An Introduction to Intentional Living (How To Stop Living on Autopilot)

Everyone seems to be talking about intentional living lately, but what exactly does it entail? And what difference does it make?

I’ve been interested in intentional living since I “discovered” it about a decade ago and it changed my life. Here’s the short version:

My twenties were hectic, as they are for most women, with school, a career, and a mortgage to pay off. I was working hard and getting tired, but I thought that was normal.

Isn’t being tired and overwhelmed a normal part of growing up?

That’s what I told myself. “This isn’t right!” something inside me screamed, but I didn’t have the time or energy to listen. I was too preoccupied with keeping my head above water.

Autopilot Living


Are you living your life on autopilot? Does it feel like you’re going through the motions on a treadmill where you’re moving but not progressing? If you’re not sure, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions of your daily routine without really being present or aware of what you’re doing?
  • Do you find yourself daydreaming or spacing out often?
  • Do you feel like your life is passing you by and you’re not really living it?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s likely that you are living on autopilot.

Autopilot living is when we go through the motions of our lives without really being aware of or present in the moment. We may be physically present, but our minds are elsewhere – lost in thought, daydreaming, or worrying about the future. This can lead to feelings of disconnection, dissatisfaction, and even depression.

If you’re ready to start living with intention and purpose, then keep reading. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about how

If you feel like life is just “go, go, go,” and like you’re always falling behind. If you stay busy, you’ll never have the presence of mind to converse with that nagging voice telling you there’s got to be more to life than just existence. It is so easy to focus on the lesser goals, than monumental life improvements, which could range from new shoes to a new house.

If you feel like doing and having more are the keys to accomplishment, I want you to pause and reflect. Is what you’re working for really more important than ensuring that you are aligned with your goals and purpose? Definitely not. In reality, you can try to accomplish and accommodate a lot in life, but if those efforts don’t get you closer to self-actualization, are they truly important?

The point of getting off the hamster wheel of routine is to make your life count in meaningful ways that lead to tangible growth.


Is home ownership absolutely crucial? How come you put in so many hours working for someone else each week? Is this the life that you dreamed about?

Who knows the answers? You do! If you’re not asking this type of question are you ever going to prioritize your life to make progress on your dreams? Not likely. Dream realization takes effort. Instead of just getting through the week, you’ll need to invest in yourself, your dreams, and their actualization. Being busy in fulfilling ways is the essence of intentional living.

If you’re fantasizing about being somewhere else or even someone else, but never seriously progressing.  Consider reprioritizing your life to allow you to make progress.

Start by taking a closer look at your focus. Make some goals where you can make improvements toward your goals instead of continuing life on autopilot. I made life decisions (both big and small) based on what everyone else was doing, and I let the momentum of these choices drag me through life.

Don’t let life pass you by while you’re living someone else’s life. To learn more about giving intentional living a shot at aligning your inner and outer worlds read on.

What is intentional living?


Intentional living is the practice of making conscious decisions about how you want to live your life. It’s about living with intention and purpose, rather than letting life happen to you.

You can’t claim to be living intentionally unless your daily actions are guided by your beliefs. Basically, this means prioritizing your own needs and values and acting accordingly. Intentional living becomes a daily practice.

Living intentionally doesn’t mean that you have to have everything figured out. It’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life or where you want to be in five years. What matters is that you’re aware of the fact that you have choices and that you’re making decisions based on what you want, rather than what you think you should do or what other people want for you.

One of the best things about intentional living is that it’s flexible. There’s no one right way to do it. You can start small by making simple changes in your daily routine or adopt a more radical lifestyle change if that’s what feels right for you. The important thing is that you’re always moving forward and making progress toward the life you want to live.

In order to live intentionally, you must first be aware of the autopilot mode you’re currently in. This means being mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Once you’re aware of how you’re living on autopilot, you can start to make changes to live more intentionally.

