How Is Motivation Related To An Intentional Life?

You wake up to another day, feeling sluggish and uninspired. You know you *should* be living intentionally, but sometimes it just feels so hard. How can you possibly muster up the energy and drive to live a purposeful life? 

It might sound a little weird, but even when it comes to intentional living, we need to have motivation. But exactly how is motivation related to an intentional life? And how can we cultivate it in our lives? 

In this article, we’ll look at the relationship between motivation and intentional living, and provide practical tips for increasing motivation and living a more fulfilling life.

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The Importance Of Motivation In Living An Intentional Life

Living an intentional life means being mindful of your actions and making choices that align with your values and goals. It requires a sense of purpose and direction, and motivation plays a crucial role in achieving these things. 

It’s the driving force behind our actions and decisions. It’s what propels us forward and keeps us focused on our goals — even if those goals are to simplify life, to work less, to engage more fully with the people in our lives, or other things that seem like they shouldn’t ‘need’ motivation. 

When we lack motivation, it’s easy to fall into a rut and feel like we’re just going through the motions. But intentional living is all about finding ways to live a life that is aligned with your values and passions, and motivation is a key component of that.

On the other hand, when we are highly motivated, we’re more likely to take action toward our goals. Plus, it’s easier to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and ultimately live a more intentional and purposeful life.

Furthermore, motivation helps you maintain focus and discipline. When you’re intentional about your life, you sometimes need to make choices that may not always be easy or comfortable. Motivation helps to keep you on track and committed to your path, even when it may be tempting to stray.

Finally, motivation provides a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. When you are actively pursuing your goals and living a life that aligns with your values, you’re more likely to feel a sense of purpose and meaning. This can lead to increased happiness and overall well-being.

Factors That Influence Motivation

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Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the drive that comes from within. It’s when a person is motivated to do something simply because they enjoy it or find it fulfilling. 

This type of motivation is often associated with activities that are personally meaningful or align with your values. Examples of intrinsic motivators include personal growth, creativity, and a sense of purpose.

Research has shown that intrinsic motivation is a powerful force that leads to higher levels of engagement and satisfaction. When you’re intrinsically motivated, you are more likely to persist in the face of challenges and setbacks, and you are more likely to experience a sense of flow – a state of deep absorption and enjoyment in an activity.

Extrinsic Motivation

On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is fueled by external factors, such as rewards or punishments. 

Examples of extrinsic motivators include money, status, or praise from others. While extrinsic motivators can be effective in the short term, they’re often less sustainable than intrinsic motivators.

Research has shown that when people are motivated primarily by external rewards, they may experience a decrease in intrinsic motivation. This is because the focus on the external reward can detract from the enjoyment of the activity itself. 

Additionally, extrinsic motivators can lead to a sense of pressure or obligation, which can decrease your sense of autonomy and control over your own behavior.

While extrinsic motivators can be useful in certain situations, it’s important to cultivate intrinsic motivation as well. This can be done by focusing on activities that are personally meaningful or by finding ways to connect external rewards to internal values or goals.

Ways To Increase Motivation For An Intentional Life

Think about what motivates you. Is it a sense of purpose? The desire to make a difference in the world? The satisfaction of accomplishing a goal? Whatever it may be, tap into that motivation and use it as fuel for intentional living. 

What steps can you take to connect motivation with living intentionally? Here are some ideas to help you turn motivation into action:

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Setting Goals

Setting goals is an essential part of leading an intentional life. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set goals that are challenging yet achievable. 

I recommend starting out with mind-mapping your dreams and goals with the help of this post. Start by identifying what is important to you and what you want to achieve. 

As you go through the process, you can identify which of your dreams you want to turn into reality by setting clear and specific goals. In turn, clear goals can help you stay motivated and focused. 

Then, breaking down your goals into a plan with realistic and achievable steps will help you track your progress and stay motivated as you work toward your larger goals. 

Goal journaling is a fantastic way to work through the entire goal process from dreaming to achievement. And when your goal is as big as intentional living, you want to do everything you can to keep yourself moving forward toward that lifestyle.  

Recommended Resource: The Goal Journey Annual Goal Planner — This printable goal planner is designed to streamline your goal-setting process, allowing you to focus on one goal at a time and adapt as life evolves. Get the extra stuff out of your head, let go of the regrets and ‘should-dos,’ and start accomplishing the goals that really matter to YOU.

