“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.
“You draw to you the people and events which resonate with the energy that you are radiating. You attract what you are, so be your best.” ~ Lynda Field
Are there days where you feel like a dark cloud is following you all day long? Like you never should have gotten out of bed? First one thing goes wrong, then another…until all you see is disaster, problems, frustrations and failure. We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. However, did you notice I said, “…all you see…” The truth is you’re seeing the bad, so you’re attracting bad; if you can see the good, you’ll attract positive energy instead.
Just as a magnifying glass intensifies the sun’s energy as it passes through it, to the point of catching paper of fire, your focus intensifies the energy you project – positive or negative. You can choose to focus on the bad and make your day worse, or you can focus on the positive.
You absolutely have the power to turn a bad day around by mindfully practicing these 10 ways to attract positive energy:
- Walk to attract positive energy. Physically remove yourself from an environment that is bringing you down and go for a walk outside. Tune in to, and feel, the positive energy in your new surroundings.
- Practice positive meditation. Once you arrive at a place private, be still for a few minutes, and imagine the most beautiful and serene place possible. Stay with this image, as you feel your body relaxing.
- Do something you enjoy. If you can’t leave the building, play some music and dance. Do anything that is proactive and gives you a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task is. This allows you to mindfully engage your senses so you feel powerful and more productive. As Joe Rogan says,
“There’s a direct correlation between positive energy and positive results.”
- Notice your thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to your inner self-talk. Oftentimes, a disruption occurs when you feel conflicted because one of your Parts is not fully integrated. If that’s the case, use my NLP Tea Time Exercise to become centered, congruent and empowered.
- Reestablish control. Worry and stress lowers your energy and damages your health. No matter what you fear might happen, know that you will get through it. Work on mastering your emotions and controlling you thoughts, so you can show those fears who’s boss.
- Let go. If you’re holding resentment, stress or anger in your body, do mindful breathing exercises to release that negativity, so you make room for positive energy to flow back in. One of the most empowering ways to attract positive energy is to forgive and quit blaming either yourself or someone else. Release the negative energy or power that your past has over you.
- Reaffirm your power. Believe that you can influence your life for the better. You show strength when you don’t retaliate, and are able to turn in a new, positive direction. Concentrate on doing your best at work and taking care of yourself and others, without comparing yourself to anyone else. You attract positive energy when you pick yourself back up and keep going.
- Re-set your intentions. How do you want to change your energy for the better? When you set powerful intentions, you create within yourself a new and specific state that serves your purpose in life.
- Eliminate negative energy sources. This could be a draining relationship, unproductive activities, unwholesome food, or inadequate sleep. Draw healthy boundaries that empower you.
- Be determined to begin tomorrow with positive energy.What you might need most is a good night’s sleep. But before you doze off, affirm to yourself, “I am in control. When I wake up, good things will come my way.” New beginnings attract positive energy.
I realize this is an abbreviated list of some not-so-simple ways to attract positive energy. I’d love to share more details with you. Why not pick 1 of these 10 tips that you’d like to work on, and then contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Remember: huge changes begin with the first step.
“Intention is one of the most powerful forces there is. What you mean when you do a thing will always determine the outcome.” ~ Brenna Yovanoff
Every New Year people make resolutions they don’t keep. Why is that? Often it’s not the resolution that’s the problem. It’s that the intention behind the resolution wasn’t powerful enough.
What does it mean to set intentions? Setting intentions is a powerful tool used in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). When you’re setting powerful intentions you’re creating within yourself a new and specific state or frame of mind that serves your purpose in life. You’re sending a message to the Universe, to the world and to yourself about…
- Who you want to be.
- What you wish to contribute.
- How you choose to touch the lives of others.
Powerful intentions are as expansive as you want to make them. You have the freedom and the power to become whoever you want to be. You’ll be amazed at how many resolutions or goals you’ll successfully meet when you consciously base them on your intentions.
To get you started, here are some examples of clear intentions you can set:
- I intend to lead by example.
- I intend to love unconditionally.
- I intend to stop taking things personally.
- I intend to manifest happiness naturally.
- I intend to see the goodness around me.
- I intend to be kind even when under pressure.
- I intend to make someone smile every day.
- I intend to freely forgive others and myself.
- I intend to make mindfulness an important part of each day.
