It’s the start of a New Year. Maybe you spent time creating goals. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you selected a word of the year or theme to guide you. Maybe you didn’t.
Setting goals and choosing a word to provide focus matter. But what matters even more is that you start each day with intention.
If you look at Webster’s, you can find six definitions for intention. A popular one would be “what one intends to do or bring about.” I prefer the definition that says “a determination to act in a certain way” or “resolve.”
You might even think of intention as the bridge between your words (your goals or theme) and your actions.
To me intention is about making a choice each day. For years I’ve had a Post-it® note on my mirror that says, “What is your intention/choice for today?”
I can remember I put it there when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life. That note reminds me that each day I can make a choice about who I want to be and what I want in my life.
It doesn’t matter what the intention is.
Your goal could be to write a book. Your intention each morning could be as simple as writing for one hour a day or finishing a chapter.
You may have chosen the word stretch to guide you. Your intention each morning might be to ask yourself how you will stretch today.
Somedays your intention might just be getting through the day because you’ve had a wretched week.
It doesn’t matter what your intention is — and it’s personal to everyone — it just matters that you set one.
Clarity is key
Get clear about what kind of person you want to be. Then get clear about what you want to do and what you want to have. Clarity is very powerful. I think figuring out the kind of person you want to be is most important; the “do” and “have” will follow.
State your intention
Yes, say it out loud. Say it more than once. Write it down. I’ve been known to write my intentions on a paper and put it in my pocket. I take it out during the day and read it. This is especially helpful if I think self-sabotaging behaviors (like grabbing an extra one of those cinnamon scones that I picked up at the bakery last week and put in the freezer) are around the corner or I need an extra boost of motivation to stay focused and on track.
Share your intention with someone who cares about your success. It’s helpful if you share your intention with someone who will hold you accountable. Offer to do the same for her.
Now take action to demonstrate commitment to the intention. It doesn’t have to be some big action; many little actions will compound. And, while you can have a whopping big intention for your business, your intention for today might be to find some peace in your hectic life, no small feat.
It’s important that you celebrate or somehow acknowledge this first achievement. Now take the next step or action. Then rinse and repeat.
Before you know it, setting an intention each day will become a habit. Setting an intention clearly puts you in charge, and you’ll be energized by how much you are in control. You’ll be thrilled with the person you are “being” and with your ongoing accomplishments.
Here are two quotes on intention that I like:
“A good intention clothes itself with power.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Our intention creates our reality.”
It’s your turn!
I hope you’ll take the time to set an intention for yourself and/or your business each morning. Let me know how it makes a difference in your life.