Some ways to live more intentionally include:

  • Focusing on your values and what’s important to you
  • Setting goals and working toward them
  • Being present in the moment
  • Not getting caught up in comparison or what others have
  • Spending time with people who make you happy and lift you up
  • Doing things that make you feel good
  • Giving back to others and the community

Intentional living is the act of living with purpose. It’s about setting goals and working toward them every day. It’s about being present in each moment and making choices that align with your values. Living intentionally can help you create a life that is fulfilling and meaningful. It can help you connect more deeply with yourself and others. And it can help you make a positive impact on the world around you. If you’re ready to start living with more purpose, read on for an introduction to intentional living.

When it comes to living a happy and fulfilling life, intentionality is key. All too often, we can get caught up in the mundane details of everyday existence and lose sight of what truly matters to us. If we want to live with purpose and meaning, we have to be intentional about it. That means setting goals and taking steps each day to achieve them. It also means being present in every moment and making choices that reflect our values. If we can do these things, we can create lives that are rich and fulfilling.

What are the benefits of intentional living?

When you live intentionally, you are purposeful and deliberate in your actions. This means that you are constantly aware of your choices and their consequences. You make decisions based on what you believe is right, rather than what is easy or convenient.

Intentional living has many benefits. First, it allows you to live in alignment with your values. If you value health and wellness, for example, you will make choices that support your health. Second, intentional living helps you to create the life you want. When you are clear about what you want, you can take steps to make it happen. Third, intentional living fosters personal growth and development. As you become more aware of yourself and your choices, you can learn and grow from your experiences. Finally, intentional living can lead to a sense of satisfaction and joy. When you live with intention, your life has meaning and purpose.

What is an intentional mindset?

An intentional mindset is a way of thinking that you practice on a regular basis with the intention of improving your life. With the heightened self-awareness that comes from cultivating an intentional mindset, you’ll be able to keep up with your new, more mindful way of life and keep achieving the results you seek.

How do you practice being intentional?

If you want to start living intentionally, the first step is to become more aware of your thoughts and actions. Pay attention to what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Are you on autopilot, going through the motions without really thinking about them? Or are you consciously making choices that align with your values and goals?

To help you become more intentional, here are a few exercises you can try:

  1. Set aside some time each day for reflection. For example, you might spend 20 minutes each evening journaling about your day. Reflect on what went well and what could have been better. Consider what choices you made and why you made them.
  2. Make a list of your values. What things are most important to you? Spend some time thinking about what you want your life to stand for. Then, use this list to guide your decisions moving forward.
  3. Clarify your goals. What do you want to achieve in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term? Break down your goals into small steps that you can take today or this week to move closer to them. Then, take action!
  4. Simplify your life. Many of us feel like we’re constantly running from one thing to the next without any real sense of purpose or direction. If this sounds like you, it might be helpful to simplify your life so that you can focus on what’s truly important to you. That might mean

What Is Intentional Living?

The term “intentional living” is used a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? Intentional living is the practice of making deliberate choices in every area of your life in order to align your life with your values and goals. It’s about living with purpose and intention, rather than letting life happen to you.

An intentional life is not about perfection – it’s about making the best choices you can with the information and resources you have available. It’s about being mindful of your decisions and taking responsibility for your life. It’s about making choices that reflect what’s important to you, rather than following the crowd or doing what’s easiest at the moment.

Intentional living takes effort, but it’s so worth it. When you live intentionally, you feel more fulfilled and happier because you’re living in alignment with your values. You also have more control over your life and can proactively create the life you want to live.

So how do you start living intentionally? The first step is to get clear on what matters most to you. What are your values? What are your goals? Once you know what you want out of life, you can start making choices that reflect those things. Every choice – from what you eat to how you spend your time – becomes an opportunity to move closer to the life you want to live.

Of course, living intentionally is not always easy. There will be times when you make choices that don’t align with your values or goals. That’s OK! Just remember that intentional living is a journey, not a destination. Every choice you make – good or bad – is an opportunity to learn and grow. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at making choices that reflect your values and goals.


