If you’ve ever gone to bed without being able to remember many details of the day or checking off days faster than things on your to-do list, you probably need to start living your life with more intention.
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While that may sound deep and difficult, it’s easier than you think. All it means is that you should go about your days with more awareness of what’s happening in your life and be more deliberate than automatic in your actions.
When you’re working and juggling a personal life, it becomes all too easy for your days to seem identical, so it’s time to wake up and see and feel the difference. Try the following nine helpful hints to start living your life with more purpose today!
1. Own A Breathing Practice
Breathing techniques, according to the American Institute of Stress, can help reduce stress and tension in your body. They also help center you, bringing your focus into the here and now. Best of all, it’s simple and free to practice your breathing, and you do it just about anywhere.
Try a simple breathing practice to get yourself in that space. Sit down and breathe for a few minutes, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Don’t focus on any one thought, and let your mind wander to where it wants to go.
Do focus on each breath you take, and keep going. Experiment to find the most effective breathing technique for you, which will be the one that relaxes you the most.
2. Give Your Phone A Rest
Your phone probably goes off several times a day, but how often does it really call for your immediate attention? It’s all too easy to get into the habit of always answering your phone’s bleeps and chimes, even if you don’t really need to.
Turn off all your notifications for an entire day, and only look at your phone when you really want to. At the start, you’ll probably look at it more than you normally do. But, as the day wears on, you’ll realize you’re not really missing much of anything at all. Once you’ve gone through an entire day, you’ll realize just how much time is spent on your phone out of habit instead of desire.
3. Start Asking More Questions
Ask yourself questions about things you deal with and encounter every day. Why are there newspapers? Why don’t people you don’t know say hello? Why does food that’s bad for you taste so wonderful?
Whatever question pops into your head, go ahead and contemplate it. The questions you ask yourself, the more answers you’ll look for, and this makes your brain naturally inquisitive. When you’re facing a question in your life, you’ll be better equipped to come up with an answer thanks to this simple practice.
4. Assign Worry Time
Most of us worry too much and too often, which doesn’t do much but raise stress and anxiety levels. Worrying in itself is a natural emotion that everyone experiences, but it’s generally not productive in itself.
Set aside 20 minutes near the end of each day for worries – your “worry window.” If you find yourself fretting during the day, stop that train of thought right away, and write the worry down. Once you get to your worry window, go ahead and worry about all the things you wrote down during the day.
If you’re not able to worry for the entire 20 minutes, worry why that is. Once your time is over, destroy that list. You’ll make a new one tomorrow and repeat the process again.
5. Keep An Eye Out For The Little Things
Your days can quickly fold into each other when everything is the same. The same drive to work, the same office, your co-workers saying the same things all day, every day. Even your coffee is the same and probably from the same barista.
Over the next three days, try to discover things you’ve never noticed in your day before, from events to people. It could be an interesting habit a co-worker has, a landmark or anything else worth a second look that simply blended into the background of your daily life before.
6. Be Mindful When You Eat
With all the rushing you do, you probably speed through meals more often than you care to admit. Maybe you’ve only got 30 minutes for lunch or just don’t get up with enough time for breakfast, but the result is the same: your plate is empty and you barely remember what you just ate.
Make an effort to be aware of what is going in your mouth when you eat, and allow yourself the time you need to taste your food. Think about the food you’re eating while you’re doing it, processing all the flavors in each mouthful. You can get a lot more out of the simple act of eating by just experiencing the flavors your thousands of taste buds are processing for you.
7. Start A Diary
Keep a daily journal or diary for the rest of this month. It can be an entire notebook or just online, but try to write about your feelings and thoughts instead of just events. One of the easiest ways to see what’s really happening in your life is to record it and review it later, and this will also help you identify where you need to be more intentional.
8. Master Your Time
People don’t “find the time” to do things; they make that time. If you want to learn a second language, read your backlog of books or do anything you can’t seem to find the time for right now, make that time instead.
Carve out a little bit of time each day and do that one thing you’ve wanted to attempt for a while. Don’t worry about what else is getting pushed aside for this time for yourself – the world will go on just fine.
9. Ease Up On The multitasking
If you’re reading this while eating your lunch, answering emails and “working,” this advice is aimed right at you. People really aren’t meant for multitasking, despite popular myths. As noted by Forbes, our brains simply aren’t wired to handle multiple tasks at once, especially things that require brain power. Chances are, if you’re trying to do a bunch of things at once, you’re just stressing yourself out and hampering your productivity.
Commit to starting only one task at a time, and don’t start something else until that first task is completed. You’ll probably find that you get things done better and faster if you do them one by one instead of all at once.
Living with more purpose isn’t complicated, as covered by the tips above. Start living with more intention today so you can enjoy your life exactly as it is before it all passes you by.