You may be familiar with the New Years Resolution-adjacent concept of a “Word of the Year”. Well, over here at The Page Edit, we are starting a new series called “Word of the Month”, where we write about a word that not only resonates with us in this specific period of our lives, but that we also feel could be beneficial to anyone’s life. If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we love to take a seemingly innocuous idea and expound on it thoroughly until we find the beauty at the center of it.
And that brings us to our word of the month for January: intentional.
Intentional is defined by the Oxford Languages Dictionary as something that is “done on purpose; deliberate.”
And yes, I know what you’re thinking, “thanks for the definition, I guess?” I know that simply providing a definition for you doesn’t do or explain too much.
So I’ll do something better, I’ll try to answer the overarching question:
What does it really mean to be intentional?
There is a quote about intentionality that I feel is a fantastic starting point. It’s from author Adrienne Enns, and she says, “Intentional days create a life on purpose.”
Living an intentional life is to live life with (and on) purpose, in all things you do.
However, the definition of an “intentional life” varies from person to person, since we all live different lives with varying circumstances. With this being said, the basis of intentional living remains the same: live your days with a conscious effort to make the most of your life.
We are only on this planet for such a short time, and you deserve to live the best life for yourself.
And that could mean anything! Anything that could better your mental and/or physical health, get you excited for the day, and simply, something that puts a smile on your face—all in all, something that makes you absolutely love your life.
You might be thinking, “I want to love my life and look forward to every day, but I don’t even know where to begin. How do I live my life with intention?”
And allow us to preface, we are in no way experts. We are communicating what has worked for us and what we’ve learned from others from observation or personal research. So, again, it can totally look different for everyone.
But if you are in a place where you want to begin loving your life and living with intention, we think it starts with something fairly simple: taking note.
Noting (either with a physical note or a mental note) the things that spark a sense of joy, motivate you to be your best self, and, again, make you feel, simply, happy. For us, things like a good cup of coffee in the morning, relaxing jazz music while I’m getting ready for the day, calm lighting throughout my home, a meaningful conversation with a friend or loved one, journaling, going to the gym, a bubble bath with candles, an afternoon walk outside, or even winding down the day with a great movie all fall under the umbrella of either inspirational activities, energizers, or things that help us recharge. We often picture big moments when we think about changing our life for the better, but it’s these small, seemingly silly choices of intentionality that shift our trajectory over time.
For many of us, the introduction to the concept of intentional living can make you think it requires spending loads of money or having an overcomplicated/hyper-disciplined routine, but it doesn’t. For us, an intentional life really lies within the simple things. If you’re part of this community, then it is fairly common knowledge that we love for even the most basic and mundane things to look and feel pretty. More often than not, this choice is done deliberately to spark joy into the everyday patterns of our lives!
It’s this sort of thinking that has drawn us more to a collected approach in many aspects of our home — even something as simple and functional as our dishes. We still have the dishes we were given for our wedding (plain, white plates from Pottery Barn), but over the last few years we’ve embraced mixing and matching antiques, ornate designs, and pieces that stand out on their own. It’s this sort of small yet intentional shift in mindset that’s created new interests, helped us sharpen our taste, and unexpectedly opened ways for us to connect with new people who love these things too.
You start to realize very quickly that these small shifts in our aim alter our long term trajectory in major ways! Life is so short, and if you want to care and put quality time and thought into what cup you drink out of, what music you have playing when you’re getting ready for work in the morning, or if you spend 35 minutes in the Target bubble bath isle trying to decide between eucalyptus and lavender—then do it. If it brings you joy and is meaningful to you, then you do it, you beautiful soul! By being intentional, we’re mindfully showing up for ourselves and that’s a beautiful thing.” – Adrienne Enns
And isn’t that the truth? Showing up for ourselves, in whatever way we can, is so beautiful, wonderful, and sensational. So, we encourage you to live an intentional life! You deserve it!