How an intentional lifestyle changed every area of my life

Living a life of intention can really change your life in every single way. I started to follow an intentional lifestyle around 4 years ago. This journey, till today, has had its ups and downs. But when I look back at these last 4 years, I can see immense growth and that is the most satisfying thing ever.

My Intentional Lifestyle Journey

I started my journey with some basic intentions, decisions and choices. As time went by, I saw more and more value in the power of intentions. I kept going for 3 straight years and then, I hit a bump. I fell off-track towards the end of last year. Then I decided to get back on track when 2020 came around. I have explained my process of getting back on track with intentional living in another blog post. You can check it out right here.

I had a reflection session last week where I mapped out each area of my life and reflected on how intentional I am in each one of those areas. After that reflection session, I was overjoyed by the difference intentional living has made in my life. I knew I had to share it over on my blog hoping that this would inspire someone to get started with intentional living.

I will be taking you through 3 areas of my life, describing how my life looked like before, what actions did I take along the way and what that area looks like now. The 3 areas are –

  1. Relationships
  2. Career
  3. Lifestyle

If you are starting out, grab my intention setting workbook to get started!

1. Relationships

 I was a big time people pleaser who always ended up over-committing. I always made more plans than I could keep. This left me exhausted and frustrated all the time. When I stepped into an intentional version of myself, I still couldn’t see how this pattern was “anti-intentional”.

It was after a year into my intentional journey when I realised how toxic my social life had become. At that point, I decided that I will invest my energy only in places that make me feel good. I harnessed the power of saying ‘NO’ and I decided to be unapologetic with this approach. It sure was difficult, but now in retrospect, it was totally worth it.

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Another challenge that I faced in this area was the work-life balance. I work from home and that is why it is very difficult to separate work from home. I had gotten into the habit of working all 7 days for late hours. More time for work meant less time for my relationships.

Here are some intentions that I set and implemented in my relationships –

  1. One date night with my husband every week (which has been a challenge recently due to the pandemic)
  2. Call and chat with my best friend at least once every week
  3. Visit my parents at least once a month
  4. Check-in with your energy before committing to any plans
  5. Remember birthdays – and call, not text
  6. Say no to things that do not matter

2. Career

When I started my intentional living journey, I was studying for Masters in Business Management. I did not clearly know what I wanted in life or which industry I would work in. I had been blogging about health and fitness for some time and I really enjoyed the online world.

With a lot of reflection exercises, I noticed that I would love to get deeper in the digital marketing world and make my career in this industry. I applied for my dream job and got it eventually! In this job, I managed social media ad campaigns for big companies at my job. I had my dream job, the best team and amazing clients there.

This job was always a stepping stone for me in my career’s path. I wanted to start my own firm and be my own boss some day. When me and my now-husband, then fiance, decided to get married, I knew I had to quit my job and pursue my dream to start my own business. I started my own social media management company in my home town.

I am currently at a place where I love what I do, make a good amount of money and am able to balance it with my personal life.

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Some intentions that I set along the way –

  1. Take risks – no matter what you loose, you will always gain experience
  2. When stress > satisfaction – just STOP
  3. Work to bring value to your audience / customers – money will follow
  4. Empower others and take them with you

3. Lifestyle

This area of my life has had a massive shift due to intentional living. I was an unintentional spender of my time, money and emotions. Intentional living and streamlined my lifestyle and made choices so much more easier.

Here is my truth – I was a blind shopper. I would shop for stuff because I liked it at the moment and would never use it afterwards. My closet was filled with heaps of clothes that I used just once. I had over 15 bags and purses (which might not seem like a lot to some) and I used just 3 of those. I had over 20 pairs of footwear and always ended up wearing the same 2-3 pairs. Intentional lifestyle helped me change my patterns and then I started shopping intentionally. Here is a detailed blog post about Intentional Shopping.

When it comes to lifestyle, I had read all my hobbies behind. I loved to dance, read and write for fun which I had given up on. I decided to pick up my hobbies, do things that brought me joy and live each moment to the fullest (i know it sounds super cliche)

After becoming intentional about my lifestyle, I followed some intentions –

  1. Spend more on experiences and less on things
  2. Get into greenery / nature at least once a month
  3. Binge read a fiction book once every 2 months
  4. Have a 1 hour doodling / coloring session every week

I have talked about my intentions and actions in more detail in the blog post – ‘ Resetting your intentional life’. 

Reflecting on all this and witnessing these shifts inspired me to share them with you. I would love to hear about your growth as well. You can email me at neha@mystigal.com or leave it in the comments below.

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