How do we live more intentionally if we don’t know what we want?

How do I live more intentionally if I don't know what I want? Try these journal prompts to help you tune in with your desires.

How can we live more intentionally if we don’t know what we want?
Living with intention is about aligning our life and our choices with our beliefs and values. It’s about asking ourselves what’s most important, and working towards bringing more of what’s important into our lives (and letting go of what’s not important).

But what if we’re not totally sure what we want? What if we’re struggling to define what’s truly important to us?

That might seem like a silly statement. I mean, how could we not know what we want? But it’s a very real struggle for many of us. I personally struggled with this for a long time.

Unfortunately, many of us have become disconnected from our internal voice and compass. Years of social conditioning have taught us to suppress our desires — that it’s wrong to want. Instead, we begin to pick up on what others want for us. In fact, you may be wondering if your desires are truly your own.

If you feel this way, you are not alone! I want to help you reconnect with your inner voice and wisdom so that your desires feel authentic and intentional. This is why I believe that living intuitively and living intentionally are connected. Without that inner connection to your desires, you won’t feel the same commitment to living intentionally.

Luckily, for most of us, our inner voice doesn’t give up. It keeps whispering, eventually calling out to us. And at some point (hopefully) we start listening.

If you’re not sure what you truly want, start with how you want to feel and what you want to experience. What do your first instincts tell you? What is your gut reaction to the question? From there, you’ll be able to start painting a picture of what those feelings and experiences might look like in your life.

A simple process to start tuning in to your desires

I suggest blocking off a little time to do some meditation, visualization and journaling.
Find a quiet place to sit where you’ll have some time to yourself. Get comfortable and take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Ask your inner wisdom to come forward. Welcome your inner voice.

Then, go through and answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Again, trust your instincts and write down anything that comes up.

  1. What do you want? Again, if you don’t know what you want, what does your first instinct tell you? Even if it’s vague, start there.
  2. Why do you want it? What’s important about achieving it?
  3. What would change if you achieved it?

After answering the questions, take a break. Have a cup of tea, or just relax.

After your break, come back and answer the questions again. Notice whether any of your answers changed. Did anything else come up for you? Did you experience any additional clarity or insights?

Sometimes our unconscious mind needs some time to process what it’s being asked. Putting aside the questions for a short period of time can sometimes allow more information to bubble to the surface. Our unconscious mind is essentially still digging even while we’re relaxing or thinking about something else.

I also suggest doing the same process a few days later. Put away your questions and answers and let it go from your mind. Then come back to them a few days later and answer the questions again. Did you experience any new insights?

Journaling prompts to help you go further

You might also want to journal about anything that came up. Here are a few journaling prompts that you can explore:

  1. What did you think about your answers? Were you surprised about what came up, confused, or was it exactly what you expected?
  2. Did you find yourself immediately coming up with reasons for why your answers weren’t valid or weren’t possible?
  3. Did you find yourself judging your answers or feeling uncertain as you wrote them down? What other feelings or emotions did you experience? Why do you think you experienced them?
  4. Is now is the right time to start exploring your desires and living more intentionally? If not now, when?

Remember to take a gentle approach with yourself. Be curious, not judgmental. If you’ve been detached from your desires for a while, it will take some time to get back to them. Each step will begin to lead you down the path of self-connection and self-discovery and strengthen that connection to your inner compass.

“I've come to know that what we want in life is the greatest indication of who we really are.”Richard Paul Evans QuoteWhen I began to follow my inner voice, it didn’t lead me directly to where I am now. That would have been too big of a jump. Instead, I listened to the little nudges, the hints of what I loved and what brought me joy.

When it comes to living intentionally, it’s not about the end destination, because that’s not the point, and you’ll never fully arrive. It’s about the journey and learning to trust those steps that you’re guided to take and be present for all of the experiences and learning that will come with them. And it’s a pretty fantastic ride!
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