A couple of people have wondered about the daily intentions that I’ve been posting lately on Facebook. So here’s the deal. Daily intentions are something I usually do privately as part of my getting up routine. I brush my teeth, chug some water, etc. And I set my intentions for the day.
If you are wondering why not just set goals, you wouldn’t be the first. I tried that! But here is the thing: Goals are tasks that you check off your to-do list or chunk down and delegate or check off accordingly. You may or may not actually get to them. The tasks you get to first are important ones to you. For any number of reasons, these tasks have more of your attention and get more of your energy. You act accordingly… because you have a why for acting. The why, whatever it is, gives the task–which is the action component– meaning. Most people do not even stop to consider why they do some of the things they do. It’s just natural to do them. You love your children so you feed them. You show up early because the work is important to you. You take the scenic route because it is peaceful.
The tasks that get left behind share a commonality: they lack a why, or at least a why of importance. To test the validity of this theory, try this: The next time you can’t find the motivation or energy to complete a specific task, ask yourself why it’s important. Chances are that the question will do one of two things:
A) You will realize that there is no why or the why has completely lost its meaning for you, or…
B) You will remember why you’re doing this and become more motivated. Either way, you win.
Essentially, by setting an intention BEFORE setting a goal, you give yourself a why and direct your energy accordingly. If I sit down without an intention, anyone who knows me knows that my to-do list is going to be long and all over the place. If I sit down with an intention, even if it is something as simple as “be love,” my goals are created from that space, and I am actively looking throughout the day to complete goals from that mindset. The “why” is first. The “what” follows accordingly.
Sometimes the “why” is something that I learned the day before. Sometimes it’s an aspiration or something I want to affirm in my life. Many times the “why” is broken down from a Declaration of Intention that I wrote for myself once upon a time and revise as needed. (I highly recommend writing your own Declaration of Intentions! It will change your life!) Currently, it says things like, “I intend to be OPEN to growth and wisdom, so that I learn from every experience,” and “I intend to be EMPOWERED through acceptance of and commitment to myself.” Maybe I’ll post the current one in a future post. In any case, I review these daily, so my daily intentions are typically a reflection in some way of a larger vision for my life. In this sense, intention is about doing something beyond going through the motions. It is about actively taking ownership of your life, and accepting your role as a Creative Force (we coaches call this co-creating) in your life. When you intend, you create structure and a shape from which your actions can draw energy and come alive in tangible ways. You then become a conscious and intentional co-creator of your life and all that is in it.
So…. wow, I didn’t mean to go on so long! In any case, that’s the explanation. Feel free to share your own intentions in the comments below. Shared wisdom is always welcome! <3