If you look at intentional living as a way of life and less like a quick solution designed to get fast results, you’ll reap major benefits.
Setting an intention and following thru with it is not a one-time thing. It’s a committed effort that will, over time, transform your life. You’ll feel more in control of the things you can control.
As your life evolves, so will your circumstances, needs, and goals. The purpose is a huge part of intentional living—why are you choosing to do the things you do?
In order to upgrade areas of your life and set your future self up for success, you’ll need to get right with your purpose. As you become more aware of your needs and intentions in each area, ask yourself if your present actions help you thrive or hold you back.
As an experienced child and family psychologist (Anthony) and a management psychologist who works with business leaders (Paul), we were struck by how common these concerns are. We hear the same thing over and over from the people who come to see us:
They feel overwhelmed by life.
They struggle to make choices and decisions.
They often feel stuck, adrift, or thwarted.
Perfectionism has no place in personal growth, so focus more on the positive changes you can make and less on what you might think you’re doing “wrong.”
What Does it Mean to Take Control of Your Life?
When you take responsibility for all the aspects of your life and have the power to navigate the course of your life path, you are in control of your life. It signifies that you are extremely capable of syncing your vision and efforts.
Taking control of your life means that only you keep the power to set goals and bring changes to your life without being influenced by anyone or anything.
“You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” – Napoleon Hill
All the choices and decisions would be completely under your control. It is entirely up to you if you want to take help from someone. However, the final decision-making power would lie with you.
You get to decide what’s good for you and what’s not? You no longer give the authority and power to anyone or any external circumstances to dictate your life. Taking control of your life means living life on your own terms.
Just remember that when you take control of your life, you give up the blame game. All the decisions become yours to own, so the outcome, whether good or bad, should be accepted by you personally.
Steps to Take Control of Your Life
Set intentions in one or many of the seven categories below and see how your life changes!
There’s a saying: “If you can’t manage a hundred dollars, you can’t manage a thousand dollars.” Surprisingly, few people know how to manage a hundred dollars.
When you have a budget and track your money, not only will you start saving more, but you’ll actually feel really good about spending money.
Who wouldn’t want that? Clearing up financial wreckage will leave you in a position to make smarter choices going forward – and work harder for the things you really want.
No matter where you are on the spectrum of believers and non-believers, there’s a place for you to find yourself. Creating intentions around your spirituality (or curiosity about life and your purpose) is like making a commitment to your future self.
Spirituality is an avenue for self-exploration, questioning, and finding roots in something that feels so great it can push you closer toward your truest self.
Unfortunately, making time for that spiritual connection can usually fall last on the to-do list. So, setting up a routine around your unique practice, whatever it looks like to you, will guarantee you don’t miss out on the guidance you seek.
Are you prioritizing creativity in your life? Too often, this is one of those areas that’s deemed “frivolous” unless you’re actually making money from your creative pursuits. But you must make an effort to find and invest in outlets that make you feel awesome, open, and charged with creativity.
Time + Scheduling
Not only does losing track of time feel defeating, but it can also add up to wasted hours throughout the day. On the flip side, being mindful of which tasks hold the most weight and prioritizing them appropriately can help you set realistic expectations.
The same goes with how you spend your free time–are you feeling fulfilled or bored and disengaged?
If you’ve ever judged your worth based on your body, it’s time for an intention shift! Making space in your life for physical expression and exercise doesn’t have to tie directly back to any goal other than feeling good.
If you set out with the intention of using movement to enhance the connection you have with your body, you’ll naturally gravitate toward activities that will help you achieve that.
Body goals are personal, so dig deep to find out what your motivations are to keep yours healthy and happy. Be mindful of where certain ideals come from—are they self-prescribed or something you inherited from society?
Let’s face it, networking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but just because something doesn’t come naturally to you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
If you treat networking more as a must-do (not only for your professional life but a social one, too), then you’ll find ways to incorporate events and opportunities into your calendar while feeling good about it.
But, more often than not, you’ll be proud that you stepped outside of your comfort zone to make a positive impact on your life.
You can commit to making changes in your life, but if you don’t train your inner voice to join you on your mission, you’ll have a hard time getting anywhere.
Plus, that same voice will reinforce your other intentions and push you to pursue greatness.
Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.
Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line. Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.
The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.
Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.
Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them. They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.