“Integrity is when your good intentions meet your actions — on a consistent basis.” ~ Amy Chan
Have you caught yourself saying, “I intended to __, but I just didn’t get around to it”? We’ve all done it. In the 60’s and 70’s there was even a wooden Round Tuit coin created to help us end procrastination. It didn’t work so well. I find that setting mindful intentions work much better. But that’s not the whole story.
To get to the bottom of the problem, it’s important to identify what stops our intentions from becoming reality. We all have the same amount of time, so we can’t really use “not having enough time” as an excuse. If you’re like most people, there are 5 basic things that get in our way:
- You lack clarity on what your intended results were meant to be.
- You had insufficient planning or no planning at all.
- You lacked knowledge or skills.
- You became sidetracked or distracted, with too much information.
- You gave up because an obstacle arose and you didn’t seek an alternative method for achieving your intention.
Do any of those reasons describe what you go through? I’ve discovered that my practice of mindfulness reinforces my ability to set intentions and follow through with the action required to create a lasting transformation in my life. But this skill didn’t come to me overnight. I’ve been practicing for a number of years. Now, however, each time I set mindful intentions, it’s a lot easier to make them become reality.
How can you set mindful intentions that overcome the five previously mentioned obstacles?
Don’t kid yourself that setting mindful intentions will magically create lasting change. That is only half of the process. Without follow up actions, your mindful intentions will not serve you. As a quote from E.F. Schumacher reminds us,
“Our intentions tend to be much more real to us than our actions, and this can lead to a great deal of misunderstanding with other people, to whom our actions tend to be much more real than our intentions.”
Let’s take a trick that great writers use…in any good story, writers answer the questions: Why, Who, What, Where, When, and How? (Yes, I rearranged the order of questions they normally ask. When you set mindful intentions, Your Why should always come first.) We can apply those same questions to our Mindful Intentions + Sustainable Actions Recipe for Success. Here’s how:
Find Your Why. Why are you here? What one thing energizes you, challenges you, and helps you live up to your full potential? When you clarify this, you blow the door to possibilities wide open!
Find Your Who. There are some things you’re skilled to do; other things you can delegate to more experienced persons. Don’t be afraid to share your vision with others. The synergy you create together will be phenomenal!
Find Your What. Take baby steps to get you from point A to point Z. Perhaps it’s something you’re working on internally. Maybe it’s a skill you need to learn. Choose three important goals to work on and tell an accountability partner that you’re going to have them done by a certain day. By the end of a year, you’ll be amazed at how much you accomplish!
Find Your Where. Start from where you are right now. Don’t compare yourself to where anyone else is, because we are all at different stages of growth on our journey through life. You are enough!
Find Your When. Waiting for a better time or for everything to fall into place is a mistake. Your time is NOW, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article! Keep asking yourself, “What one thing can I do right now that will inch me closer to my desired results?
Find Your How. Get very specific with outlining your tactics — what step to be accomplished by what date. Track your progress in even small things, because it’s so easy to forget what you have accomplished. Take inventory of all of your resources — monetary, emotional, physical, and spiritual — and spend them wisely on things that really matter. You can do this!
Now I’m going to throw in an extra point that ties together the preceding ones.
Find Your Zone of Genius. When the above items are aligned, the struggle will end. Instead you’ll greet each day with excitement and anticipation. Each day will be a celebration of who you are. You’ll fall in love with life all over again. That is the reward for matching mindful intentions with sustainable actions. It’s magic!
If you’re still searching for your zone of genius, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to help you achieve the life you deserve to live.