Live an Intentional Life® with the A.C.E.® Practice
To Live an Intention Life® means living with a strong purpose or aim, with the determination to produce your desired result. I believe there are three ingredients or components that are the foundation for living an intentional life. They are A.C.E. Awareness, Choice, and Energy®, which is easy to remember as ACE your life. The key is to become aware of these three key elements in your life and learn how to navigate them.
Victim or Hero of Your Life
Don’t you want to shift from living a reactive to a proactive life? You are responsible for your life. Living an intentional life is the call to wake up, be deliberate, and proactively choose your action. You are not the victim of your life but the creator and hero of your life. You are creating a life without regrets, complaints, and excuses.
There are three keys to become aware of the stress in your life. Just remember the acronym A.C.E. your life. The three keys to an intentional life are Awareness, Choice, and Energy. When you become aware of these three key windows into your life, you will learn how to navigate them.
What do you want? What do you desire out of your life? The first step of your journey begins with developing your keen awareness. Awareness (A) of your daily experiences. Become aware of what ignites your passion, energy, and love. What drains you, distracts you, and irritates you? These are clues to what you desire. Write down what you are becoming aware of in your life. When you write things down, it gives you a greater focus on how you living your life.
Ask Your SELF Some Questions
- Are you floating through life as a beach ball on water from one drama to another?
- Do you find yourself drifting around in someone else’s life as they make the decisions for you, and thus you become numb to your own direction?
- Are you fearful to claim your own power and therefore claim your own specific intentions?
Steps To Cultivate Your Awareness
- Write it down. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center with a plus sign on the left and a minus sign on the right.
- Credit. (+Plus) Every day, under the plus sign, write the things that give you energy and bring joy to your life like your job, dog, bird’s singing, your spouse or your garden. Reflect back on your day and recall moments that made you brought you joy, peace or laughter.
- Debit. (-Minus) On the minus side of the paper ask yourself, “what drains your energy in your life?” Write things that sap your energy and make you irritable. These are people, events, or habits that are leading you away from your intentional life. Learn stress reduction practices to become resilient to these stressors.
- Do this for at least a week. Become aware of what you love, what is important to you, and also what is draining your energy and the stressors affecting your life.
- Put each of these on credit (+) and debit (-) sides of the line.
- Persons that affect your life such as family members, friends, and coworkers.
- Tasks that affect your life such as meetings, work, carpool, meals, and family time.
- Emotions that affect your life such as guilt, shame, worry, expectations, excuses, fear, anger, self-image, or complaining.
- Money changes your life. Your financial status, wage earners, problems, challenges, and blessings.
- Time is the holy grail in life. Time has a purpose. What are the positive, peaceful or happy ways you spend your time? Also what are the negative or draining ways you spend your time?
Choose to Live An Intentional Life®
Now that you have become more aware of your stressors or blocks in your life, it is time to realize the power of Choice (C) in your life. Your current life is a result of the choices you have made and your responses to the challenging events in your life. Victim mentality ends when you understand the power of your choices. You may not control many of the circumstances in your life, but you can choose your reaction, attitude, responses, and mindfulness in response to these circumstances.
Choose Three Intentions For Your Life
1. Personal. Who do you be? Who are you? What do you desire for you? Are you true to your personality, gifts, or passions?
Make a list of the things you love. Your favorite colors, scents, songs, birds, cars, houses, places to visit, sounds you like, art, nail polish, hair color, food, restaurants, clothes, purses, and other personal and intimate favorites that reflect or help define you.
Name an intention for you personally. Do you want to go back to school, move, change your weight, begin to learn a new language, or start to walk or exercise daily?
Write down your personal intention?
2. Career. What do you want to do? What is your current career? Make a list of what you love about it, what challenges you, and what you dislike about it. Then go within and design your dream job. Where would you be? What would you be doing? What do your surroundings look like? Who are you working with?
Go to a quiet place, get comfortable, and begin guided imagery. Close your eyes and imagine you living your calling in this life. Where are you? What do you have on? What are you doing? How do you feel?
Write down your career intentions and commit this to paper.
3. Relationships. Who do you want to share your life with? What traits do you want to find in a partner or spouse? Which kind of friends do you want to attract into your life to share your experience with? In what neighborhood do you want to live in and who are your neighbors?
Write down your relationship intentions.
Develop Stress Resilience For Your Journey
- Triggers. Choose something from the energy draining side of your list, your stress triggers, to begin to create a more mindful and intentional life. Choose something simple with you personally, at home or work. Focus your attention on this trigger.
- Stress management. When you know you will be in this situation, make a conscious effort to practice stress-reducing practices such as taking deep breaths, doing a type of meditation you like or repeating a positive affirmation; “I am calm,” or “I am relaxed.” Choose a practice you enjoy doing and feel it works for you.
- Follow your joy. Take a look at the positive side of your list. Choose one or two things that nourish and bring you joy. Commit to doing those things more often. Is it with friends, playing with your dog, returning to a hobby or visiting a place you have always enjoyed?
Energy From this Experience
Developing your awareness and living more intentionally creates new Energy (E), power, and freedom in your life. When you begin practicing awareness, and listening to your life, you become more intentional about what you are eating, who you are living with, and where work each day. You will begin to notice an energy swelling within you as you become more aware and live a more intentional life.
If you choose to stay in a challenging job or relationship, you can choose to change your attitude. You can make new and different choices because you now know that the situations in life are your choice, and you are the hero of your life, not the victim. You will radiate confidence and a new sense of your own power.
The more you become aware of this life-giving energy, you can begin to plant and nourish greater intention in your life. Your energy fuels your passion, and as a result, you experience the joy to Live An Intentional Life®.
A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, and keep your focus on your life’s intentions. You create a board where you display images that represent whatever your intentions are in your life.
Intention Life Tribe
Begin an Intentional Life study group. Choose a group of people who want to create an intentional life. Have your group meet regularly to explore the goals of your lives, gather exciting information to feed you and to have fellow explorers support your journey.