5 Ways to Live More Intentionally

With a new semester and new stressors quickly sneaking up on us, I thought now would be a good time for a little reminder on intentionality. Intentionality is about living with purpose and being present. A busy schedule can often distract us from the kind of people we want to be and the kind of energy we want to put into the world. Here are 5 ways you can live more intentionally:

1. Change the way you compliment: A lot of times we tend to compliment people based on how they make us feel. For example, “you make me happy” or “you make me feel comfortable.” These are great compliments, but pay attention to how often you use them. These compliments are “you centered” and focus on how you benefit from that person. Again, having a happy and comfortable ~energy~ is great, and people should be recognized for that. However, next time really try and think about what it is about that person that makes you happy or comfortable. Do they always have a positive attitude? Do they have a kind heart? Are they gracious and genuine? A little rephrasing can go a long way.

2. Write down your goals and, most importantly, why you have them: How we doing on those New Year’s resolutions, everyone?? Goals and resolutions are a lot easier to keep when you know why you have them. For example, if you want to lose weight, think about why: feeling healthier, gaining more confidence, etc. Consider why your goal is important to you and physically write this down.

3. Ditch the phrase “it looks good on a resume:” I’m not saying ditch all obligations and only spend time doing your favorite mindless hobbies of binge-watching Netflix and trying out new rosés. I am saying that you shouldn’t be doing things solely for the resume clout. Similar to #2, write down why you do the extracurricular activities that you do; if you can’t think of a good, meaningful reason, it’s probably time to say goodbye. Again, physically writing this out can help. For example: “I write for Her Campus because I enjoy working with an all-women team and contributing to a platform that gives women a chance to be creative and let their voice be heard.” LOVELY!

  • Maybe not everything you’re involved in is enjoyable, like a job, for instance. You can still write “I have a job because I enjoy being independent, and I need to support myself in college because I value being a lifelong learner.” Connect it back to what’s most important to you!! And keep this in mind when you are doing not-so-enjoyable tasks.

4. Stop saying sorry!!: Especially as women, we say sorry all too often. “Sorry, I’m just going to move past you.” “Sorry, is someone sitting here?” “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” But, what have you done wrong? Try “excuse me” or “thank you” as a substitute. For example, instead of “sorry, am I late," say “thank you for waiting for me.” Instead of saying “sorry” when your roommate does the dishes for you, just thank her for doing them. Of course, still admit when you are wrong and own up to your mistakes, but know where to draw the line.

5. Stop saying things are fine when they are clearly, ya know, not fine: We all get stressed, and it’s okay to say something about it. Saying you’re fine when things feel like they’re falling apart is not really being true to yourself, ya feel? Tell someone when you’re feeling down; you deserve support!

  • With this also comes asking how others are, and not in the "'How are you?' 'Good,' move on" kind of way, but in the way that you genuinely check up on someone and are ready for them to say they are not fine.

P.S. Don’t be like Ross.