Five Ways To Start Living Intentionally in 2019
2018 is over. Today is the start of the rest of your year and like everyone else you’re probably looking to begin it with a fresh start. You’re likely thinking about the things you want to leave in the past, the things you want for your future, and how you're going to achieve them.
Today's problems can often narrow your vision and drive you to set goals based on short term issues like paying rent, managing family obligations or getting those repairs to your car done. They’re real problems, but you’ll need to think more strategically about your future if you want to start living intentionally in your everyday life. Only through focused thinking about that future can you uncover the things you would want regardless of today's influences.
Goal setting, long term life planning, and vision boarding are some of the best tools to help you do this. Here are the best ways I’ve found to design your lifestyle strategically around your values.
#1 Start asking the right questions.
A vision board may seem like just some success quotes and beautifully photographed avocado toast slapped on posterboard, but your vision board is the end product of weeks of honest self-reflection about where you are in life. This is where you highlight what want to be i the future and how you see that change happening. The self reflection can take days (or even weeks!) but I promise doing the reflection up front will be worth it.
#2 Think about what you want in the long run.
“Would you like to meet up for brunch next week?” To answer the question you’d most likely check your planner or at least squint your eyes a little as you think about what your next few days look like.
Most of us live our lives like this. We plan in chunks of days or weeks, but we rarely think about where we see our lives going in 5, 10 or 20 years. Our future is comprised of the things we spend our time doing. It’s important that you have a vision about where you want to be in life to serve as a guide to what will bring you fulfillment so that you can spend your days doing the things that really matter.
#3 Don't only focus on the big goal.
In January, people are deciding how they’re going to make this year better. New Year's resolutions flood your social media feed and everyone’s going to tell you about their weight loss challenge, their travel challenge… their bird box challenge.
Vision boards are the perfect way to organize those goals, but we can’t only focus on one big goal. Humans are dynamic and you'll have other areas of your life where you want to focus on to feel balanced.
#4 Use that information to build a vision board.
A vision board is a visual representation of the things you want to accomplish over a certain period, usually a year.
The problem is that life can get monotonous really fast. Having your days go by on cruise control takes very little effort. But the things that bring you joy require you to break out of stagnant routines and plan for alternatives that you may have never considered.
A vision board forces you to focus on those things you want because you choose what goes on it, and you’re constantly reminded of the plans you need to put into action to get there.
With all the information you’ve gotten so far, it’s time to put it all together and build a vision board that will bring you closer to the life you want.
#5 Be strategic in how you use your vision board.
Your vision board started with you asking the right questions. You then thought about what you wanted in the long run. You didn’t only focus on big goals. Every area of your life was covered. Finally, you built your vision board. What happens next?
Don't simply create your vision board and put it away in your closet. To get the most value out of your vision board, keep it visible so you can see it every day and continue to be inspired by your dreams.
In the end, goal setting, long-term life planning, and vision boards are tools. It’s up to you to take the time to think about your life, ask yourself the right (sometimes tough) questions, and use the tools you have to put yourself on the right path. Your journey starts today. Visualize it and become it!