I've been giving a lot of thought to intentional living lately. So much in my life is shifting right now and while it's all for very good reasons, it's been a little scary too. I've come to realize that everything that wasn't working in my life was because I wasn't really thinking about what I was doing, or at least not in the way that I should have been. I was doing certain things because I thought they were what I should be doing, not necessarily because they were things that would bring me closer to my goals.
Intentional living to me simply means focusing on building the life that you want. It's easy to get complacent with the habits that we've created for ourselves and to go about our daily lives without realizing that we're not really living in a way that aligns with our values. The easiest way to rectify this is to focus on the "why" of what you are doing. Why do you have your current job? Why do you spend time with certain people? Why did you make your last big purchase? And then ask yourself if those answers are getting you closer to the life that you want.
One thing that I find helps when I'm feeling a bit derailed is something that I've actually been doing for the last couple of years, before I was even aware of what intentional living meant. About every 6 months or so I write out a list of the most important things in my life - family, friends, work, travel, and health. Under each category, I write down what's happening in all of these areas of my life, and how I feel about that. I write down if there are any things I would change in order to create the life that I want. And then I make those changes. It's simple and effective, and really helps shift my focus to where it needs to be.
The most significant change I've made in my life over the past few months is to stop being vague about my answers to the "why" questions. This has been most noticeable in the artistic projects that I've been taking on. Instead of trying to do everything and applying for every artistic opportunity that comes my way, I've started taking a step back and examining whether these projects will lead me closer to the life I want. Instead of signing on to do a project just to get my name out there, I am now focusing on specific projects that bring me joy, that will benefit me in the long run, and that are about things that I am interested in, and not just about art for art's sake.
Living with intention does not mean that you have to have all of your shit figured out - I certainly don't. It just means that there is a purpose behind your actions, and that you can answer the why behind the choices that you make and feel happy with your answers.