If you missed part on of my New Year’s Musings: Why I Like “Intentions” Better than “Goals” or “Resolutions”, check that out here.
There are a lot of opinions about how to best write intentions. There are very feminine ways of dreaming, visioning, and creating that leave a lot of space for what’s possible. Then, there are the very masculine ways of setting goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound).
I like a process that’s somewhere in the middle, a more balanced approach. Most of the people I work with are high achievers anyway, so setting masculine goals doesn’t support the need to also have time to rest and play and be creative.
Below is my 5 Step Process for creating intentions that work.
Take some time to think about what you want to see come to fruition in the near future in all areas of your life:
Write a few sentences about why each one of the things you want to see come true are important to you.
Why do you want these things to happen?
Think about how you’re going to feel when you get each one.
What emotions will achieving this evoke for you?
Get specific….feel it in your body like it’s already true.
Write down these feelings.
Who are you going to need to be to make these things happen?
What character traits do you already possess that will support your intentions?
Are there any new character traits you’d like to begin embodying to create the life you most want?
Add these to your list.
Write your full intentions in a sentence that you can read aloud to yourself.
Read your intentions at least twice daily, once in the morning and once right before bed.
Consider reading them many times per day, making them into the background on your computer or phone, create graphics of them, write them over and over.
Each time you read your intentions, be sure to feel into the feelings you’ll feel once they come true.
I’m going to give you a really practical example from one area of my life, so you can get the idea.
Step One: What do I want…
I want to wake up to a clean kitchen every morning.
Step Two: Why do I want it…
When the kitchen is clean, I’m more motivated to cook more complicated meals that include more fresh vegetables.
Step Three: How will I feel when I get it…
More fresh vegetables mean better digestion for a more healthy gut and more energy. I’ll feel light and energized so I can show up as my best self for myself and my clients.
Step Four: Who do I need to be…
I need to be organized in my time management and dedicated to making this a priority.
Step Five: Putting it all together…
I stay organized and dedicated to cleaning my kitchen every evening, so that I’m motivated to cook more vegetables so I can feel light and energized every day.
Do you see how different this feels than me just telling myself that I have to do the dishes every night? Dishes are my LEAST favorite household chore and I tend to walk away from the dirty kitchen after dinner.
When I do that and I wake up to the chore I like the least, it brings down my mood immediately, so I already don’t feel as energized as I could.
Then, because I don’t have time to do them in the morning, the pile is still there at the next dinner time and I’m more likely to grab a quick, less optimal meal so I don’t create more mess…a vicious cycle.
This is a very practical application of the process. You can use it for anything. Maybe you want more time with your sweetie? Maybe you want to move your body more often? Maybe you want to be more organized at work?
It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get into the “why” of what you want and the feeling behind it, because what we really care about is how we feel.
Now, when I don’t feel like doing the dishes, I can ask myself, ‘Do you want to have energy tomorrow?’
The answer is almost always a resouning, “Yes!”.