Learning To Live More Intentionally

Crikey, is that the wankiest blog title you’ve ever read? I think it’s the wankiest I’ve ever typed.

But bear with me gang, because this post is important.

In my (almost) twenty-nine years on this planet, I have always lived day to day without giving it too much thought. Sure, as an adult I have a nifty to-do list to tick off in order to make me feel like I have my shit together – especially now working from home and for myself – but I never gave much thought around actually living my life and looking after my happiness intentionally.

Crazy, right?!

Or is it? I can hazard a guess that I’m not alone in this. In our innate need to be “successful” in our jobs or relationships, we forget to look internally at what happiness looks like. We have moments of happiness or happy memories, but how often do we reflect on them? How often do we make a mental or physical note of these times – especially when the moments or memories are small and often mundane?

OK so I’ll stop with the rhetorical questions now. But it’s something to think about. It’s something I’ve been thinking about, a lot.

I came across The Happiness Planner some time ago after seeing Holly share hers on Instagram and on her blog. After a few months, I started looking into it and finally bought one the other week. Does anyone else have a level of inbuilt resistance to buying something that isn’t on Amazon? Oh shit, I said I’d stop asking rhetorical questions didn’t I? There I go again.

The reason I was drawn to The Happiness Planner was because it looked like the perfect journalling tool that wouldn’t require too much effort or any artistic talent (bujo’s ain’t for me, chaps) to fill it out – it was simply about reflecting on the individual days, and the week as a whole to check in that I was looking after number one properly.

Not entirely committing (as per me), I opted for the 100 Day Planner and I’m quite looking forward to whether it does make a difference.

For each day, you have to fill out what you feel grateful for, and the things that have been good about your day. It might sound cheesy if you’ve never journaled before (I hadn’t, and it did), but by knowing you have these sections to fill in, you start to live the day with more intention…intention to have things to add to those boxes without having to clutch at straws.

Self-care and living intentionally

So how have I been living more intentionally? Well, it starts with self-care. It’s about finding the time to do something just for you. Create daily or weekly actions that make you happy.

Here are a few of the actions I have been taking lately to practice self-care:

  • Gone for a walk in the sunshine and left my phone at home – that shit is revolutionary 
  • Headed up to bed earlier to read a book for 10 minutes – peace and quiet at it’s finest
  • Instead of getting ready for work immediately in the morning, I sometimes sit downstairs and have a cup of tea first
  • I stop obsessively checking Twitter and Instagram (still working on this…old habits die hard, y’all)

But it’s also about recognising the fact that self-care can be incorporated into your day in so many different ways. It can be the first cup of tea in the day, the lunch time walk or the Netflix binge in the evening. It can be spent on your own, or with a loved one.

It doesn’t have to be that stereotypical bath, book and a candle if that isn’t your style. It isn’t mine. I hate baths. I’m not wild on candles either *collective gasp from the blogging community*.

So as well as practising self-care like it’s going out of fashion, there are a few more things you can do to live more intentionally without having to really make many changes to your everyday.

Think about what you want your day to look like

In the morning, grab a cuppa and a pen and paper (or journal), and think about what you *want* the day to look like. I like to include creative endeavours in my day so that I’m not just dealing with emails and admin. Luckily my job makes that easy, but if you can’t have a creative moment in your working day, think about what you could do over lunch or in the evening to ignite your creative flame.

Make a wish list, and consider ways you could add daily or weekly actions that help you achieve even a portion of that ideal day.

Reflect on each day

With my Happiness Planner, I start writing my schedule and to-do’s in the morning, but then revisit it in the evening to fill out what’s made me happy and what I’m grateful for. That way, I’m spending dedicated, book-ended time in my day to monitor my happiness and plan for the next day.

You don’t need a planner to do this – in fact, Liam and I started telling each other before we went to sleep each night just three things about our day that were good/we enjoyed. Some days are harder than others, but the rule is that it has to be at least three things. It means you go to bed in a better mood because you’ve focused on the positives. Even if those positives are minor, they are still important.

Make changes when you recognise the need for them

This is easier said than done – but if you realise that scrolling through Instagram in the evening is making you feel sad, annoyed or [insert any other negative emotion here], then cut that shit out.

Put your phone in a different room, making it more difficult to give in to temptation. Replace this action with something you know you enjoy doing. I was scrolling through Instagram before I started writing this post and realised quickly that I didn’t actually *want* to be scrolling through Instagram, so I’ll do something I do enjoy doing instead.

Bloody revolutionary, right?!

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This post contains a referral link for you to get £5 off a Happiness Planner by simply adding the code at checkout. I highly recommend purchasing this planner if you are looking to add more intention to your lifestyle.

6 Comments

  1. June 21, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    I just started bullet journaling! I’m not artistic so I’m relying on stencils and stickers. Add colored pens, and my inner child is really enjoying it. I need to set up a mood tracker in it.

    • Cat
      June 23, 2018 / 7:46 pm

      Glad you are enjoying it! I am not artistic in the slightest and much prefer writing so the Happiness Planner was ideal for me!

  2. June 24, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    LOL you have totally enabled me into buying another notebook! I’ve just been looking into the Happiness Planner and it’s defo going on my stationery wishlist, just have to use up the many notebooks I’ve already got going on first. With studying I have several notebooks and pens dotted around the house.

    I also hate baths (we don’t even have one) and candles are nice in the colder months but are a big no no for me in the summer. I just don’t associate candles and self-care when it’s 40ºC degrees outside haha. I’m really into my walks lately and have been adding more of them into my week although I went out at midday yesterday and I struggled getting home in the heat. So early morning walks would probably be better lol.

    I deleted the Facebook app from my phone so now I can only see it if I’m on my computer and that is one huge breathe of fresh air!

    • Cat
      June 24, 2018 / 5:52 pm

      The Happiness Planner isn’t really a notebook so much as a diary/journal so definitely one you can use alongside your many notebooks! Not that I’m trying to enable you or anything!

      Walking is definitely a great way of practising self-care…especially in the summer but definitely agree evenings or late afternoon at least is best! Fresh air always makes me feel more settled and in control.

      I also deleted the Facebook app and although I check the web-version from my phone every once in a while, I open it less than I ever did with the app.

  3. June 25, 2018 / 9:27 am

    I find that scrolling through Insta before bed just stops me from sleeping! It makes my mind buzz too much, and it’s addictive! I made the decision that once my phone is on charge, it is face down and I don’t touch it (or try not to) then I settle into bed with a cup of chamomile & spearmint tea and a book. I read a few pages and I’m nodding off before I know it! Sleep is something that I have always struggled with, so this is revolutionary!

    • Cat
      June 25, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      It really does! Sometimes I can’t resist it though… I wish I could bring myself to not even have my phone in the bedroom but I sometimes wake up before my silent alarm (Fitbit) and want to know how much more sleep I can get which I wouldn’t know without having my phone there with me!

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