Life With Intention
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#4. Questions Your “Have Tos”

At this point, you may be telling yourself that there are too many things you “have to” do. Perhaps these “have tos” have been getting in the way of your life of intention.

If so, I’d encourage you to ask yourself if you really have to. Who said that you have to and when was the last time you questioned this?

Maybe you’ll realise that it’s just a habit you’ve always done. Perhaps your parents and peers made you feel like you “have to”, but that’s not actually true.

Take an inventory of what you actually have to do every day, and eliminate all “have tos” that don’t serve your values. 

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#5. Ask “Why” Before You Buy

You’ve already envisioned your dream lifestyle. If you need extra money to move closer towards this, it’s time to start spending intentionally. 

Before you make a purchase, ask yourself “do I need this?”.

Yes, the fake “have tos” also exist within your spending habits…

An even better question to ask is whether your purchase aligns with your personal values.

Do you really want it, or do you want it because society says you should want it?  

#6. Relax Intentionally

You don’t have to be hustling all the time to live with intention. Nor do you have to be out and about living your best life all the time. 

Everyone needs time to unwind too.

However, I’d encourage you to explore whether your choice of downtime activities are actually helping you relax and rejuvenate. 

A classic downtime activity that doesn’t do a lot for most people is mindless scrolling through social media. 

It’s easy to get lost in this habit for an hour or more, and it’s common to not feel particularly great about yourself afterwards. If that’s you, make an intentional decision to quit this habit. 

Instead, choose to make the most of your downtime by doing something you truly love. Enjoy a hot bath. Watch your favourite TV show. Call one of your best friends. Play your favourite video game.  

Think about what low-energy activities really do re-energise you and fill your day with joy. Start filling your downtime with these, rather than habitual time-sucks that don’t serve you.  

Life With Intention
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#7. Be Mindful Of The Media You Consume

This extends beyond the avoidance of social media binges.

I’d encourage you to analyse all the media you consume and question whether it’s contributing to your desired lifestyle.

Many people think they “have to” keep up with mainstream news, but is this true? Has this ever contributed to a more positive life for you? Most of it is fear-mongering and useless knowledge.  

Perhaps you could replace the time you spend reading newspapers? Maybe you could read inspirational books or podcasts instead? How about autobiographies of people living the life you want? 

This type of media is often entertaining, as well as useful and informative. It might take a short while to adapt to this new habit, but I’d bet you’d soon feel a lot better for doing it. 

#8. Practice Active Listening

This is a simple action you can take to improve your relationships.

Active listening is the practice of listening to understand, instead of listening to respond. 

If you’re training to become a life coach, you’ll study this concept in great detail. But, if you’re new to the idea of active listening, you can start by adopting the following habits during your conversations.

  • When someone is speaking, don’t think at all about how you’re going to respond. Focus entirely on what they are saying. This will most likely give you extra mental bandwidth to notice sub-communications in their body language and voice tonality, helping you know what they’re really trying to say. 
  • Use your own words to ensure you understand what the other person is saying. This may involve rephrasing their words or repeating them to make sure you’re getting the right idea. 
  • Dive deeper. Instead of giving your opinions immediately after they’ve finished talking, ask questions to get a deeper idea of how they feel. 

These three actions will do so much to help you create more meaningful personal relationships. If you don’t like pointless smalltalk, active listening will help you direct your conversations towards the things that matter.

#9. Declutter 

Most people fill their living space with hundreds of items they don’t want or need. This is another form of living on auto-pilot.

Decluttering simplifies your life. It can reduce stress too.

You may find you’ll be able to sell items and put the money towards things that support your life purpose. Perhaps you can also downsize items with high running costs.     

Donating items to charity shops is an intentional action you can be proud of too.

Summary: How To Live With Intention

Hopefully you have a lot of ideas about how to live with intention at this point.

Even so, I want to close off this article with a short summary based on some questions I frequently hear from my clients.

How Do You Live With An Intention?

Decide what you really want from life. Take consistent actions that align with this. 

How Do I Start Living Intentionally?

There are nine suggestions listed above. As I already mentioned, the great thing about these ideas is that you can get started with them TODAY. 

What Is The Difference Between Intention And Purpose?

Your purpose is the reason you were put on this earth. Intention is taking the action to stay true to your purpose.  

What Does It Mean To Live Life On Your Terms?

This means living with the intentions that you set, not the rules other people set for you. 

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Do You Have Any More Questions About Living With Intention? 

I really hope you enjoyed this article and it made an impact on you.

In my experience, these actions do so much to help fill people’s lives with happiness, success and purpose. 

They will also help you get to know yourself and live life with a new sense of self-confidence.

If you want to ask me a question about living with intention, don’t hesitate to write it in the comments.

I’ll do my best to answer as quickly as possible. 

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