The new year for me is always met with a mixture of apprehension of the unknown and excitement and hope at the chance of new beginnings. I loved 2018, mostly because for the first time in my life, I made a resolution and I actually followed through on it. Instead of a long list of goals, I would soon forget about, I promised to live 2018 doing something I love everyday (like blogging) which has been an amazing experience for me. This year however, I felt I needed to take it a step further and live each day intentionally. Why? Simply because, in doing the things I love, I learnt that my dreams matter and so I want to make a conscious effort everyday to choose my dreams and to make the life I want to live a reality. We all have dreams and goals we have set for 2019, but I know it’s not enough to dream, you have to act, you have to be intentional to see actual results. If you are interested in learning how to live with intention, this one is for you. How do you plan to live your life with intention? Let me know in the comment section below.
Happy New Year!
- Choose a direction. Decide what you want your life to look like, formulate a strategy to achieve it and purpose to follow through on your plan.
- Choose your words wisely. Resist the urge to speak negatively about yourself and instead replace negative thoughts and words with positive affirmations. It seems silly, but positive affirmations are a great confidence booster. Unfortunately, we tend to be our own worst critics. In my experience,when I keep saying negative things about myself, I’m less likely to feel motivated and I am less productive. Speak what you want to see in your life and who you want to be; eventually you will get there.
- Reign in your mind. Master your mind and do not allow yourself to get carried away or let your life go wherever the wind blows. Make it a point to be aware of yourself, your surroundings and opportunities. Choose not to react to situations but try as much as possible to respond instead with a clear mind. Decisions made in the heat of the moment or on impulse are seldom a good idea.
- Take time for self reflection. Who are you? What makes you tick? What are you passionate about? Do you even know the answers to these questions? Knowing who we are is vital to figuring out what is important to us and what things we want to focus on, and where we want to put our energy, money and time. Take the time every now and then to have an honest introspective look at yourself . You will be surprised where this might lead you. Keeping a journal and updating it from time to time is a great way to do this.
- Be accountable to someone. Tell someone you trust and know will nag you about the progress concerning your plans. Don’t keep your plans to yourself, because chances are if you do not have the best self discipline, when things get hard you might slack off.We all need someone who will give us that extra push to follow through on our goals.
- Schedule everything. Every minute of your day is precious and should not be wasted. A scheduled life keeps you in control, gives you freedom to do the things you want to do and reduces your stress levels. The more you have on your plate, the more crucial it is to have a schedule. Make to- do lists everyday and tick off items on your list according to urgency and importance. Do not be so rigid with your schedule because that will frustrate you. The key thing is to make sure you follow through.
- Eliminate people and things that do not contribute to your bottom line. This might sound harsh but considering how little time we really have and how important your goals and dreams are, you have no choice but to do this. You don’t have to say yes to every event, or opportunity that comes along. Take the time to gauge whether it contributes to your bottom line, priorities and values in the long run. In order for you to be more efficient in achieving your goals and also for your well-being, it is okay to be a little selfish with your time and resources sometimes. This way you have more time and energy to focus on what is actually important.
- Use your “free-time” wisely. A teacher of mine used to say there’s no such thing as free-time. Whereas I do not necessarily agree with him, I do think it is important to make use of our free- time as well. You don’t have to do anything strenuous but you could read a book, listen to a podcast, do something that will inspire and energize you for the rest of your day. That way no moment is wasted.
- Take stock of your life. We are so good at making annual plans at the beginning of every year but maybe we don’t take the time to evaluate and assess our progress. Every quarter, or whenever you feel like it, do an audit of your annual plan and tweak it where necessary and take the necessary steps to make sure you are back on track if you aren’t.