It’s easy to go through life never finding true significance, and not thinking twice about what we’re meant to do. Sometimes we must play the hand we’re dealt, but others times it’s in our best interest to trust the inner source of guidance we have and live by intentions.

Living intentionally is about expanding our awareness of what is possible and learning to organize life from this perspective.

This involves knowing what we truly desire, and being open to the opportunities and inspiration all around us, in order to obtain it.

By living more intentionally, we deliberately take back control in those troubling areas of our life and have the courage to decisively achieve anything.

Instead of being consumed with fears and doubts we can choose what we wish to bring into our life, and can experience more gratifying, proud, and inspiring moments.

It doesn’t help to be consumed by worry and frustration over the tentative circumstances and uncertainties in life.

We can establish greater control and feel empowered in how we respond and what we do by directing ourselves toward the people, places, and situations that will provide us joy, fulfillment, and meaning.

Here is a basic framework for living more intentionally.

1) Discover where you want to go and who you want to be. Figuring this out is crucial if you are to have any direction in making intentional choices. Uncover the type of life you want to lead and the characteristics you want to embody, and hold to these with integrity and value. Ultimately this is about determining you long-term goals, or where you want to end up in 10 or 20 years from now.

2) Develop a clear plan to achieve goals. Analyze where you are now and the extent of change required to reach your long-term vision. This requires establishing short-term goals, complete with a time-frame and specific action steps to get you started. Also, consider what resources or assistance might you need? Anticipate what could hinder or stop you from getting there and prepare and plan ahead for those obstacles.

3 Stay resilient and determined. Intentional living is about not giving up or letting barriers deter you from success. There will be obstacles along the way, but if you prepared for them and keep focused on your intentions you can maintain hope, confidence, and optimism in your future.

4) Reward yourself for a job well done. Make sure to take time and appreciate all the hard work that has gone into what you’ve accomplished. Determine what would be an appropriate and motivating reward for you, and show yourself respect for the achievement.

Intentional living provides emotional freedom as we begin to make more positive decisions and change areas of life that are not working. By doing so, it leads to more meaningful experiences,  a sense of serenity, and greater fulfillment with the direction our life is headed. As we get closer to finding our purpose, we become open to more positive and uplifting experiences along the way.

Photo credit: olliethebastard