Evaluating your “why” is at the heart of intentional living

Asking yourself why you do things and being content with the reasons you give are both essential components of living an intentional life. Please take a moment to think about the following questions:

  • Exactly what makes your friends your friends?
  • Why did you buy [insert your latest purchase]?
  • Why did you pick your job or career?
  • Why are you with the person you’re with?
  • Why do you stay at work so late?

Notice how your answers make you feel? Do you understand them? Or do they confuse or contradict each other? Did you find some of these questions hard to answer?

Living with intention means taking a close look at your life choices and making changes if you don’t like what you see.

RELATED POST: 5 Essential Mindsets For Simplifying Life


Just because you’re trying to live an intentional life doesn’t mean you have to have everything figured out. But this DOES imply acting on a higher calling.

Even though the first person likely has a ten-year plan and the second person is still trying to figure out what to make for dinner, they are both engaging in intentional behavior.

You can choose to be deliberate about your direction even if you don’t know where you’re headed. No one should feel pressured to have all the answers. You should also know that it’s acceptable to make mistakes.

Intentional living ensures that the lessons we learn from our slip-ups are not wasted. We want to see what happens if we live a little. It’s not pretty or comfortable, but it’s necessary work if we’re going to make progress toward our goals and realize our dreams. However, unless you muster the guts to take the initial action, nothing will alter.

Understanding the Art of Purposeful Living


Remember what you read about “the direction/destination thing”? Decisions about your future should be guided by your deepest values. It’s not necessary to have everything figured out, but you should be aware of the things that are most important to you.

Core beliefs vary from person to person. My own set of priorities consists of things like self-care, relational care, continuous education, and personal independence (just to name a few). All the decisions I make in life are based on the vision that these values give me.

Every day, I take some time to consider my goals and core beliefs. It’s not hard at all; just figure out what’s important to you and work toward making that your life’s focus.

Start by recalling times when you felt most proud or most happy, and you’ll have a good start in figuring out what you hold dear. In general, we feel good when our lives and actions are consistent with our values, and we feel bad when we act dishonestly or in opposition to our values. Alternatively, if you have yet to settle on a set of core beliefs, this should clarify things for you.

Having a firm grasp on your most fundamental principles enables you to live in accordance with your deepest convictions. The enchantment starts right here!

One of the best ways to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life is to live intentionally. When you live intentionally, you make mindful choices about how you want to spend your time, energy, and resources. You focus on what’s truly important to you, and you strive to create a life that aligns with your values and aspirations.

Here are a few tips for how to live intentionally:

  1. Get clear on what matters most to you. What are your deepest values and priorities? What do you want to achieve in life? Getting clear on your core aspirations will help guide your decisions about how to spend your time and energy.
  2. Simplify your life. One of the best ways to live more intentionally is to declutter your life, both physically and emotionally. Let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore, so that you can make room for what does.
  3. Be present in the moment. A big part of living intentionally is learning to be more present in the here and now. Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and savor the experience of each moment as it unfolds.
  4. Make conscious choices. Whenever possible, aim to make choices that are in alignment with your values and goals. Ask yourself whether a particular decision will help move you closer to or further away from the life you want to create for yourself.
  5. Cultivate gratitude. An attitude of gratitude is one of the foundations of intentional living.


To live a life with purpose, it’s important to realize that you can change your situation. For a very long time, I was unable to move from this spot. To put it bluntly, I was not prepared to make tough decisions. In contrast, staying put was simpler (at least in the short term).

Self-talk went something like this:

  • The purpose of this life is not exclusively enjoyment.
  • There is nothing to be done about it; this is how it is.
  • This is what it means to be an adult, and I’m doing it.

These excuses would enter my mind to justify inaction and accept my mundane existence. And then, I’d use these one-liners as excuses to live out my ordinary, daily routines.

To be clear, this is not an excuse to ignore the facts. It’s no secret that life isn’t easy for anyone (though some people have it much harder than others) and that there will always be external factors we can’t predict or control. There’s no denying that a lot of people have it rough.

