Quick Tip: “How to Set Clear, Effective Intentions” 

by Evelyn Levenson

If you haven’t set your INTENTIONS yet for this new year it’s not too late. (It’s actually never too late to set powerful intentions!)

If you haven’t read my blog post about the power and benefits of setting Intentions rather than New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll find it here.

Below are three additional tips for being more effective in setting clear and powerful intentions that will move you forward while leaving you open to multiple ways to fulfill those intentions.

  1. Keep intentions broad but you can use specific, measurable goals to help you get there. Narrow goals can be useful when applied correctly, but intentions are your best primary tool because they set the tone and provide a guiding beacon for your choices and actions. Example:  my underlying intention for signing up for a Half Marathon in January a few years ago was to get healthier and more fit. Even if I hadn’t ended up running the race itself, I had still fulfilled my intention because I trained diligently and did improve my health and fitness. In other words, I was not fixated on only the running of the race. Also, I knew all along that it was only one of many possible paths to the fulfillment of my intention. But I did actively use the goal of running the race to help me achieve my broader intention.
  2. Intentions don’t all have to be big or long-term. Set some intentions for very short periods of time (“segments”). For example, before picking up a ringing phone, you can set an intention for the call to go well and for both parties to communicate clearly. When getting into your car you can set an intention for your drive to be safe and enjoyable with an on-time arrival. Before exercising you can set the intention for the exercise to benefit your body. These short ones will help build your intention-setting “muscles.”
  3. When intentions aren’t aligned (or at least compatible) between two people, or between you and a group, then friction often occurs. That might be a good time to re-set your intentions so you have a new guiding directive that can allow you to make the best of the situation and have some degree of satisfaction and fulfillment under the circumstances. This old adage comes to mind:  ride the horse in the direction it’s already going!

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