Have you ever had someone tell you they love you, and yet they act in a way that hurts you?
Have you ever said you will do something, and then turned the corner and did just the opposite?
We all make promises to others, and to ourselves, and then, unfortunately, life comes in between. Or does it?
How do we increase the propensity of us sticking to our promises, goals, and most importantly, our values?
To be responsible, keep your promises to others. To be successful, keep your promises to yourself.Marie Forleo
What makes the difference between a person of integrity; that effortlessly, or so it appears, sticks to their words and commitments, spoken or not, in all circumstances; to those who do not?
There are, of course, many tools and structures, that one can use to stay on track. However, many people fail to see, the importance of setting a firm intention.
How Does Setting an Intention Help
Life will continuously bring us face-to-face us with temptations, choices and tricky situations.
Structures help us stay on track, by making it easier for us to remember, to increase our motivation, and/or to allocate the time for it.
However, setting an intention goes a step further.
Setting our intention is like setting our destination on the GPS. It will guide us what to do, at every turn. Once we have set a clear intention, our internal guidance system will automatically tell us the correct path, in each situation.
With a firm intention, when you face life challenges and choices, the right choice, will not only be made more clear but also more attractive. Going against your set intention will feel like going against your will, and what is best for you.
Without a set intention, however, it is like driving without a destination, and therefore any road will take you there.
For example, if you have a true intention to love and protect someone, and you are tempted to cheat, the act of cheating will go against your intention.
Not only, will it be very clear, where to stop, which may be different, in different situations; it will also make the cheating act less attractive. Your intention will act as a guiding star. You will not just see the fun and excitement, of the cheating; but also your promise to your loved one and the type of person you would like to be.
While in the end, it is your integrity level that will determine what you decide to do, for those with a healthy level of integrity, a clear set intention will help to automatically highlight actions or non-actions, that would go against it, and make them less attractive.
How to Set an Intention
For some, if they say they are doing something, or they start on a path towards something, it is automatically set in stone for them, and the goal is always in front of their eyes. They rarely if ever lose track.
For most of us. however, we have to work on it, set structures to support our decision, and even do a ritual that makes us feel like we entered a new life phase; in other words – set an intention.
What are the components of a strong Intention
- Make a clear statement.
- Use strong positive words – e.g. “I will”, NOT “I will try to”, or “I hope to”.
- Wherever possible usetr the present tense.
- Make a “contract“. This is the most important step. It could be as simple as writing it down, and keeping the note; or stating it to yourself, whilst looking in your eyes in the mirror. You could instead say it to a trusted friend, or to the person involved, if applicable.
- Add feeling; i.e. when you are saying, writing or reading it, feel your true intention to act according to your intention.
Most often than not, it is easier to hurt the people closest to us, and this applies to all close family and friends, not just our life partner. Setting an intention can help us be more loving to them. An example of our intention could be – I love my partner/Mum/Dad, etc, and I intend to do anything within my control to make them happy.
An intention statement about loosing weight, would be – I train three times a week and eat healthy 6 days a week.
Remember we are talking about setting the intention here not setting goals.
Good luck and feel free to comment below on whether this helped or not.
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