Too often, given the noise, rush, and demands of our modern lives, it can feel from time to time that our days are in the driver’s seat—calling the shots, choosing our actions, picking our mood, and rushing past us in a blur.
We sometimes drift through days, reacting rather than acting, being led rather than leading.
But remember this: How you spend your days is how you spend your life.
And by infusing intentionality into our daily routines, we can regain control, ensuring that our days reflect the life we genuinely desire.
While big changes can sometimes make this happen, often, all we need are small actions to bring about more intentionality in our day and lives.
Here are 15 little ways to do that:
1. Use a Morning Routine
Establishing a set routine for your mornings can instill a sense of control at the start of your day. This consistency can act as an anchor, grounding you and preparing you for whatever lies ahead.
2. Take a Digital Break
Designate periods in your day when you step away from screens. This conscious detachment allows you to reconnect with the real world around you.
3. Take a Nature Break
Carve out time, even if brief, to connect with the outdoors. It might be a short walk or simply listening to the rustle of leaves, reminding you of life’s natural rhythms.
4. Drink Water
An act as simple as drinking water serves as a reminder to nourish ourselves. The next time you feel hungry or stressed, pour yourself a large glass of water, and hydrate.
5. Maintain a Gratitude Journal
Before bed, write down three things that brought you joy. This daily practice helps highlight the small, everyday blessings that enrich our lives.
6. Read with Purpose
Choose material that nourishes your soul. Whether it’s an inspiring article or a meaningful book, let the words and thoughts challenge your brain, elevate your spirit, and broaden your perspective.
7. Ask Questions
Make an effort to dive deeper into conversations, fostering genuine connections and learning from others’ experiences and insights. Asking good questions requires good listening and presence. Our interest usually brings us closer to the people in our lives.
8. Craft a 3-Item To-Do List
Streamline your tasks, focusing on just three primary goals for the day. This approach ensures purposeful actions and less scatter. I’ve used it for years—you’ll love it.
9. Sit Quietly with Yourself
Dedicate five minutes to be in silence. It’s a moment to recenter and align with your innermost thoughts and feelings. If you can go longer on an occasional basis, please do. Solitude does wonder for the soul.
10. Preplan Minor Decisions
Decide on minor elements of your day in advance, like your meals or attire. This proactive approach conserves mental energy for more impactful decisions.
11. Nightly Reflection
Take time to ponder your day. Recognize moments of being present, your attitude throughout the day, and always consider how you’d like to act differently tomorrow.
12. Give a Compliment
By intentionally giving a compliment each day, you are required to actively seek the good around you. And by expressing that appreciation, you not only uplift others but also train yourself to notice life’s beauties.
Beyond brightening your mood with a rush of feel-good hormones, a simple smile can radiate positivity to those around you. That’s what the science says.
14. Eat a Healthy Snack
Making a conscious choice to nourish your body with something beneficial reinforces the practice of intentional living.
15. Active Listening
Truly tune into conversations, hearing not just words but emotions and underlying sentiments. This deepens bonds and showcases genuine interest.
Will these 15 little acts cure all of life’s ills and remove all of life’s stress? No, certainly not.
However, when done consistently, I believe they provide an opportunity to help us reclaim control over our lives. I incorporate all of them from time-to-time, but especially when I need intentionality the most.