Intentional Living

We exist in a world where people and situations are constantly seeking our attention, energies, and time. Conversely, we exist in a world where we are forever chasing special moments, deeper experiences, as well as meaningful occasions.

The key to making those moments happen is how we connect to those events: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. That covers all the bases and makes for a complicated and complex living. Why? Because there are challenges to that perfect moment of existence.

At this point, most of the ways we connect with life involve avenues that are counterproductive to the notion of connection. Do tell me more….

As I was traveling for work a few months back, I wanted to bring along a new book to immerse myself in to make the travel time pass quicker and keep me entertained away from my phone, iPad, and laptop. The book is entitled An Intentional Life: Five Foundations of Authenticity & Purpose by Dr. Lisa Kentgen. Great book, I highly recommend it and keep it as a reference when I stray from my intentional path.

I came across this sentence and laughed the first time I read it because it was clearly stated yet captured so many different meanings. Just for fun, I reread it and immediately sank into my chair because the truth was right there in front of me. It states:

Our hyper-produced, short-term, bottom-line, and technology-based culture perpetuate an unnecessary sense of urgency that diminishes the vibrancy of life. 

Read that again and view it thru your perspective of how you live your day-to-day life in terms of connecting with experiences and people. 

You can only live as authentically as you commit to intentional and purposeful living. 

Living authentically enables us to create and model a life of authentic and purposeful living. A meaningful life holds intentional and significant experiences, events, and, most importantly, healthy and effective strong relationships. 

Living with intentions is a known pathway to living a more fulfilled and contented existence. 

Tons of research out there to confirm that living more authentically leads:

  • Lowering stress levels
  • Improves well-being
  • Better capabilities in managing daily and stressful life events
  • Gives us access to our own power
  • Feeling more present, focused, and capable

Intentional living is more challenging than downloading an app or creating a powerful planner of organized lists of to-do items. It’s challenging and awkward at first and requires discovering and applying your core values as the compass of change. It will require focusing on those essential core values you use to navigate your life and setting boundaries to protect yourself from outside trials and tests.

The most important thing is finding out what is the most important thing.

Zen monk Shunryi Suzuki Roshi

With that understanding, here are a few recommendations for shifting to living with greater intention. Remember, your well-being is possible, and it is your responsibility to create and nurture.

Start by identifying the core values that create your foundation for an intentional life.

  1. Create a list of core values, and then think about which ones genuinely speak to your self-importance and self-worth.
  2. Why are these core values so important, and how do you fulfill their meanings?
  3. How are you living these values? Do your actions manifest the sustainability of those core values?
  4. What inspires you? What disrupts your efforts?

Now that you have taken a few moments to focus your wishes and efforts let’s shift to some actual endeavors to join in for further exploration.

  1. Set a morning intention. Whether it is enjoying a cup of coffee with the sunrise, a few deep breaths before revealing yourself from the sheets and blankets of the nightly slumber, or a full morning yoga/workout routine, we can all make a moment to say gratitude and set an intention for how you would like to make the most of the day. Easier said than done but trust me when I say we can all make this a consistent practice.
  2. Focus. A partial overhaul, but focus on one effort you would like to make a concerted effort to be less intense, more intense, or something more meaningful. For example, make an effort to be more mindful of your conversations during the day. Listen to the tone, pitch, word selection of the individual. Watch their nonverbal cues with a keen interest in discovering the message being shared or not revealed. 
  3. Minor Mods- Make small shifts to redirect those efforts into something more meaningful. That looks like less time on social media, technology-free evenings or weekends, more time with friends instead of more time with digital forms of connections.
  4. End-of-the-day captures. One of my favorites! At the end of your day, take a quick inventory of the day and only focus on those items of positive purpose. It’s a great way to decompress from a full day, reframes your mindset to be less reactive to overthinking, and provides a thoughtful way to rest from a full day.

The important detail to remember during this process is this: Living intentionally takes time- take small, intentional steps towards the life you hope to live that require consistent investment, repetition, and execution.

Here are a few helpful suggestions for your intentional journey: 

  • Simple and focused efforts based on values
  • Empowerment in ownership in your life
  • Confidence and enthusiasm for your goals and journey
  • More satisfaction with your life
  • More alignment between who you are and your core values 
  • Greater appreciation and connection with self, others, and life experiences

Shifting your focus and drive to live more intentionally includes living your values. Living with intention means living a better-balanced life full of meaning and purpose. Being authentic and true to your values means you are taking actions and making decisions that are important to you and true to who you are.

If you want to learn more, let’s connect at to set up an appointment. Until then, be well, my friends!

Dr. Shana Garrett

Back to top