What are intentions?
An intention is a goal or vision that guides your activities, thoughts, attitudes, and choices. Intentions lead you to how you show up in the world, and ultimately, what you want to achieve in life.
If you want to achieve in every aspect of your life, you need to decompartmentalise and set clear and conscious intentions in each separate area. This ranges from what energy you will bring, how you behave in your relationships, how productive you need to be, among many other things.
Starting your day with intentions
This is one of the most powerful things you can do. It is so easy to roll out of bed and wander through your day with no direction or drive but by being clear and setting daily intentions you put your yourself in an amazing headspace and commit you to your goals.
You firstly need to have clarity on our overall goal. Without being clear on this then we cannot possibly focus and take the appropriate action required. When we have this clarity, we can then set our intentions and plan what we need to do day to day in order to reach our goal.
When you are clear on what you want you then have to dig deep and look inside to understand your why. Why do you want to achieve this goal specifically? The reason for this is that we are much less likely to feel a sense of urgency which we need to propel us forward if we don’t have this. To do this you need to get specific and dig into identifying the passion behind your intention. This will give you your energy and motivation.
What’s the difference between goals and intentions?
It’s important we are clear on the difference as these often get confused. Goals are focused on the future and are a destination or a specific achievement, whereas we live our intentions each day, they are in our present moment and should be independent our overall goal. To understand that your intentions are your inner relationships with yourself is so powerful.
What factors lead us to building our Intention?
We build our own intentions from the information we take in from the world around us, interpreting it based on our own experiences and then making a snap decision on what this means for us. This process happens in the blink of an eye and we often are completely unaware it’s happening. So, for instance, when we hear or see something, we instantly decide if we like it or don’t like it, if its good or bad, safe or unsafe and then apply it to our thoughts and feeling, which can sadly get in the way of making the best decision to move us forward. This can change our path forever.
Not all Intentions are good!
Negative intentions are dangerous and will not serve you well. When you create negative intentions for yourself these will not be supportive or in alignment with your goals. Negative intentions can be very subtle, but still could have a negative impact on the direction your life takes or your well-being. An example of a negative intention would be to be so intent to prove your point even to the point where you know you are harming your relationship. Who will this serve!
But if you have positive and conscious intention and don’t operate out of fear or negative experiences, you can be intentional about achieving your goals. Let’s be clear though our past experiences can be good to protect us however your intention may be to protect yourself when you are not actually at risk. If you operate from a place of good and positive intention this can only bring you joy and success.
So how do you bring your Intention to life?
Once you have clarity on your goals, and you’ve set positive intentions and have a plan to how to achieve these, you now need to get focused.
Being fully focussed on your goals will help you connect and resonates with them which in turn will motivate you to jump out of bed and into your day. But to create more focus you need to do a dump of all Non-Value-Add (NVA) activities and clear up as much mental noise as possible. This may be changing how you structure your working day or assigning specific times to access your social media but ultimately you need to be free to solely focus on your goals, whatever they may be! By setting a strong intention that really resonates with you, you can focus on what you want to achieve in your life.
Filtering out the noise!
There is a real necessity to learn how to filter out the constant noise that today’s world brings but I feel this a struggle for so many of us.
Recently, I was reading about your Reticular Activation System (RAS), which is essentially a bundle of nerves in the brain that’s responsible for regulating wakefulness and sleep-wake transitions and it’s function is to filter out unnecessary noise, and I realised how this works in direct correlation to setting your daily intentions. So, when your brain is overloaded with information it simply filters and extracts your main focussed.
With this in mind, if you set your focus to your goals with a specific intention, your brain will filter through all the information you receive automatically and hand your information relevant to your goal. It is an incredibly powerful tool to switch from negative thinking to positive. Your brain is always searching and filtering, you just have to put on the right filter. Amazing right!
What are the tools to use to get focussed on our intentions?
One massive thing to help you focus your intention is understanding your ‘Why’. Your ‘Why’ should be something you are deeply connected to as it will drive you to achieve your goals and move through life with purpose. It cannot be something superficial it has to be something that is so much bigger than you.
In many cases the people will think the ‘Why’ is money but when they dig deeper the reason isn’t, it’s what’s the money will do or give them. This could be to keep a roof over their kid’s head and put food on the table or it could be something completely different, but the point is, there is always a deeper reason, the real WHY that they can emotionally connect to.
This ‘Why’ will be the reason that you won’t stop when times get hard and trust me there will be days and weeks where you just want to give up but if your why is big enough you will dig deep and find the strength. Whether it is personal, professional, spiritual, or simply personal growth, setting an intention sets you up in the morning to face the day with a positive and driven attitude.
Offload your fears…
Overcome your fears and you will soar! Whatever your fear is, maybe it’s the fear of failure, fear of what other people think, it could be anything really, but, if it is holding you back, you need to find a way to overcome it. These fears come from our interpretation of the information we absorb from the world around us which in turn lead us to operate out of fear. When you take ownership of your fear and work to eradicate it, you will propel forward.
Tell as many people as you can about your goals and intentions and hold yourself accountable for delivering on them.
When you are being held accountable by your boss for delivering a specific high-profile piece of work, you sure as hell will raise your game and work your butt off to ensure this is done to the highest of standards so why not hold yourself accountable to that same standard when you set your own intentions and goals. And by telling anyone that will listen what you your intentions and goals are, it will be much harder for you to quit because nobody likes to be seen as a failure.
Now you are all set you just need to get started on your journey…
By implementing these changes, it will free you to fully focus on what is truly important and what you want out of your day and untimely life.
Being conscious of your intentions may prove tricky at the beginning but, as with everything else that’s worth having in life, hard work and dedication is required and when it pays off it will be worth it when you show up as your best self in all of life’s arenas.