How to live an intentional life as an introvert – 10 Ways
How to Live an Intentional Life as an Introvert – 10 Ways
It feels as though creating an intentional life is having a moment. Simple living, intentional living, or minimalism, in its essence, is simply to clear out the unessential and add the essential. But yet so many of us struggle in this endeavor, because we don’t realize that it is a process of undoing things we do, of our beliefs, of who we are. We have certain beliefs about the world, which we use to make choices.
As an introvert, we are more susceptible to being overwhelmed because we spend so much time in our heads. Our superpower is attention to detail. To be inundated with stuff and expectations can create greater mental health struggles for us. Being intentional is something that introverts need more than extroverts so that we can thrive.
If we want to become more intentional, we must choose in some ways, to become a different person, or to establish different beliefs. We must allow ourselves to become more aware. And it is in this awareness that we can begin to live a more intentional life. So, once you begin to become more aware, you can begin to choose to start living an intentional life.
So here I present to you some guidelines for simple living. These guidelines can benefit anyone, not just introverts. If you apply these, even just a little bit, you will find greater peace, calm, and fulfillment in your life. Pick a handful to apply, one by one, for 30 days and see how different your life can be. you will be rewarded with more peace, calm, and satisfaction and get to experience true simplicity in your life.
Intentional Living Tips
1. Become more conscious of your everyday choices
Our life is complicated because we often go around living by unconscious thoughts, habits and beliefs. We are unaware of how childhood messages and our automatic behaviors contribute to our unintentional functioning.
We do things because that’s how “they” did it. Or we do something because “it’s always been done that way”.
Without curiosity and exploration of our habits, thoughts and behaviors, we are destined to continue to live in the same chaotic way that we recognize gets us overwhelmed.
Start by becoming more curious about your life. One of the ways that I teach my clients to be more intentional is to have them record themselves for any part of their day, for 5-10 minutes. Imagine that you are in a documentary. It’s hard to see ourselves when we think about ourselves, but it’s eye-opening to see ourselves more objectively through the lens of a camera.
When you are able to watch yourself, you get a picture of how you talk to yourself and others, your habits, and your way of existing. Try not to be judgmental, instead just observe. Note areas that make your cringe or smile. That can give you insight into what you might need to change about your life.
2. Evaluate what an intentional life looks like.
Evaluate your current life and think about what kind of life you want to have. Begin to visualize envision the kind of person you want to become. Notice their habits and ask yourself where you can begin to implement some of those same habits. Set an intention to implement behaviors that support your desired life. Set an intention and establish a belief that you can make change. Without an intention, and a belief that you are capable of change, absolutely nothing is possible.
3. Set goals for yourself
Life becomes overwhelming because we let meaningless things take our focus and space in our lives and our schedules. To simplify your life, be clear on what you want to achieve in life and why. Once you can establish your WHY, you are better able to determine whether something aligns with that why.
You are then able to set clear goals. Goal setting should be about creating a life that gives you enjoyment and is a lifestyle. There should be no end goal (i.e. having a goal to lose 20 pounds for a wedding). Instead, goals should be established to become the person you want to be (i.e. having a goal to be healthy). Goals allow you to establish direction and become more focused.
A life without goals is meaningless and you will end up focusing on things that are truly not worth your energy. If you need help figuring out what your goals should be, get a copy of the values worksheets by signing up below.
4. Cut down on your goals
Do a brain dump of all the things you want to accomplish. Explore your WHY. Once you are clear on your goals, cut down on your goals and keep only one or at most three. This will allow you to narrow your focus and create a schedule that helps you move the needle daily to achieve these goals.
5. Create a simple daily schedule
Creating a daily schedule gives you structure to your day. It anchors you and brings stability to our lives but can oftentimes be busy, unpredictable and chaotic. A daily schedule also helps you move your life from being directionless to intentional. If creating a life of purpose is what you want, it has to start with structure. And isn’t a life of purpose something that we want?
6. Cultivate one good habit at a time
The more good habits you cultivate, the simpler your life becomes. It can be easy to look at your life and see an overwhelming amount of habits that you want to change. From diet to sleep, to reading, to cleaning, there is a lot to choose from. But, if you try to change too much, you just end getting overwhelmed and burnt out.
The reality is that good habits take time to take hold. You need time for it to go from conscious awareness to unconscious habit. Allow yourself to pick one habit at a time.
How to Decide
Pick three domains, such as health, home, and relationships. Select one habit that supports the implementation of good habits. For example, instead of saying that you will exercise for 30 minutes daily, drink 64 ounces of water, clean your house, have a date night, call a friend everyday, and on and on.
Simply tell yourself, that for the next 30 days, you will try to drink water upon waking, put your coat away when you get home from work, and clean your sink every night after dinner.
My life became simpler when I established my main pillar habits. They include exercise, tidying up morning and night, doing the dishes every night, reading or listening to motivational and inspirational content.
7. Create a morning routine
To simplify your life, first, create a morning routine for yourself and your family. Creating a morning routine helps you start your day on a positive note and helps you to simplify your life. The most successful people will tell you that a successful morning routine begins the night before. That may include setting your clothes out the night before, having your keys and wallet in place and preparing meals and bags at night. By having things in pace, ready to greet you in the morning, you start your day with less stress and greater positivity.
8. Learn to say no
In a world where FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and YOLO (You Only Live Once) reign supreme, it can be hard to say no. Whether it’s obligations, not wanting to hurt others, or fun things, the more you choose to take on and go from thing to thing, the less you get to actually enjoy your life.
Ask yourself what things you want to say no to and figure out how to do that more often. I get it. You can’t say no to everything that you don’t want to do, especially if you are a mom. And some of the things that you want to say no to, you should say yes to (I’m looking at you burpees). Ask yourself why you say yes to things (i.e. guilt, approval, acceptance, etc.) and work to move beyond that discomfort. Your peace of mind depends on it.
Reading helps you to see life beyond your current point of view. We develop our beliefs and attitudes about the world from our families, our neighbors, and our community. By reading, you can be transported to another world, another community, another way of thinking and doing.
Reading offers you motivation and inspiration through reading about the lives of others. It makes you smarter and more interesting, because you have things to talk about. Reading can give you knowledge. You also can escape into imaginary worlds and foster your creativity through reading. I love reading self-help and inspirational books like Atomic Habits, and the Alchemist but also detective series books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
10. Declutter your spaces and rooms consistently
Clutter or having too much time stuff robs us of joy. We think that having more stuff and keeping up with Joneses will make us happy. But the stuff is actually doing the opposite. When you have too much stuff, you have to maintain it. Stuff also keeps your peace at bay because you are constantly being overstimulated by the memories and feelings associated with our stuff.
The clutter didn’t get there overnight and getting rid of it won’t be an overnight process either. Sure, you can do a rage cleaning, where you just get rid of everything at once, but you never take the time to explore why it is you have the stuff to begin with.
If you want to be intentional, you have to ask yourself why and remind yourself why you are choosing to get rid of stuff. This is a process and something that should be done weekly, if not daily, for a few minutes at a time. You develop the habit of decluttering, and you develop greater insight into your behavior so that you don’t repeat it. Decluttering opens the door to receive things that you actually want.
Decluttering is the essence of simple living. Declutter everything you don’t need.
In Conclusion – Intentional Living is Possible
Living an intentional life is possible, but you must make intentional choices for that life to show up for you.