How I live my life on purpose

On more than one occasion, a well-meaning friend has told me to “let my hair down.” “Loosen up!” they say. “stop with the lists already!”

And while I appreciate their concern* I’m pretty happy with my life, thankyouverymuch.

I’m happy with my life because I made a conscious decision to make it awesome.

Like, on purpose. With lists and journals and stuff.

Here’s how I live my life on purpose:

1. I think about how I want to feel + do things that make me feel that way

Like pretty much every other woman on the internet, I’m a big fan of The Desire Map. This book is written for us to-do lists addicts and quantifiable goals (“$75K a year with a corner office”). It encourages us to pinpoint a few core desired feelings and then do things that will create those feelings. Sounds deceptively simple, right?

So instead of a 15-item to-do list, I think of three things I can do today that will make me feel proud. I could call my grandma, fix that wobbly chair, or go to the gym. I could think of two things that will make me feel psychologically lean, like cancelling the Netflix subscription I never use and cleaning out my junk drawer.

2. I stopped doing things or hanging out with people who make me feel bad

I’ve never been particularly inclined towards self-destructive behavior, but I’ve certainly had my share of embarrassment-inducing friends. I’ve taken part in activities out of obligation or a desire to be The Type Of Person Who Does That.

You know what? People who drag you down and activities that suck you dry are a waste of your time and energy. And who has time for that? Approximately no one.

3. I schedule time to try new things + do things that I love

Yes, I realize it’s not particularly sexy to scrawl ‘1 fun thing’ onto my Every Damn Day list. But if I don’t make Fun Things a priority? I’ll end the day feeling productive and accomplished …. and sort of bored and hateful.

So every year I make a list of new things I want to try and then wrangle my very patient friends into joining me. I travel three months a year. I carve time into my day for thrifting and new recipes and reading by the river.

Really, filling my life with things I love is an extremely conscious effort. It’s a daily struggle not to fall down internet hole after internet hole.

4. I plan my social + work life around my introverted nature

Did you know I’m the friendliest, chattiest introvert you’ll ever meet? I’ll introduce myself to strangers. I’m happy to attend events where I know no one and I can make friends with your throw pillow.

But.

After three hours of social interaction, the light inside me turns off. I need to sit somewhere quiet, by myself. It took me years to realize this about myself — I wasn’t just ‘tired’ or ‘in a weird mood.’ I’m introverted.

Now that I know that, I try to make plans accordingly. I’m not really interested in more than two social obligations a day and if I’m in a big group of people for a long time? I’ll invent some sort of ‘errand’ I ‘need’ to run and then hustle off all by my lonesome for a bit.

How do you live your life on purpose? What’s one thing you could do to add a little intention to your daily life?

*Not really. Mostly I just feel judged and slightly annoyed.

P.S. If this resonates with you, join my free, 5-day More Money, More Happy Bootcamp. It’s a week of helpful emails, an interactive workbook, live classes, even a private Facebook group. For zero dollars! I’d love it if you joined us.