Like me you may be feeling that January has run away with you – setting new intentions is the easy part but if we’re going to really make changes then, well, we have to work at it!
So what happened? Well, I intended to write a new blog post and get my first newsletter done for the very start of the year. Then I began a dialogue with that pesky little inner voice of mine: I can’t do this, blah, blah … I’m not good enough, yakety-yak …
I don’t know what your inner voice tells you, but you probably get the picture.
And I’d left the door wide open for that critical part to come breezing in because I hadn’t kept in mind some of the really important things about intentions.
What was my first mistake?
I didn’t set my intention in the positive. Instead of saying “I will get my newsletter out on 1st January” what I’d said to myself was “I want to get the newsletter done early January. Oh, and a new blog post would be good too.” So not only was it not framed in a positive way, it wasn’t specific either. Result? Major #fail and a feeling of not being good or able enough (damn you pesky critical inner voice for being right!).
So how do you stick with your intentions?
Here are some helpful actions that will get your intention set in your mind in a way that keeps your subconscious from sabotaging you:
- Like in my example just now, make the intention positive and specific with a timeframe to it. For example, rather than “I want to get fit” say “I am going to the gym twice a week for the next six months” or “I will walk to work every day this month”. Keep your language positive by not using words like should, can’t, won’t, mustn’t – and avoid want or hope (the first suggests a lack of something and the second is just asking for trouble). If you said, “I hope to get fit” you’d be asking for failure.
- Really own the intention. How does this intention fit with who you are and what’s important to you? When you know yourself and what drives you then you can set intentions that really fit with who you are – and they’ll feel comfortable and do-able in a way that helps you to stay on track. Don’t set yourself goals or intentions that feel out of line with your values because they’ll just feel icky and make you uneasy.
- Once you have framed your intention or goal in a way that feels right, write it down. Now say it out loud. How does it sound to you? How do you feel when you say it? Does it thrill you and give you a real buzz of excitement? Or do you feel uncomfortable? Work on the wording or the goal until it resonates in you when you say it aloud. Then keep on doing that – write it down and say it out loud several times a day so that you’re creating an energy for that intention; it’s like bringing it to life.
- Bring it in to your mind’s eye as well as your heart. Imagine your life when you have achieved the goal or are living the intention: see it, feel it, smell it and touch it. Make it concrete and real in your mind. You can visualise this, playing it in your mind like a film, when you repeat your intention out loud.
“Dreams become reality when intentions turn into actions”
I don’t know who said this but it’s just perfect. Setting those intentions, whether it’s at the start of a new year or at any other time, is only the first part of the process. We have to take action too, and using the four steps I’ve outlined here should really help with that. If you want some more help with turning your dreams into goals and having the life you dream about then get in touch.