80. Things nobody really talks about when it comes to intentional living

When we decide we want to turn off the autopilot and take control of our lives, we might be really excited. It is fun to think about the goals and dreams we have, where we want to go with our lives. But the hard work of showing up for it every day isn’t something people really talk about. 

Intentional living is a journey I started about six years ago and I thought it would be so much easier, and come naturally, and everything would ‘click’. When it wasn’t quite like that I realized that there is a really messy part of intentional living that we might gloss over. 

So, I want to share some of the things I experienced and learned and encourage you with them. So that as you go on this journey in your own life, you can feel motivated to see it through when it feels hard. Because hard doesn’t always mean you are doing it wrong, it often simply means you are doing it. 

Full transcript is at the bottom of this post. 


  1. It doesn’t come naturally. We started with ‘intentional parenting’ and made a list of what we hoped to teach our kids, and things to do with our kids. It included road trips – because that’s what I thought it *should* include. But I do not like road trips with my kids, and I hate that I hate them so much but they are not a preferable experience for me.  It doesn’t come naturally – and this can encourage you that your hard work is moving you down the road.
    Read more about the road trip that made me cry right here.
  2. What we want changes over time. This is encouraging because it means we are allowed to change our minds, try new things, and keep refining it along the way. 
  3. It shines a light on your blind spots. For me, a big one was my victim mentality – of being the victim of my life, motherhood and marriage. Listen to the episode on being a mom martyr right here. 
  4. It is the daily practice. We should be motivated by this big vision we have and remember that intentional living is showing up for the daily work of moving in that direction
  5. It is empowering. This is the reason I still do it. It has grown me and shown me a lot I can let go of. It has brought me more in tune with myself and made me feel empowered that I can do hard things and take steps towards the life I want. 


To get started with intentional living, use the LIVE YOUR VISION, and LIVE YOUR VALUES worksheets, the LIFE ON PURPOSE WORKBOOK

The get some support in getting started schedule a 1-hour strategy session or apply for the Life on Purpose 1:1 Coaching Program with Shawna. 

things nobody really talks about when it comes to intentional living

Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Simple on Purpose podcast. This is a place where I want you to take some time to slow down. Think about ways you want to simplify your life. And think about the ways you want to show up well for your actual life.

So this is what we talked about here intentional living, simplifying your home heart and mind. So that you can show up and enjoy your life, enjoy motherhood, enjoy all of the things that are right in front of you, I want to help you do that.

So today we’re going to pick up on intentional living. In the last episode, we talked about some signs that you could be living on autopilot. And maybe you saw some in yourself, maybe you want to take control, maybe you want to step up and get more intentional in how you’re spending your days in what you’re building up in your life. So in that last episode, I also give you a few tips on how to get started. And I want to give you some encouragement, some real talk on intentional living. I shared this thinking like Episode 15. And a couple of years ago, about the things that nobody talks about in intentional living, the things that nobody told me the things I wish I would have known. And I’m going to kind of go through that list again and elaborate a bit on a few of the points that I think are really important.

Because intentional living, it sounds great, doesn’t it sounds shiny, it sounds like that’s the place I want to go, I want to focus on my goals and my big dreams, I want to work on my habits, I want to get there. But getting there, no one just shows up from zero and makes it right to 100. So I don’t want you to feel like that is the standard. And that wasn’t my reality, at least. So I want to give you some encouragement along the way, about the real work that is involved in intentional living so that you can in the moment when it’s hard, you can remind yourself, I’m not doing it wrong, I’m just doing it.

So intentional living comes down to knowing your values, who you want to be knowing your vision where you want to go, and making decisions in line with that. It’s the big goals you want. But it’s also making choices every single day, and how you show up.

When we started intentional living, we started with intentional parenting, we sat down, we wrote this list about what we wanted our kids to be when we grew up. And to me actually writing out that list probably just should shine a light on a lot of our blind spots in the emotions and the character that we wanted to see in our children that we were also struggling with in ourselves. I mean, how do you go from someone who hates blue toothpaste in pants in the month of November to being someone who is emotionally resilient and a productive person in the world. So that’s a big jump, right, we have this list of qualities that we want for our kids. But that list to get there. That’s a lifetime of work, as we should know in ourselves.

So we started with intentional parenting, this list of what we wanted our kids to be. And also this list of things we wanted to do more often with our kids. One of them was road trips. And I put that on the list at the time, like six years ago, because I thought that’s what intentional parenting should involve. It should involve travel, it should involve like taking your kids out and doing things with them. At the same time, not really acknowledging and myself that I do not like road trips with my kids. I actually hate that I hate them so much. I hate being the type of mom who gets stressed out by them. Because I think that there’s just kind of this, this vision and this idea that they are just warm and they bring you together and travel with your kids and all of that.

So we had this experience where we took our kids on a road trip and it was a disaster. I’m going to share a link to the blog post in the show notes. What I was taking from the end of it was that intentional living. I had this big like glowy sparkly dream about it, but it was actually showing me a lot of crunchiness and control in my heart. My heart, I said, is lined with crotchety old men complaining about ham prices and broken sprinklers. That’s what I learned from that road trip with my kids. I ended up cuddled in a blanket, put myself to bed having a conversation with the crotchety old men in my heart.

