A Simple Start To Living A More Content Life

aqua blue sea meets pinkish salmon-y color sky

You can be a more content person by living with intention.

The beginning of a new year many folks set goals and follow through for a little bit only once again to suspend their dreams for any number of reasons or excuses. Living with intention means knowing what you love and that thing that is the embodiment of who you are is your intention of who you wish to be.

You already are living with intention, you just may not be aware of this. In other words every action you take already is preceded by an intention whether you made conscious choices or not.

Example: You get up in the morning and bemoan the fact you have to go to your miserable job today. This is an intention. On the other hand one may rise in the morning and think ‘My days of going to this miserable job are numbered because today I am taking the first step to change this’. This is also intentional living.

Staying in misery is a choice and an intention, as is planning for a change.

These intentions often influence the outcome of the event we are entering. Intention has always been a powerful energy that enters the scene before us wherever we are headed. 

How Did I Get Here?

A lot of people sleepwalk through life without taking the time to understand what they truly want, letting other people, places and things dictate their day which turns into many days, weeks etc. Where are you at this present moment? Let go of the past and all the thoughts you have about how you got to where you are. 

The truth is every decision you ever made brought you to where you are today regardless of your history. I promise I am not minimizing any trauma and tragedies you have suffered, I am simply saying the clock is ticking and we only get one chance at living life.

We all should be living on our own terms and taking control of your life is powerful. Yes we have many challenges, sadly some folks more than others, there is still room for intentional living.

Decide What You Want

People are easily influenced because continuing on and not upsetting the status quo is much easier than doing the hard work of learning what you want. 

If you are not passionate about what you are doing day in and day out it is your responsibility to figure out what ‘you’ want. No-one can do this for you. The most important step you can take is learning what you want. This may take time and this is okay because the time is going to drift by anyway.

Decluttering what you know you don’t want in your life is a good way to start to learn what you do want.

The Challenge of Knowing What You Want

There are simple ways to find out what you want, not necessarily easy, simple in theory. The reason most people don’t do this is they have not necessarily been conditioned to do so.

Some people think life is a grind and nothing will change their minds. Other folks may not feel they are entitled to get to choose the life they dream of. 

The number one reason most people won’t figure this out is because it may take disciplined time to work out some answers. There will always be obstacles in your path and it is much easier to blame these obstacles for staying stuck than shifting into action and making change.

Time is our most precious commodity. Yet, on a daily basis many individuals find themselves swept along by the currents of circumstance. Most of did not get to where we are today through any elaborate plans. It’s easy to fall into a routine or trap, living day by day without considering the larger picture. 

Writing or Journaling

Taking the time to reflect on what you want out of life is the first step and a great way to learn what will bring you true contentment.

The obstacles you may stumble into will be excuses like this is not the perfect time to make changes, you don’t have enough money, when the kids are older, and the list goes on. Whether these excuses are valid or not you can usually find a work around. I know I have combatted many obstacles in my life and often against all odds. 

Chances are the truth is more like new things are scary and the devil you know is more comfortable. If you find yourself thinking along terms like ‘who do I think I am, life isn’t really that bad’, stop and remind yourself how much you deserve everything this life has to offer. It may not be easy or fast, but it is well worth the sacrifices though to learn what you want.

I wrote my way into the magical life I have today beginning about 25 years ago. I had very little to work with at the time and a whole of obstacles to overcome. This is how I know living the life you want is possible. If I can do it anyone can. Full disclosure: My life has the same ups and downs as everyones.

Check this out article I wrote for tips on free style writing!

Check out my new free Shift Into Action course I made! This course will show you how to finally get yourself decluttered! By ridding yourself of old stuff you are making way for new things to come into your life.

Declutter the Layers of Your Life

Living with Intentional Purpose

Living intentionally means making choices that align with your values and desires. Often, people find themselves on paths laid out by others – from where they live to their educational and career choices.

There was a time not too long ago that marriages were arranged by families and this was not considered odd. Imagine that.

Going along with other people’s design for your life may or may not offer you true contentment because joy comes from making conscious decisions yourself. Contentment comes from finding your passion and taking control of your life.

The Importance of Specific Goals

Setting specific goals is crucial in the pursuit of a content life. Asking yourself, “What do I want?” can be challenging to answer, as it requires introspection and self-awareness. By defining your specific goals, you pave the way for a more purposeful and intentional existence.

If you resist setting goals because you think you have no time start by decluttering your life of the undesirable things that are taking up your time.

a puzzle of a head with missing pieces on the top indicating an open mind

Open minded

Now that you have a clue as to what you want, trust me it is only a clue because when you set on your journey to change where you are all sorts of cool things you had not even considered will pop up on your path. 

You must be open minded because you will be forced to pick, choose and pivot. Isn’t this awesome! It is like being in the candy aisle!

