Reset your Intentional Life | A step by step refresh your life

Have you ever been caught up in the vicious circle of life? You are in a great place in life and you feel settled in, and then something comes up and you go completely off tracks. Then you try to get your life back together, feel better and the BAM.. more craziness comes in! Your intentional life is thrown off tracks and you are left with frustration, confusion and hopelessness.

I have been trapped in this circle for over a year and a half. Ever since I got married, I have found it very difficult to keep my life together for over 2 months at a time. The one lesson that I have learnt over this period is that you cannot control every aspect of your life. Things are going to happen and you are going to have to deal with them. Period.

Also, with everything going on in the world right now – the pandemic, the protests, the natural disasters and geo-political complications – I was feeling hyper hopeless! And I hate to admit this but I had gone off-track with my intentional living journey. But then I decided to take a break, realign myself and make a comeback in life (and also on this blog).

In today’s blog post, I want to share how I am making this comeback and resetting my intentional life. I am going to take you through a step-by-step process to reset your intentional life.

Step 1 – Journal towards an intentional life

The first thing that you need to do in this process is come to terms with your current situation. Face what is going on without resistance and judgement so as to move forward with positivity and empathy.

I like to do this by journaling my heart out and streaming my frustration onto the paper with my pen. I love to start and end my journaling sessions with 5-5 minute meditation sessions. The start-up meditation helps me get my thoughts in one place and the close-up meditation helps me let everything go and open myself up for a fresh start.

Here are some prompts for your 1st step –

  1. Start-up Meditation
  2. Journal prompts –
    1. How am I feeling right now in my life?
    2. What events have led to me feeling this way?
    3. How do I want to feel instead?
    4. What can I do to feel that way? List some actionable steps.
  3. Close-up meditation

This process will help you reset your intentional life on a clean slate.

Step 2 – Reset your intentions from scratch

Your intentions in life are never permanent. They change as you go through your life. So I urge you to let go of your previous intentions and set new ones. You can always have some old ones make a reappearance, but try to keep your intentions fresh and relevant to your stage of life.

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For example, one of my earlier intentions was – ‘Speak the truth – no matter what the cost’. This intention made a lot of sense to me when I was independent. Now that I have my own business, I have to think about the cost! Diplomacy has actually started to make much more sense to me now. I cannot just tell my clients that their social media budgets v/s expectations are laughable – I need to take this diplomatically. That is exactly why I had to tweak this intention. And this does not mean that I am going to go ahead and become manipulative – I am just going to be authentic and not idealistic.

You can reset your intentions with my intention setting guide by clicking right here. You can check out my blog post on Getting started with Intentional Living for more details.

Here is a snapshot of my intentions –

Intention setting journal entry

Step 3 – Set Intentional Systems

I recently read the over-hyped book – ‘Atomic Habits’ by James clear. My verdict – totally worth the hype! And ever since reading that book, I have been the biggest fan of systems.

The book helped me realize the power that systems can have in changing your life. And I decided to set up systems to live my intentions. Here is how you do i-

  1. Take an intention
  2. Brainstorm some habits / actions that can help you stay true to it
  3. Create a system

Here are some examples from my own life –

Intention – The right way is the way of creative expression

Actions –

  1. Journaling
  2. Doodling
  3. Dancing
  4. Coloring
  5. Writing

Systems –

  1. Whenever you feel frustration / anxiety kick in → Journal it out
  2. 1 hour of creativity every sunday and tuesday → Doodle / Color / Write
  3. Join a zumba class to lose weight and feel light inside out

Intention – Be frugal in criticism and generous in appreciation

Actions –

  1. Gratitude journal
  2. Anger Management
  3. Stress Management

Systems –

  1. Listen to music when you get angry (to avoid criticism)
  2. Write in a gratitude journal every morning (to be more appreciative)
  3. Whenever you feel frustration / anxiety kick in → Journal it out
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These are some examples of the systems that I have set and that work wonders for me! As you can see, some systems help me stay true to more than 1 intention! Setting systems is how you can change any part of your life.

Step 4 – Tools to stay on track

You never go to a war without weapons, right? So do not go on this journey without the right tools! I know that when I say “tools”, it just sounds fancy but it really isn’t. Internal motivation and self-disciple are quite unreliable partners for you in this journey. That is why you will always need tools to keep you motivated from the outside when the inside gives up. Your tools of choice can be anything – books, youtubers, bloggers, your own journal, your best friend, partner or anything else that can keep you motivated.

For example, when I am feeling sluggish and unproductive, I will go and watch MuchelleB’s life admin day videos. These videos always make me get-up, make a list of all things that I have to get done, do them and then check them off!

When I feel like I am being my worst writing critic, I will go ahead and read a chapter out of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and it always encourages me to write without judgement.

Whenever I am feeling disconnected, I will call my best friend up and chat about any random thing in the world which instantly makes me feel connected and joyful!

But here is the catch – we all have these tools but we always forget to use them in time of need. That is exactly why I have a motivation tools cheat-sheet ready in my Notion! (See the snapshot below.)

Notion for an intentional life

Write down what tools to use when different scenarios pop up. And here is a pro tip – remember to refer to this cheat sheet when this actually happens. In my experience, I forget about the cheat sheet multiple times in the very beginning. But now with time, this habit has become more natural to me.

So this is the exact process that has helped me get my life back on the intentional living track. But I believe that this is a life-long journey and I need to improvise as I go. My efforts through this blog are to keep sharing what works for me and help others on their journey. 

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