“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.” –Mark Victor Hansen
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you have likely heard the teacher instruct you to set an intention for yourself, or your practice. An intention is similar to a goal, what do you want to achieve or focus on? Inside the yoga studio it can seem simple, my personal intention rarely changes in class, it is to remember to breathe consciously and stay present in the class!
But what about outside yoga class? Can we set intentions for our personal lives, our careers, or love life? Of course, and it is the imperative first step in creating the life we truly want. Transforming ourselves, just like manifesting a dream, begins by setting an intention and identifying where you want to go. By setting, writing, and displaying intentions you will take greater control of your life.
A working definition for an intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” Lacking intention, we sometimes stray without meaning or direction. But with it, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible. My intention of this blog post is to change the way you think about your dreams; from fear and doubt, to hope and possibility, followed by action and results.
For some of us we know exactly what we want, but we don’t tell anyone our intention because we are afraid they will judge us or we fear what will happen if we do not achieve our intention right away and then others will think we failed. Then there are those of us who have gone through the motions of life having success here and there, moving from one step to the next, but never with a master plan. What happens when you stop moving or having success, or become aware of the lack of purpose or meaning in what you have been doing? There are others that have not had much success or happiness. How is what you are currently doing working out for you? Not so great? Change your current life pattern and set intentions.
But how? There are different strategies I will share, but the common thread through all strategies is to WRITE YOUR INTENTIONS DOWN and DISPLAY THEM. Whether it is in a pretty frame by your desk, a piece of paper you keep in the plastic window of your wallet, a post it on your fridge, put your dreams in motion. By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others, just what you plan to do. Set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your dreams.
Tips for Setting Individual and Short Term Intentions
1. Get clear about something you want and write it down.
2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.
3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention. I often encourage my clients to dedicate 5 minutes every morning to setting an intention for themselves that day, what kind of person do you want to be today, what do you need to do today to be that person, what do you need to do today so that when you go to bed tonight you can look back on your day and feel proud of the choices you made and the actions you took.
4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step to completing your intention.
Tips for Creating Long-Term Intentions
1. Ask yourself, if money and time were no option what does your ideal life look, feel, smell like 10 years from now? Who is in it? How do you spend your time? Where are you living? Where are you working?
Then write it down, maybe you can paint the picture in 1 paragraph maybe you need 10 pages, but write it down.
2. Then work backwards, what do you need to achieve within the next year so you have your ideal life 10 years from now? Write it down!
3. What do you need to achieve within the next 5 years so you have your dream life 10 years from now? Write it down!
4. What do you need to achieve within the next 10 years so that you are living your dream life? Write it down.
5. Display your 1, 5, 10 year intentions as well as your vision for your ideal life.
Don’t worry if there are holes or you want to change an intention tomorrow, next month, or 10 years from now. It is a living document that you own and can control. If you dream it, set an intention, and it will manifest in your life.
“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” –Benjamin Mays