The very energy swirling around you because you decided to change your lot is a door opener for sure. Synchronicity will appear and you will be dumb-founded and think ‘I can’t believe this happened’! 

What is synchronicty? Synchronicity is, for example, when you think of a friend you have not heard from in years and this friend bumps into you on a crowded city street or anywhere.

Another example is you decide it is time you learned to paint and an artist friend calls you out of the blue asking for your help. All these things are a couple small examples of how synchronicity has happened in my life.


Changing your life starts with replacing current habits with new habits. Just deciding to allow a little extra time in the morning for self-reflection or actively pursuing your passions, can steer you towards a more intentional life. Small, consistent changes compound over time, creating a significant impact on your overall well-being.

Small Steps

large stepping stones in a lake surrounded by fog

Decision Making

Making decisions based on your true desires is key to living with intention. It involves saying ‘no’ to things that don’t align with your goals and embracing opportunities that lead you closer to what you want. Decision-making becomes a powerful tool in crafting a life that brings you joy and satisfaction.

These are big life decisions you are pondering and are deserving of your time to gather all the information you can to make an informed decision.

a picture of a split mountain with a person jumping from the negative side to the positive side

Positive People Attract Positive

Decide to stick with the positive people. It became clear to me ages ago that negativity is just a huge waste of energy. Being around negative people can be trying. You know this.

Where Are Your Feet?

a graphic image of a slender pair of feet

If you don’t love where you are why are you still there? Did you make a conscious decision to be where you are? Was your plan a bust? Most people have the power to change, even those with challenging circumstances.

I understand some people, especially in this day, have had to make the decision to buy food for themselves or kibble for the dogs and have zero amount of money to contemplate starry eyed dreams. The thing is though if you know what you want you can take a baby step toward this dream.

Baby steps can mean gathering information. Another baby step is to make a vision board and focus on this for a minute or two each day. I have had magic happen in my life by putting my intentions onto a poster board.

a person sitting on hardwood floor writing a vision board with cut out images and drawings of where person to be in the future

Where Do You Shine

This is a big question and requires well thought out big answers. Don’t skimp here. What are your most meaningful activities?

If you don’t know your strengths ask a good friend or family member where you shine.


What is between you and your dreams? Fear is the biggest obstacle. When I am hesitant to shake up the status quo it is because I am afraid of losing what I have and not getting what I want. 

If you were not afraid what would you do today? This is a great question I ask myself everyday.


a double image: top is person stressed out in front of laptop. Bottom pic is lady sitting by sea in a meditating position


What is your passion? If you can’t easily name what you are passionate about you need to get out more. There is a whole world outside your bubble, things you cannot even imagine.

I built a 30-year career on something I had never heard of before! When I ventured from my cocoon and comfort zone I stumbled upon and discovered my passion!

My passions are obvious to me because I lose track of time, don’t think about eating and find it hard to stop when the clock dictates. There have been times in my life I have had to do other things to earn money, I watched the clock and could not wait to be out of there- wherever there was.

What are you doing when you lose all sense of time. This is where you should be, this is your passion!

When asked why folks are not pursuing their passion the common responses are I have no time, money etc. to get out more.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day though. Unless you never scroll through social media, stream content or read like most folks do you could trade some of this time to get out more to explore.

Some people are crazy busy, over extended and do not spend time scrolling, streaming and reading. I would suggest waking up 10 minutes or so earlier to try to figure out your passion. This is what I did 25 years ago to get started.

a hand writing in a spiral bound journal

I woke up a half hour earlier every week day because I needed time to write 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing and an 11 minute power walk around my neighborhood before I left for work which was at 6:20 AM.

Losing a half hour sleep was totally worth it because it led me to my awesome career and life!

What makes you happy? 

This is such an easy question for me to answer. If you cannot answer this quickly start exploring and taste testing to find out what your favorite jam is.

What Are Your Core Values

colored graphic text spelling out  words- value, integrity and confidence etc

Chances are the things that give you a sense of purpose are the things that speak to your core values. I value honesty above all. Knowing your core values and purpose is a big piece of solving the puzzle of what do you want.


green background with words jealousy, anxiety and the like

Who are you jealous of? You can learn a lot about yourself by answering this question. 

When you say out loud ‘I could have done that’ what you are really saying is – ‘damn, I thought of that 3 years ago and if I had acted on this I probably would be rich like she is’.

If you want to try living with intention start by

  • Thinking broadly
  • Staying in the moment
  • Being yourself – and above all else…
  • Be open to change

The opposite of growing and changing is dying.

If you are discontent and would love to make some significant shifts in your life and are too afraid or unsure, for whatever reason seeing a life coach for some guidance may be a good first step for you.

We are talking about the rest of your life. With some guidance you can get into the driver’s seat and start living out your intentions and the life you are meant to live.

author pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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