In This Episode:
As we move into 2021, it has become evident that we need to get clear on the direction we want to go as individuals. There are so many influences tempting us to act on our baser instincts that if we don’t know who we are and how we want to show up in the world, we get sucked into the drama around us. In this episode, we explore intention setting to live meaningfully and consciously in the coming year.
1. What is your Intention? (Spiritual Level)
This is the ‘What’ of the equation. Think of intention as the quality of experience you want most in your life. For example, being in a state of gratitude or feeling in balance. This intention is the calibration of your ideal state of being. We create this short phrase or single word with the understanding that we won’t always reach it, but it gives us a touchstone to connect to regularly. It is a big-picture or soul-level desire that encompasses the experience we would like to bring into being. Intentions are not detail-driven, because they don’t have to be. It is through this intention that we create an agreement with ourselves and the universal consciousness.
2. Why is this intention important to you? (Mental & Emotional Level)
This is the ‘Why’ of the equation. We often hear about SMART goals – specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely. These certainly have their place, but in this model, we are seeking an experience or a state of being. So rather than focusing only on the outcomes, we are asking ourselves why this intention is valuable to us? Another way to look at it is by asking – what does my intention have to offer me? This is the essence of mindful living.
For example, if your aim is balance, then ask yourself, why do I want the experience of balance? What does this intention afford me? For this, we need to examine when our lives seem most out of balance. Is your work schedule too hectic? Do you tend to be an emotional eater? What experiences would balance offer you? You may realize that your goal is to learn boundaries, to say no to things you don’t have time for, or maybe it is the feeling of self-worth that lends itself to more balanced choices. If gratitude is your intention, perhaps it is the experience of abundance rather than lack or a sense of optimism rather than focusing on the negatives.
In this step, it serves us to do a little bit of root digging. Meaning, it is an opportunity to look at the underlying motivations around our current choices. I like to use the playful why. Hmmm.. that’s interesting? Why did I come home and eat that pint of ice cream? What was going on in my life today? Too much stress…bad fight with the spouse, etc.? Another way to approach it is to look at what your typical New Year’s resolution would be. If your resolution was to be to lose 10lbs, what does that 10lbs symbolize? e.g., self-worth, self-trust, boundaries. You get the idea.
3. How do you get that experience? (Physical Level)
This is the ‘How’ of the equation. These are the action steps you take to have the experience that is in alignment with the other two steps. This is when you get down to the real details. These action steps should be small acts of personal power that you can follow through on. If gratitude is your intention, and you’re looking for a more profound sense of abundance or inner peace, then maybe one of your action steps is to have a gratitude journal or to stop yourself once a day to take a breath and list five things you are grateful for in that moment. Action steps allow the expression of your intention and will enable you to have the experiences you named in #2. Every time we follow through on an action step, we build personal power. This power allows us to transmute and transcend behaviors and circumstances. It is the power of now. Start with thinking about three of the easiest ways you can change your behavior in alignment with your intention.