Are You Living on Purpose?

You have likely seen articles about “living intentionally,” but have you ever taken a moment to consider what that means? How much of your week is spent on autopilot? Considering where your life is right now, how much of that is due to you purposefully choosing that life? I know many people who are living a life that they have chosen. Almost everything they do is “on purpose.” They don’t live on auto-pilot. But I know many more who are not living a life this way. They are living based on others’ expectations of them. They are fulfilling the needs of those around them, while sacrificing many of their own. Which of these groups seems to better describe the life you’re living? There is no judgement here; I spent a large amount of time in the second group myself over the years. But there are steps you can take to live more purposefully.

Plan – A common difference between the people in both groups is those who live intentionally, set goals and make plans. They have a vision for their future and give thought to how they want their life to look and what steps they need to take to get there. That doesn’t mean circumstances don’t get in their way or that hardships don’t befall them. Quite the contrary. But they deal with those issues and continue working towards their goals, even if they have to alter them. Now ask yourself: Do you have a plan? Do you have goals you are working towards? Have you defined the steps you need to take in order to be living your life on purpose?

No Excuses – Often, those who are living under the direction of others can be heard explaining why they can’t live any other way. They don’t have time, they don’t have the money, they’ve dealt with more challenges, they’re circumstances are “different.” They are SUCH a special snowflake that they can’t possibly do what others have done. Those living their lives on purpose may get ticked off at circumstances thrown their way, but they don’t use them as excuses to stop trying. Now ask yourself: Are you allowing excuses to stop you? Have you made a plan to overcome your challenges? It’s easy to think of all the things we can’t do, but have you made a list of all the things you CAN do?

Today Equals Tomorrow – Those living their lives on purpose know that today’s behaviors become tomorrow’s results. When they do something today, they consider the impact that behavior will have on their future. They are very intentional about the choices they make today and how that aligns with the vision of their future. Now ask yourself: Did the actions you took today lead you closer to the future you desire? Are you consciously choosing each action you take and how it will impact your future?

I know this may sound as if I’m oversimplifying a complex issue, but it really does come down to these fundamentals. We all want a life that is healthy, happy, and abundant, but that involves many things – health, finances, family, friends, career, and more. Obviously, we can’t focus on 10 goals at once or we’d become overwhelmed. So, start with one or two. What is a priority for you? It could be your health, raising your kids, setting yourself up financially, advancing your career, starting a business, strengthening a relationship, buying a retirement home, or any number of other possibilities.  Focus on the one or two that are most important to you right now and make a plan, ditch the excuses, and take the steps today that will lead you to your ideal tomorrow. Once you’ve developed those habits, you can shift your focus to new goals. It’s hard work, but doing so intentionally and on purpose will get you where you want to be.

Which of those 3 fundamentals have you found most beneficial to you, or which of the 3 do you need to improve on? Share in the comments section.

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  1. Such a great post April. I could not agree more! If we were chasing our own goals and dreams and not that of others, there would be no excuses because we would be doing what we want instead of what we feel obligated to do! No time like the present to get in touch with our goals for the next year!

  2. oh my gosh, i LOVE this post so so much, april! EVERY point you make in your three steps is spot on! people who decide to live purposeful lives “give thought to how they want their life to look and what steps they need to take to get there.” EXACTLY. i also like how you point out that it isn’t always easy though. but instead of making excuses out of their hardships, they face them and deal with them. again, i LOVE this. thank you so much for this concise slice of wisdom.

    • I’m so glad you liked it, April!! It’s a fact though – this type of inner work is challenging, but oh so worth it! <3

  3. Thank you for this wise, inspiring post. I’m not sure that I’ve put your advice a 100% into practise throughout my life, I wish I had! I’m certainly trying my best now.

    • Rebecca, I haven’t put my advice into practice throughout my life either. 😀 But when I broke it down to look more closely at what I did differently when I was living on purpose, these were the 3 main differences. I’m glad you’re on that path now. We live, we learn, we live…

  4. April, you are spot on. For years I was living a life that was one to fit an “ideal”. I finally found the courage to live for my happiness. While it has presented its challenges, I have begun to live more for me and trying to focus on my happiness and bringing joy to those around me. I was going through the motions for far too long.

    • Thank you for sharing your very personal experience, DF. It’s encouraging for all of us to see an example of someone who had the courage to break out of a mold and live a life in truth. I wish you much continued happiness!! 🙂

  5. I love your point of no excuse. It is easy to live under the expectations of others and find hundreds of excuse to not live the other way. I also agree that it is not easy to live our own life, and we need to be strong enough to execute plans and take up challenges, but as long as we figure out the priority and being tough enough, we will get there.

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