Tell me something: When is the last time you really did something with intention? Can you even remember? Or are you just operating on auto-pilot most of the time?

So many of us just go through life without really making decisions for ourselves or understanding why we make the decisions we make.

And no wonder. Living with intention is scary—it means taking responsibility for yourself and your life. It means letting go of the rulebook that society and your family gave you.

When you let go of the rules, you’re in charge. You get to decide. It’s super liberating, but for people-pleasing perfectionists, it’s also terrifying. When you decide to live with intention, suddenly you have a lot of decisions to make.

But what if you could decide on purpose, ahead of time, how you spend your time, what your romantic relationship is like, the kind of parent you want to be, what you want to create in the world? What if you could plan your days, your weeks, and your life so you were conscious, present, and living on purpose? What would that be like?

I’m not going to lie: Living with intention is challenging. It’s much easier to numb out, which is why most people choose that option. A slow death of wasted time feels easier in any given moment than living with intention and purpose. But at the end of your life, will you look back and be glad you watched all that Netflix? That you did what other people expected of you? That you sat at all the soccer games and did all the chores and forgot to ever create space and time for yourself?

If you want to live with intention, you must plan. You need to engage your pre-frontal cortex. Intention requires planning and foresight. Intention happens ahead of time—it’s what creates a plan—and a plan is what ensures things are carried out.

You must have a vision and think about the life you want to live. What do you want your job to be like? Your living space? Your family? How do you want to think and feel? What is your vision for your life?

Most of you are amazing at creating elaborate plans and not following through. This is a problem because (1) nothing changes, and (2) you don’t develop integrity in your relationship with yourself. You don’t trust yourself to do what you say you will, because you often don’t. Then you shame yourself for that and tell yourself you need more discipline.

The solution here is to (1) make more realistic plans, and (2) do your thought work so you know what you need to think to follow through. You need a plan, but I want you to make a realistic plan. Start out building that accountability with yourself in small ways.

You don’t need to know the whole path—you don’t need to know every step between where you are and where you want to go. You just must take the next few steps on the path.

Carve out an hour this weekend to do something with intention. Love on your people, take a walk, read, have sex, take a bubble bath, do yoga—whatever you do, choose it. On purpose. With intention.

You can’t create a whole new life overnight, but you can create a moment of intention each day, then a few moments, and then an hour. Live your life with intention for an hour every day, and it will add up.

If reading this blog made you realize you’re on auto-pilot more than you want to be, the Clutch is the blueprint for living your life with attention and intention. Learn more here.