So this is the takeaway I want to offer you here is that intentional living doesn’t come naturally. We have a vision of what it’s going to look like. But it takes work to get there. It takes a lot of addressing all of the junk in the road from where we are to where we want to go. So that’s the first encouragement and I want that to encourage you that it doesn’t come naturally. It’s going to be hard work. It won’t always be enjoyable, but it will be fruitful because the more work you do to clear the road, the straighter and clear your path gets on where you want to go.

The other thing to reflect on here is that what we want changes over time and if I was to Write this list again, six years later, it would include a lot less emphasis on road trips being a way that we intentionally parent, it’s still part of our lifestyle because we live in such a small town, and we need to travel out to go do these big shops, these visits, these kinds of things, doctor’s appointments, so it is naturally a part of our life. But I don’t rely on it to be an intentional parent anymore. What we want changes over time. And I think that is really encouraging. When we think about sitting down and writing what we want for life. Sometimes that can be a barrier for us, we might not even want to put pen to paper, because once it’s down there, then we’re stuck, right? Like then it’s like written in blood, you got to commit to it. But it will change over time. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. I told you guys in the last episode that I have typed up in Google Docs, all of our past goals and habits that we set. And now we have the life on purpose workbook. So I just pull out last year’s and read that. And things do change over time, it’s like things are being refined. And as we work on something, well, now that frees up space to work on something different, we can refine, and we can dig deeper almost as well.

Intentional living has also taught me that I am not the victim of my life. And it’s a daily practice to shift that mindset that we are not the victims of our lives. And yes, there’s circumstances in our lives, we probably would change in a heartbeat. But we still get to choose what we’re going to make them mean, what they what we make the mean about us and the people around us. And we get to choose that. And we get to show up from that place.

I lived for a lot of years, like I was a victim of my life of my marriage of my motherhood. And the result of that was really that I lost control, I lost the power, I wasn’t taking responsibility. So nobody tells you that intentional living really doesn’t mean facing the areas of your life, where you’re playing the victim. And I don’t mean that in a manipulative way, you’re not playing it manipulatively. But we do take this role by default, oftentimes, we may not even realize it, where it’s happening in our life.

One more point I really want to just circle back to is that intentional living is the daily practice. These big goals we have, they are just fun, and they are gonna motivate us, they are gonna drive us forward. They’re the vision, they’re where we want to go. This is the long term destination, your vision for your life. The intentional living is running the ship every single day in that direction. It’s making the adjustments. It’s, it’s keeping the ship clean, it’s managing all the people. It’s managing yourself every single day on that journey. That’s what intentional living is. It’s the daily practice.

And finally, I just want to encourage you that intentional living is empowering. This is why I still do it. This is why it’s important to me. Because I look back on the woman, the mom, the Wi Fi was years ago. And I feel like she’s a shadow a tired shadow of who I am now. And not that I’ve got life figured out No way. Like, I am still that mom in her sweats, getting frustrated that her husband made all the cheese, I just need a minute away from the kids at 4:45pm. Every single day. I am in my sweats and lipstick, doing my work showing up messy and doing it. But I do feel more like myself than I ever have. And I think that’s because I’m living in line with my personal values, how I want to show up, and my vision on where I want to go.

Intentional living is a process that helps you get to know yourself, the self that is buried under all of the exhaustion and the overwhelm the reactivity, the complacency, intentional living empowers me because it gets me inspired on the things I want to happen. It makes me feel like I can take little steps in that direction that I can be capable of doing hard things, I can do hard things. I feel like all of the years before I had just done what was expected or what was easy, and it was leaving me unfulfilled. So intentional living, it’s not going to make you feel fulfilled right away. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, it’s going to take practice. And it’s going to take being committed to that long term vision of where you want to go. And doing the work of facing your own blind spots of your own helplessness of your own victim mentality in your life as it is right now. And being gentle with yourself. Because it probably has been decades of you living this way. With these ways of thinking with these thought habits and these thought loops and these initial reactions that have gotten you to this place. It takes a lot of work to undo that. And we need grace to allow ourselves the compassion and the time to do that messy.

So if you want one simple takeaway today, my simple tip for you pick one area of your life that feels a little bit hard. Pick one way that you want to show up in that area. What is the value you have for yourself in how you show up in the character that you embody in that area of your life. And start practicing that, start putting that into action, start giving that legs, start finding ways where it feels challenging. And putting, like, it’s like training, it’s like you have to put yourself in the arena, and do the hard work and grow the muscles so that it becomes easier over time. So that it feels like a habit over time.

It’s the long game guys. And if you want support in this, if you want to get unstuck in it, you can sign up for a strategy session, it’s a one hour one time session, or sign up for the life on purpose coaching program, working one on one with me for six weeks. And we’ll look at the nine areas of your life, the values and vision you have for the nine areas of your life. And we’ll get you started in making changes. Because the magic of making change in one area of your life, especially an area that feels hard and difficult is that it trickles into all of the other areas. The areas of your life in the life on purpose workbook in the life on purpose coaching program, I have our home, family, love, wellness, friendships and community, finances, work, inner expression and outer expression. Those are the areas of our life. And they are not static from each other. They are not isolated from each other. They are all working in tandem with one another supporting one another when you make a change in one area. The other areas benefit and this is why we focus on working on one area to start because you will see changes in other areas of your life.

It’s It’s exciting. I get excited guys, because I’ve seen this work happening for my coaching clients and I’ve seen this work change my life. So I get really excited when you know a good thing you want to share it right?


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