Habit vs. Intent in the Pursuit of your Goals
We are all creatures of habit. We have habits because they're easy, comfortable, and familiar. They're decisions we make on auto-pilot that require little mental capacity. Habits are powerful. We have good ones and bad ones. Waking up at the same time every day, drinking coffee, going to your favorite fitness class, getting takeout when you don't want to cook dinner, watching reality TV, procrastination, swearing, nail-biting, overspending, stereotyping, gossiping. The list goes on.. Habit formation is the process by which new behaviors become automatic.
But what if we shifted to intentional living? What if we created a mindset of having good intentions to make a difference rather than thinking that we don’t matter? Because we do matter. We are all here for a reason. It's through intent that I personally have created new habits and have been more successful in achieving my goals and aspirations. The first step in getting to this point is changing your mindset from habit to intent. It takes intention, clarity, and commitment to develop habits that are aligned with your purpose. If you prioritize these habits, they will lead you to success.
It can be as simple as making decisions with how you want to feel in mind. It can be the intent to create more love, kindness, empathy, gratitude, inspiration, and compassion in the world. Intentions set ourselves up for success and fulfillment when we reach our goals. Having a sense of purpose and direction makes everything more valuable. The smallest changes can have the biggest impact and it all starts with you.
5 Tips to Setting Powerful Intentions:
1. SET THE TONE FOR YOUR DAY (OR WEEK)
What do you have to accomplish? What do you need to prioritize? Instead of focusing on getting everything done, focus on what is most important and what is going to get you one step closer to achieving your goals. Sometimes less is more. Prioritizing tasks and obligations instead of rushing to get everything done allows us to be more present.
2. SET CLEAR INTENTIONS THAT ARE ALIGNED WITH YOUR PURPOSE
Start with your WHY. Why are you setting this goal? Then ask yourself what are you working towards that will help you reach that next point? When you set clear intentions that are aligned with your purpose, your goals, and your WHY, there is greater meaning behind your behavior. When you ensure every action you take is productive, you are taking the right approach to achieving your purpose.
3. ELIMINATE THE WORD "CAN'T"
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. Self-confidence is a powerful tool. A crucial key to getting what you want in life is believing that you can have it. Stop saying "I CAN'T." I can't quit my job, I can't get organized, I can't quit smoking, I can't run, I can't cook, I can't loose weight." When you say you can't do something, you are reinforcing that message in your mind. Eliminating the word can't from your vocabulary will do wonders for your self-esteem and in turn help you both personally and professionally. It is fine to not to want to do something in life, but it is important to acknowledge that if you wanted to you could. Instead of "I can't" ask "how can I?"
4. STAY FOCUSED
Turn off all distractions (i.e. social media, television, text messages) and commit your attention to a single task. If you find your mind wandering, take a minute to breathe or even meditate then get back to the task at hand. Once you have taken a few minutes to slow down, relax, and practice mindfulness, it will be easier to get back on track.
5. MAKE YOUR GOALS SMART AND VISIBLE
Reinforce these goals. Make lists. Write in a journal. Create reasons why you will succeed and why you are committed to your goals. Put them in clear sight - on your nightstand, on your fridge, at your desk. Don't forget to measure your progress, be honest with yourself, and make changes when necessary.
I hope this helps you live less out of habit and more out of intent in order to achieve your goals. Let's encourage each other to create a mindset of good intentions. We are always stronger together!
Stay Balanced xo,