Creating a Support System

Another important aspect of motivation is surrounding yourself with positive energy and a support system to help keep you accountable. 

Surround yourself with action-taking people who share your positive values and goals. This could mean joining a community group, attending networking events, or reaching out to friends and family members who share similar interests.

Having someone to talk to and share your progress with can help you stay motivated and on track.

Developing Positive Habits

Developing positive habits is another important way to increase motivation for an intentional life. 

Start by identifying habits that are holding you back and replace them with positive ones. For example, if you find yourself spending too much time on social media, try limiting your screen time and replace it with positive habits like exercise, meditation, or in-person interaction. 

By developing positive habits, you will create a sense of routine and structure in your life, which can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Challenges To Motivation And Living An Intentional Life

Let’s talk about the challenges to motivation and living an intentional life. It’s tough out there, folks! We’ve got distractions coming at us from all angles, and it’s easy to get off track. It’s important to be aware of these issues and how to address them. 

First, it’s important to recognize that motivation is not a constant state. It ebbs and flows, and that’s okay. You don’t have to be motivated all the time to live intentionally. It’s about making conscious choices in the moment and building momentum from there.  

Here are some other challenges many of us deal with on a daily basis:

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Procrastination is a major challenge to motivation and living an intentional life. Some days, it just feels so much easier to put off important tasks and activities, especially when they require effort or aren’t enjoyable. 

But when we do that, we usually find that procrastination leads to feelings of guilt, stress, and anxiety — which can further reduce motivation and make it difficult to live an intentional life.

To overcome procrastination, it’s important to break tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps, prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency, create a schedule or to-do list, and set realistic goals and deadlines. 

It’s also helpful to identify the reasons for procrastination, such as fear of failure or perfectionism, and address these underlying issues. For some, it’s a health issue that needs to be addressed with a medical professional. For others, I’ve got 5 ways overwhelmed overthinkers can beat procrastination


Distractions are another challenge to motivation and living an intentional life. It’s easy to get sidetracked by social media, email, or other forms of technology, as well as by other people or activities that are not aligned with our goals and values. 

Distractions can lead to a lack of focus and productivity, which can make it difficult to achieve our goals and live an intentional life.

When we need to focus, it’s important to create a distraction-free environment, limit the use of technology and social media, and prioritize activities that are aligned with our goals and values. 

It may also be helpful to practice mindfulness and meditation, which can improve focus and concentration.

Related: 7 Ways to Clear Your Cluttered Mind in About 15 Minutes

Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is a third challenge to motivation and living an intentional life. For many of us, it’s all too common to fall into a pattern of negative thinking, such as self-doubt, self-criticism, and either self-blame or victim mentality. Any of these can undermine our confidence and motivation. 

Negative self-talk can also lead to a lack of self-care and self-compassion, which can make it difficult to live an intentional life because we’re not giving ourselves enough of what we need.

To overcome negative self-talk, it is important to practice self-awareness and self-reflection, challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, and practice self-compassion and self-care. It may also be helpful to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional, who can provide guidance and encouragement.

More Intentional Living Inspiration And Resources

The Brain Dump — An Overthinker’s Secret Weapon

32 Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery and Clarity {Free Printable}

An Intentional Life: Five Foundations of Authenticity & Purpose – By Dr. Lisa Kentgen

25 Motivational Phrases to Use as Part of Your Positive Daily Routine

Declutter Your Life: 6 Things to Purge for More Intentional Living

Concluding Thoughts… 

Remember, intentional living is a journey, not a destination. It’s okay to take the scenic route sometimes. What matters is that you keep moving forward with purpose and intention, where motivation plays a vital role. 

When you’re motivated, you’re more likely to set goals and take regular, positive action toward achieving them. Motivation helps us to stay focused and determined, even when faced with obstacles and challenges.

When you’re feeling unmotivated, the key is to recognize the challenges and take steps to rekindle your motivation.

Some effective ways include:

  • Setting clear and achievable goals
  • Breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks
  • Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people
  • Celebrating small successes along the way

By cultivating a sense of motivation and purpose in our lives, we can live more intentionally and make the most of our time and energy. With dedication and perseverance, we can achieve our goals and create a fulfilling and meaningful life.

So go out there and Build Your Best Life… you’ve got this!

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