A friend titled a recent email this way, and I love it! How do we make that happen, a very meaningful 2015? A great way is to forget about resolutions (those grand goals sticky with guilt), and instead set intentions. Intentions are a way to focus on the feelings you will have once you have accomplished your goals. They are motivating and organizing, and tap into the creative problem-solving parts of our brain. (More about intentions can be found from leadership coach Dana Theus.) What I like most about intentions is that they get us moving with anticipation, rather than a forced action.
Here’s an example of how to transform a goal into an intention. Let’s say your goal is to “get more organized.” (Yeah, me too.) Okay, you know that is too vague, so you focus your goal to say, “Clear my desk each week.” That’s a pretty good, measurable, attainable goal. But there is no pizzazz to it. And what happens if you don’t do it? Yup, that sticky guilt. We don’t like guilt over here; it’s usually non-productive. So let’s make this goal an intention.
To turn this into an intention, think about how you will feel once your desk is clear. How about: relieved, proud, relaxed, clear, focused? You might have some other ideas, too. Then, make a statement in the present tense that describes those feelings once your goal is accomplished. Like this: “I feel proud, relieved and full of clarity each Friday at 5 pm when my desk is clear.” Try that on. Just sit with it for a moment, and add your own feeling words. Notice how it feels in your body to step into this space. Ahhh….
Now, do a little test with yourself. Say to yourself, “My goal is to clear my desk each week.” How does that feel? Sort of blah? Now say again, “I feel proud, relieved and full of clarity each Friday at 5 pm when my desk is clear.” How does that feel again? Yeah!
There’s a lot more to say about intentions, and you can be sure you will hear more from me. They are such a great way to transform the burden of goals into the motivation of a job well done.
Go ahead and try some intentions, and let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear from you, and support you as you create the life you want to live. Here’s to a Very Meaningful 2015 for you!