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WHAT’S the biggest difference between people who live full, rich, meaningful lives and those who don’t?

The art of living with intention. I call it “living on purpose”.

It’s easy to let life happen to us, to accept our day-to-day as it unfolds and never question what it brings.

It’s so simple, in fact, that we don’t even realise we are doing it. We forget we have huge personal power. And September is a beautiful month to remind ourselves of that.

We can drive, direct and change our lives. All that’s required is a shift in our mindset and commitment to action. The good news is, you needn’t waste a single more moment living without intention.

Here are 6 actions I remind myself of regularly to ensure I live my life by design, instead of by default:

1. Ask yourself, what does success look like to me?

Not to your parents, your peers or your boss. To you. Is it rich with quality time spent with your children? Is it spent travelling two months of the year? Is it launching an entrepreneurial venture? Is it being and expert in the field you are most passionate about? Getting clear or what you value and taking the necessary steps to seize it is a reflection of reaching your highest level of maturity, regardless of your age.

Freedom, clarity and happiness are the rewards.

2. Picture a day in your ideal life

Where are you? Who are you with? What is your time spent doing? As a life coach that uses this exercise regularly (with people of all backgrounds), I realise how little money actually ever comes into it. Your ideal life can often be closer and much more attainable than you think!

3. Get real about your fears

We humans have many fears, but they typically fall into one of two groups. The first is not having enough — from an evolutionary standpoint, we need daily nourishment to survive.

Our lives have evolved but our fear of not having enough hasn’t — hence our consumerist cultures and constant desire for more.

The second is the fear of not being enough — smart enough, rich enough, thin enough, popular enough. Remember everyone has these same fears at our core — I have fun even guessing the subtext of other people’s words and actions. Realising these fundamental, human fears help release their power over us.

4. Remember, you can’t control everything

Life has so many forces greater than us at work. You can’t change the weather, the economy, people’s attitudes or the traffic today. I once heard that we can control only 20 percent of our daily lives. But what we can do is give 100 percent to our 20 percent and surrender the rest. Doesn’t that take the pressure off a little? Exhale!

5. Remember the impermanence of all things — including life itself

The only constant in life is change. Therefore, the more we welcome change and the less we become attached to things — jobs, possessions, circumstances of any kind — the easier life becomes. A mindset of, “when something does not go my way, something better is waiting” always proves true. Consider this just in your own personal history in recent years! Let this guide you through tricky times.

6. Listen to your inner voice

We all have an internal guiding system. Oprah calls this our “Emotional GPS”. Those who live their lives with purpose tune into theirs regularly through whatever means it speaks to them — in stillness, walking, meditation. Your heart knows all things. It’s when we betray it or try to tune it out that things go awry. It will never be silenced, no matter how much you try. Pay attention and obey it. Little by little, your life will transform when you do.

Getting clear on what you value and staying true to your purpose are the key ingredients to living your life by design. On your own terms. So you can go ahead and let your power astound you this year.

What do you do to check in with yourself during the year?

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