Even though life can be hard, it takes courage to realize that effort toward goals is energizing. You could take these ideas for a test drive or stay squarely on the ordinary path that leads away from fulfillment. The choice is yours. Be ready to put in the work, take criticism, and make difficult decisions. Eventually, you will realize that, with the life I have, you have everything you need to start living more intentionally. Start your journey toward intentionally improving your world, one decision at a time. You have the power to make tiny changes that will have an enormous and lasting impact.


Making the conscious choice to pursue your life’s most important goals is at the heart of what it means to live an intentional life. It’s acceptable to take baby steps if you lack necessary resources, such as time or money. Consistency and perseverance pay off in the long run, so sometimes that’s even better.

A person who aspires to a career in the arts, for instance, may choose to enroll in an art institution. This is a wonderful chance, but understand that it won’t magically transform you into a creative genius just by itself.

If you want to be an artist, you have to practice, day in and day out, with a pencil in your hand or a brush in your hand (even if it sucks). It doesn’t matter if you’re at an art studio or your kitchen counter while the kids are napping; this is something you can do anywhere.

A word of caution before we move on: intentional living is not about being perfect. You will lapse, you will make mistakes, and there will be months where you don’t indulge in your passions. Kindness to oneself is always in order; life has its cycles.

Discovering your true north is a form of intentional living, as is wandering aimlessly and then retracing your steps to return to your original destination. It’s a practice that lasts a lifetime, with the stress on the word “practice.” This means constantly asking yourself, “What can I do today that will move me closer to realizing my goals?”

Making choices like packing a lunch and going for a morning run is an example of intentional living. Refusing to use a single-use coffee cup and opting to bring your own reusable mug from home is an example of this. It’s about getting down on the floor and playing with your kids for ten uninterrupted minutes.

Despite the world’s best efforts to divert you, you must ignore its demands and ignore the noise around you in order to focus on what really matters.


Authenticity and doing what you know is right are at the heart of an intentional lifestyle. As long as you’re being honest with yourself, there’s no right or wrong decision.

Don’t judge your happiness based on the experiences of others, whether they be friends, family, or complete strangers you find online. Put an end to holding yourself to an arbitrary deadline. In its place, please take this as your official pass to make your own plans.

Keep in mind that making a fool of yourself demonstrates that you are indeed living. Messy lives are beautiful lives because they are lived. It won’t be a bed of roses, but it beats the alternative of going through life on autopilot and idly watching the world go by.


When we talk about living a life of intention, it’s important to remember that it’s not about reaching some final destination. It’s about the journey. The key is to be present in each moment and to be mindful of the choices we make along the way.

Of course, this is easier said than done. We live in a world that is constantly pulling us in different directions. There are a million demands on our time and attention. It can be hard to slow down and be present when we’re constantly on the go.

But the more we practice being intentional, the easier it becomes. We start to see the beauty in the small things and we appreciate the journey more. We also start to see how our choices impact the world around us. When we live with intention, we make a difference in the world simply by being present in each

There is no finish line. In order to live intentionally, you have to think about yourself every day, figure out what is and isn’t working, and make the necessary course corrections. To live a life of intention, you must maintain an open line of communication with yourself, regularly evaluate your progress and make adjustments based on what you learn.

Intentional living is not a one-time event or something that you can check off your list. It is a continuous process that requires ongoing effort and attention.

The goal of intentional living is to live in alignment with your values and priorities. This means making conscious choices about how you spend your time, energy, and resources.

It can be helpful to think of intentional living as a journey rather than a destination. The key is to keep moving forward, even if you don’t always know where you’re going. There will be ups and downs, but the important thing is to stay committed to the process.

One of the best things about intentional living is that it’s always evolving. As you learn and grow, your priorities may change. That’s why it’s important to be flexible and open-minded. The journey may look different than you expected, but ultimately, it’s up to you where it takes you.

Creating a life you adore takes effort, but it is the most rewarding kind.

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