The world looks different today than it did for our grandparents. Everything is speeding up, becoming more efficient and certainly much busier.
And if we are not careful, it is so easy to get caught up in the rush and lose sight of what is truly important in our lives.
When this happens we live on autopilot and our days pass in a blur. We are stuck in a rut of mindlessness and our lives are being lived for us.
When we start living intentionally, we automatically become more intentional with our habits and routines too.
5 Intentional Habits which have improved my life
Over the last few years, as I have simplified my life and become more intentional in my choices, I have developed some habits which support this lifestyle.
In this post, I want to share 5 intentional habits which have improved my life.
Getting up before anyone else in the house
To me, part of being intentional is testing different set-ups and trying out different ways of doing things.
Having a morning routine is important to me, as it makes me feel grounded. I’ve tried a few different things, from doing some work first thing in the morning, to reading, writing morning pages and exercising.
When I tried to fit too many things into my morning routine, I had to get up really early. I soon became resentful of everything I “had to do”.
Apart from doing too many things while everyone else was still sleeping, another problem was that I ended up going to bed too early at night. It meant spending less quality time with my husband in the evening. I need at least 7-8 hours of sleep to feel rested.
So now, I get up about 30 minutes before everyone else in the house. It works really well for me. I get the quiet time that I
Doing this helps me stay focused, and I have noticed that when I skip over my morning routine, I feel out of sorts and like I’m playing catch-up the whole day.
Combining mindfulness and exercise
A little over one year ago, I decided to take up yoga as part of my self-care routine.
I have been doing it every morning (with a few exceptions) and I can easily say that this is most definitely a habit which has completely changed my life.
I have more energy, and I am much more flexible. I have noticed that I have become stronger too.
The most important change for me though, is that the yoga requires mindfulness.
I can clearly notice the difference, the morning where I am just going through the motions and thinking about other things, vs.
Eating more wholesome food
I shudder when I think back to the days when my dinner would consist of pasta and sauce out of a packet. You just add water, simmer it a bit and dinner (read preservatives) is served.
My youngest son and I both have a gluten and dairy intolerance. Instead of creating different meals for everyone in the house, or spending ridiculous amounts on gluten-free products that aren’t always tasty, over time I’ve adapted our menu so that we are eating mostly wholesome food.
Sometimes I meal plan, and sometimes I don’t. I haven’t decided yet if this is a habit that I want to start!
I’m lucky that the kids aren’t fussy eaters, they eat most of the meals I prepare and I don’t have to fight too much to get them to eat their veggies!
Although it does take more time to prepare food from fresh, I make mostly simple meals. I’m not a very creative cook, but I do find that the simple act of preparing meals relaxes me.
Deciding on my style and curating my wardrobe
I have gone through so many wardrobe changes.
When I was working in the corporate world, I had “work clothes” and “weekend clothes”. My wardrobe became less corporate during my time as a trainer and coach.
Of course, I stopped wearing most of these outfits when I became a stay at home mom. As I have gotten older, I also found that my tastes have changed as well as the type of clothes I now feel comfortable wearing.
I used to spend a lot of money on clothes. I would buy something which I thought was cute and get home to discover it didn’t go with anything else in my closet. Or I’d wear it only once or twice and then decide it didn’t suit me.
I’ve purged my closet from all the clothes I no longer wear and my goal is to minimize my closet even more.
I love flowy delicate fabrics, but I am short, with an hourglass-shaped figure. It can easily look like I’m wearing a shapeless sack! The best clothes for me are fitted, structured and shaped.
I have also decided on a few basic colors that I wear and now I’m curating a wardrobe that suits my style.
Practicing kindness and gratitude
The judgment we have towards others is often a reflection of the judgment we actually have of ourselves. There was a time in my life when I was extremely judgmental of everyone, especially myself.
I saw everything in black and white and the result was that I was stressed out, anxious and frustrated.
I started developing a mindset of kindness. I silently expressed gratitude for everything. Even when I draw money I say thank you when it comes out of the ATM!
At home, we have started a gratitude practice with the kids. Before dinner at night, we take turns to express our thanks and gratitude for our day. When we started this, they used to copy my husband and me, but now they come up with the most precious things they are grateful for!
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We create our life experience
When we become intentional with the habits we choose, we become more intentional in our lives.
We have the choice and the ability to create our lives every day through our actions and our thoughts.
You may not be able to control your situations and life will continue to unfold as it does, but you do have a choice as to how you respond to your life.
Do you have any intentional habits you can add to this list? Leave a comment below, I’d love to read it!