It’s easy to drift through life, only responding to things as they come up.  The result is that we usually end up living our lives based on the expectations of others, even if those expectations are well-intentioned. 

But what would happen if we lived a simpler life?  One based on what was important to us and our priorities?  A simpler life focuses on having less and doing less, with the result that we are more satisfied and happier with our lives.

Here are 29 quotes to inspire you to live a more intentional life.

1. “Living with intention means saying no to the things that aren’t important to us so we can say yes to what matters most.” ― Crystal Paine

“Living with intention means saying no to the things that aren't important to us so we can say yes to what matters most.” ― Crystal Paine
“Living with intention means saying no to the things that aren’t important to us so we can say yes to what matters most.” ― Crystal Paine

2. “Many times, busyness is often mistakenly equated with productivity. But those words are not synonymous. Just because we’re spinning our wheels, rushing from one commitment to the next, doesn’t necessarily mean that we are doing anything worthwhile.” ― Crystal Paine

3. “An unintentional life accepts everything and does nothing. An intentional life embraces only the things that will add to the mission of significance.” ― John C. Maxwell

4. “When you live each day with intentionality, there’s almost no limit to what you can do. You can transform yourself, your family, your community, and your nation. When enough people do that, they can change the world. When you intentionally use your everyday life to bring about positive change in the lives of others, you begin to live a life that matters.” ― John C. Maxwell

5. “When you get right down to it, intentional living is about living your best story.” ― John C. Maxwell

6. “If you want to live a life that matters, don’t start when you get good; start now so you become good.” ― John C. Maxwell

7. “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ― William James

8. “Intentional days create a life on purpose.” ― Adrienne Enns

9. “Impress people by being intentional with your money. It’s way better than trying to impress people by wasting your money on expensive stuff you don’t need.” ― Joshua Becker

10. “If you are not content today, there is nothing you can buy tomorrow to change that.” ― Joshua Becker

11. “Ask yourself what is really important and then have the courage to build your home and life around that answer.” ― Joshua Becker

12. “I used to believe that I could do everything and be everywhere. I could work longer hours, make the dead line, cook delicious meals, play with the kids, get enough sleep, focus on my health. And I can absolutely can do all these things. But not at the same time. Not on the same day. Realizing that was a delightful freedom. Letting go of that notion of constant balance was releasing a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding. You mean I don’t have to be everything to everyone all the time? I don’t have to keep all the balls in the air all the time? I can change balls? I can choose different balls? Balance is finding the correct weight for every area of life and understanding that the correctness of that weight will change over time. Balance is fluid and flexible. Balance is alive and aware. Balance is intention. Embrace the wobbly balance.” ― Brooke McAlary

13. “The idea of balance is a good one, when viewed with two Caveats: 1. Not everything in our lives deserves the same weight. Aim instead for the correct weight. 2. Balance isn’t a daily act. Not everything will be given attention every day, and that’s OK.” ― Brooke McAlary

14. “You are allowed to make changes to the way you’re living. You’re allowed to look after yourself. You’re allowed to decide what is important to you. And you’re allowed to create a life with those things at the center. It’s OK to go slowly. It’s OK to say no. It’s OK to be different.” ― Brooke McAlary

15. “If an opportunity is not aligned with that matters most to you (your core values), let it pass. The opportunities that don’t make your soul sing, or that you can’t be excited about, just end up taking space where a better opportunity could be. Don’t settle for something fine―wait for something great!” ― Leanne Jacobs

16.“What do you really want? The key is living with awareness and intention.” ― Helen S. Rosenau

17. “Goals and dreams are not purposed to please others. I’d rather be the jester who adds value to those around me than a King with no vision or intention of making a difference.” ― Janna Cachola

18. “‎Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regrets. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

Sometimes, it can be so easy to get caught up in the “busyness” of life. Between work, family and other obligations, it’s hard to make time for play. Especially when you’re tired and feeling stressed out. Do you agree? If so, here’s a way to help you connect better with your friends and family. It’s my 102 Gratitude Conversation Starter questions – available now on my Etsy shop!

102 Gratitude Conversation Starter questions
102 Conversation Starter Questions about Gratitude

19. “Focus on making choices to lead your life that aligns with your core values in the most purposeful way possible.” ― Roy T. Bennett

20. “View your life with KINDSIGHT. Stop beating yourself up about things from your past. Instead of slapping your forehead and asking, ‘What was I thinking,’ breathe and ask yourself the kinder question, ‘What was I learning?’.” ― Karen Salmansohn

21. “You know you’re in a good place when you no longer are interested in looking back. You prefer to enjoy the journey.” ― Karen Salmansohn

22. “You know what’s just as powerful as a good cup of coffee in the morning? Starting your day with some good, loving thoughts. It can change how your whole day unfolds.” ― Karen Salmansohn

23. “Collect moments not things.” ― Karen Salmansohn

24. “Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.” ― Richie Norton

25. “Picture who you were 10 years ago. You were a different person. Different goals. Different ideas. Different human. We irrationally believe we will be the same way we are today in 10 years. You won’t. You’ll be a totally new human. Who do you want to be? Whoever it is, do it on purpose. Intentionally.” ― Richie Norton

26. “INTENTIONALLY misbalance life in order to lean in the direction of your most important objectives and goals and by owning up to the opportunity costs of every choice you make.” ― Richie Norton

27. “Create the life you can’t wait to wake up to.” ― Josie Spinardi

28. “Time is non-refundable. Use it with intention.” ― Unknown

29. “We NEED to stop glamourising overworking. Please. The absence of sleep, good diet, exercise, relaxation, and time with friends and family isn’t something to be applauded.” ― Katy Leeson

What’s your favourite intentional living quote?

Until my next blog post, here’s wishing you lots of joy and happiness!

With love,


Hi! I'm Joanne. I’m a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Money management is a life skill that I passionately believe all people need to learn. As an accountant, I love helping people understand numbers and money. At BuildingJoyAndHappiness, I share my tips to money management and make understanding finances simple.

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