What do Deepak Chopra and Beyonce have in common?
“Every tiny detail had an intention.”
Beyonce, discussing the intense preparations for her Coachella headlining performance.
“The sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” Deepak Chopra
When you direct your thoughts, you gain power and clarity over the micro-choices of your day.
Contrary to New Years Resolution mania, lasting change is accomplished through mini-decisions throughout the day. We can either run on auto-pilot and repeat our past decisions on a zombie-like repeat sequence, or we can wake ourselves up and decide what we want and direct our thoughts and actions to the one area in life we have power: Ourselves.
When you decide, de-cide, you are eliminating the clutter of other less powerful choices to unconsciously sneak their way into your life taking up more space than you really want. Setting an intention is deciding who you want to be and from that foundation, what actions you will take in alignment with your most powerful self.
Decide Etymology (fancy word for the origin of a word)
“Latin decidere ‘determine’, from de- ‘off’ + caedere ‘cut’.”
– word-forming element meaning “killer,” from French -cide, from Latin -cida “cutter, killer, slayer,”
Intention Setting for Productivity
Try switching from a “to-do” list to a series of 6 Intentions for the day.
The top 4 things that will feel good to get done today, and for the other 2 intentions consider things like how you desire to feel, self-care actions, or how you wish behave in relationships.
- I will finally drop off the donations to Good Will by 3pm today. (A task that has been taking up too much energy and is easy to do once focused on.)
- I will have my report finished by 6pm.
- I will RSVP on the event next week.
- I will set my timer for 45min to answer emails but not get caught up watching cat videos on YouTube or scrolling on social media.
- I will run at the beach before sunset.
- I will have patience with my family, and enjoy who I am around them.
We Gain Power and Energy from Intentions
Here’s how I apply intention setting in my own life.
As an entrepreneur who works predominantly from my home office I have to apply intentions, or I will not have a home office.
Most people have some form of job that tells them what to do and by when. And then there are times we need to rise up and do the decision making for ourselves.
Just this week I was traveling, and wanted to get my workout in nice and early before needing to pack and prep so I could have an enjoyable morning. When my alarm clock started playing “Golden” an upbeat song by Jill Scott about “living your life like it’s golden,” I groggily wanted to re-set my alarm for 30 more minutes of sleep. THEN. I remembered with a jolt, my intention from the night before and a voice in my head said:
“Which Jenna am I going to be today?”
I could be sleep more, not have as good of a workout, need to rush, and have a morning that makes me feel stressed and behind and not very powerful at all.
I could pop up, and race my noisy mind to the gym not allowing the “I don’t wanna’s” to win.
Which would set me up to feel like my full, confident, on point self. Is this me being a perfectionist task master? Not at all. This is me taking a stand for myself, being my own ally, mentor and cheerleader.
I know what makes me tick by now, I know I will feel better and ultimately more “like me.” This is why intentions help us out. When we get our mind trained to work with us, for us, we can begin to feel empowered and then even better choices are possible when we are in touch with our power.
When I coach 1 on 1 clients I have them write out 10 things that fuel, inspire, replenish, nourish, or just plain make them feel like their best selves.
Then, I invite them to practice carving out time each day to weave in the things on their list. This list is thoughtful and deeply personal, not just Oprah’s top 10 list, but genuinely the activities and choices that create a sense of being on track, with authenticity and integrity. The intention should also be genuinely realistic:
a 2 min. meditation (try apps like headspace or calm)
a 10min run
having 1 green smoothie
reading 1 paragraph
going to bed 30 min earlier
Writing for 20min
You can always do more, but beginning the habit and setting the intentions again and again will create the momentum you need to make intention setting a normal part of your day.
It’s amazing what happens in people’s lives when they begin to realize they can direct their day and overall life experience more than they think.
In a way, setting intentions is like a backwards gratitude journal. You are planning with the end in mind how good you will feel having these intentions fulfilled. It’s like we create mental train tracks heading to where we want to go in a day, and ultimately in our life. Days add up. The more we align to how we truly want to be, the less we feel like we are running out of time, wasting moments, or are behind somehow in our life purpose.
Setting intentions is like doing push-ups for our mind. We gain personal power with each choice we stick to while practicing self-love when we veer off.
Authors to check out if you want to learn more about setting intentions:
The Teachings of Abraham- Esther Hicks