Setting strong intentions is a powerful step toward leading a purpose-driven life. We all desire to live meaningful lives but don’t always know what steps to take to begin. That’s where intentions come in, and here are some ideas about how best to use them.
We all know that to avoid getting the same results, we have to change. If you are hungering for a more purposeful drive in your life, you’ll need to wake up and do something new – beginning today.
As a smart and successful person, it can be easy to fall into the trap of subconsciously believing you can think your way into a new life. You want to have all the information before you begin. But between understanding something and taking action is a huge step that some people call a “leap of faith.”
But you don’t have to do it all at once. Start by taking one new step.
Setting intentions is a great way to start, but it’s different than simply thinking about or analyzing a situation. An intention is making a decision about the way you want to approach your life or an experience in your life. It’s a commitment to yourself and your future.
If someone is troubled about the state of their marriage, they may decide the first step is to set an intention to be more kind toward their spouse. This means more than ruminating about the problem or wondering what might solve it.
It’s a thoughtful decision to act differently with the goal of a more meaningful, stronger relationship. You might set a similar intention about a colleague or create an intention to communicate more openly and clearly with your boss.
Find your intentions behind your goals
Perhaps you have so many goals that you can’t concentrate on one. Or you feel overwhelmed by what you have to do each day, so growing a new life feels too hard.
It can be helpful to write down a list of all the goals you have, both long and short-term. What do those goals have in common? Maybe many of them involve you becoming more financially independent. So, take the intention behind the goals and write it down: I want to make good choices about money. Now you have a distilled focus – an intention.
Parallel your intentions with small actions
Now that you have your intentions written down, how can you empower them? For each intention, write down a few matching actions.
For example, if one of your intentions is “To be of service,” you can write next to this: volunteer at the local animal shelter, help my neighbor take out their trash, call my friend and remind her that’s she’s doing great as a new mom. Those types of small but pointed actions will move your life into a purpose-driven place.
Center yourself daily
To live with intention, it’s crucial that you’re able to be still within yourself, to know yourself and provide self-care. When you’re trying to manifest what’s in your heart, you have to make space, so the buzzing in your head doesn’t take over. Some find a contemplative and spiritual place while running. Others feel this centering take place during yoga. Meditation has been proven to work as a stress-reliever and can start with ten-minute daily practices.
Taking time to ground yourself and connect your physical, mental and spiritual self will roll over into your intentions. Through these practices, your life will become more purpose-driven from an authentic and calm place.
Be with people who are purpose-driven
It’s a fact that if you surround yourself with people who care to live with purpose, it is easier to do it yourself. Of course, we can’t always control the people we’re around all the time. That’s where your choice of friends, acquaintances and even the groups you join comes into play.
If one of your intentions is to be less judgmental when you encounter people, spend more time with a friend you know is easy-going and open-minded. Let them know your intention – they will probably support your journey.
Set a check-in
After you’ve established your intentions and assigned some small actions to them, you’ll need to remind yourself. Wake up in the morning and see that intention on the bathroom mirror. When you go to work, have your cell phone ping a friendly reminder of your intention or the action. Figure out what’s most helpful to you, but it’s only human to forget what’s not pressing when you have other responsibilities.
It’s also helpful to set a longer-term check-in on the calendar. Perhaps in a month, you’ll want to sit down and take stock.
Have you been honoring your commitment to your intentions? If not, figure out what needs to change. How can you better motivate yourself? If you’ve done well, congratulate yourself and see if you want to tweak anything. Do you want to step up your actions or change an intention?
For some inspiration, listen to the Founder and Owner of Rewire Me, Rose Caiola’s interview on “Change Your Path,” where she talks honestly and openly about insights from her own journey into a purpose-driven life.