When I explain the meaning of bucket list living to people, I often say it means living the life you “live in your head” in real life.

But what do I mean by the life you live in your head?

You know, all those things that you think about doing, all the things you dream about accomplishing, the places you imagine going to and the hobbies or activities you mean to start.

It’s a whole other version of you that exists only in your head. Whereas that person gets to have fun, take up new sports, go after dreams and go on adventures, the “real” you goes about the same routine day after day, week after week, year after year.

Maybe you even go to a job that is toxic, live in a place you hate or never have any free time to do anything that you enjoy.

But that is where intentional living comes in.
Living an intentional life is exactly what it sounds like – being intentional about how you spend every minute of every day (or as close to it as you can get it) of your life. To be intentional about something means to do it on purpose or deliberately.

Now, you may be thinking, “Well I already live my life deliberately. I mean I make the decision to get up and get ready to go to work and I decide what to have for lunch.” But that’s not quite what I mean.

Living an intentional life means being aware. It means being present and not getting stuck in a rut or just going through the motions of life. It means not waiting until you are retired, ill or dying to actually LIVE. And it means actually living that life that you’ve only been imagining in your head.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should go quit your job and blow your entire savings account on bungee jumping and skydiving. That would be living an irresponsible life.

But it DOES mean being more intentional about how you spend your time and your money. Stop dreaming about a new job in your head – start taking steps to make it happen! Learn a new skill, earn a certification, take a course, volunteer at a related organization or start a side hustle.

Or if you’ve always dreamed of being a painter, it doesn’t have to wait until “later.” Be intentional about making that happen now. Paint for an hour every night instead of watching Netflix or surfing Facebook. Or enter a small painting contest at a local gallery or college to get your feet wet.

It has become too easy for us to get distracted with so many things vying for our attention these days. But if you’re not careful, you’ll blink and miss your whole life.

So, don’t wait. Start living IN REAL LIFE.

Be that cool version of yourself that up until now, has existed only in your mind.

Let yourself out and live with intention, excitement and joy!

By Jenn Baxter

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