Do you have difficulty getting things done or are you finding it difficult to connect with what you really want?
While some people thrive on to-do lists, others find goals inevitably set them up to fail. Sometimes that’s because a goal focuses on WHAT you ‘should’ be doing, rather than the HOW you want to feel when the task is accomplished.
I’ve noticed that chronic procrastinators aren’t necessarily lazy or disorganised, too often it’s a feeling or self-belief that sabotages our ability to meet a goal.
Anxiety, decision paralysis and perfection, are skilled colluders in creating perfectly ‘reasonable’ blocks to meeting our goals.
Intentions, however, can sometimes sneak under the radar. If anxiety gets in the way of starting, let alone completing, tasks then take your eye of the goal and focus on the feeling. Do you want to feel relaxed, spontaneous, curious, or inspired? How would focusing on that feeling change how you approached your day?
What’s my intention for today?
Each morning on our recent practitioner retreat I created the habit of setting my intentions for the day. There were two, one for the workshop that I was facilitating, and another about how I personally intended to feel about it.
Daily intentions are a great habit to get into and one I intended to continue back in clinic!
But I discovered that when an intention morphs into a goal it sometimes doesn’t happen.
A goal (all those neat little bullet points on your to do list) is about WHAT you want to do, or think you should be doing. Intentions focus on the HOW you want to be in the moment – now, today or this week.
Weekends are the perfect time to practice intentions
If daily intention setting feels to onerous, start with just one a week. Your intention for the weekend.
My end of the work week routine includes tidying up the clinic, clearing my desk and watering the plants. Adding an intention for the weekend evolved organically – feeding the plants is a cue to nurture myself as well.
Now it feels easy to ask myself on Friday afternoon: “What’s my intention for this weekend?” I write down the first thought, or string of words, that come into my head.
Sometimes these uncensored intentions sound contradictory, wanting both movement and rest, or solitude and companionship. But go with the flow and resist the urge to edit out any contradictions. If you go with them, you’ll find exactly what you need.
After practicing weekend intentions, it’s easy to morph into creating this as a daily habit. If I’ve got time to check in on social media, I can certainly find a moment to ask myself that simple question.
There’s a sense of curiosity, to see if today’s intention surprises me in some way.
Like meditation, it’s another way to slow down and begin to listen to yourself. Just a moment before starting a busy or challenging day, can positively frame your approach to the coming hours.
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