- I intend to suspend judgment and accept life as it is in the moment.
Instead, of some distant, seemingly unachievable destination, make your powerful intention your new reality. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 15 pounds,” say, “I’m going to treat myself to a nutritious lunch because I’m a healthy person and I deserve to feel energetic today.”
As you form your intentions, remember these important points:
Frame your intention in a present tense and positive tone.
If your intention is to reduce stress, say something like, “My intention is to invite peace and calm within myself today.” Try to avoid saying something like, “I will stop stressing.”
Make your intention adjustable and attainable.
If you stick with the same intention week after week, your mind stops responding to it. Therefore, stick with the same intention for a few days then rephrase it slightly. (Never drastically alter it.) You can change up your previous intention by saying, “My intention is to enjoy the peace I create in myself.” The goal is to polish and enhance changes by making doable baby steps rather than giant leaps.
So many people try to “fix” what they don’t like about their lives. That’s a really negative approach. They also focus on some future time that takes them out of the moment. As a result, they’re not living their authentic life and they’re not enjoying each moment that they live.
If you’re ready to create the life you’ve always wanted, please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). You don’t have to wait for a new year to start making lasting changes that bring your more happiness and satisfaction.
(I’ve been using NLP for years to help my clients excel. Now I’m thinking about developing a NLP training online. Are you interested? Send me an email and I’ll keep you posted on my progress toward completing the course. I’d love to hear from you.)
I’m going to share with you a productive secret that very few people will ever share with you. And it may even shock you. Are you ready? It’s okay to be selfish in the morning. No, actually it’s absolutely necessary.
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend selfishness, because it can really damage relationships. But, when you think about it, what is your most important relationship? (Hint: It’s the one you’re most likely neglecting.)
It’s your relationship with yourself, right? If you’re not treating yourself with love, patience, and respect, you won’t be able to show those qualities to others. And you won’t have enough energy to be productive in life.
So, I’m suggesting you do something just for yourself as soon as you get up. It might be making your bed, exercising, reading something inspirational, or meditation. Whatever fuels your creativity and energy. Become a master of your time and set intentions for how you want your day to be.
Now let’s increase your productivity in life by using this same “principle of selfishness” as you carve out the first hour of your work day to focus on your own project. (Of course, this works well if you run your own business. But the principle can also make you indispensible in whatever organization you work for, because it effectively prioritizes your day.)
Too often we jump into taking care of others’ requests or ‘urgent’ needs. Emails, voicemails and the like can wait…they’ll still be there later. Responding in this reactive manner makes you feel like you’re always trying to catch up. Like there’s not enough time. Like you’re not doing what fuels your soul. Like you’re missing out.
On the other hand, if you guard the first hour of your workday, you’ll feel like you’re living up to your potential and that you’re accomplishing something important. In turn, this energizes you to do more, and you build momentum, getting more accomplished with less effort.
Try the following steps to ease into this new morning routine:
- Block out the first hour of every workday on your calendar. Make this a recurring event, and let everyone know this hour is taken. No compromising!
- Avoid distractions and set boundaries you can live with, like not checking your email, social media or answering your phone.
- If you have a mandatory meeting at this time, consider starting your day an hour earlier so you honor your commitment.
What do you do with the first hour of your new schedule?
Choose a meaningful and/or important project to work on. Look for something that you’ve been intending to do, but haven’t gotten to yet because you’ve been too busy taking care of everyone else’s priorities. For entrepreneurs this can mean working on your business instead of in your business and coming up with plans for future growth.
Then, start making notes for what needs to happen to make your project a reality. Once you have these notes, organize them in a book, card file or small sheets of paper. Put one task per page, card, or piece of paper with instructions of how to do it. If you don’t know, then your task is to find someone who can teach you or can do it for you.
How do you organize all these notes into a productivity strategy you can reuse in all facets of life?
- Break your project down into monthly benchmarks for success.
- Break each month’s objective down into weekly tasks.
- Break down your weekly tasks into 3 critical items.
Start your day working on your single most important item. Once it’s completed, move to the next. If you don’t accomplish all three tasks within the hour, move the unfinished task to the top of your pile to work on tomorrow. Oftentimes you’ll accomplish more in this first hour than you otherwise would all day.
This process helps you become more mindful as you regularly pause to breathe and assess what’s most important to you everyday. You develop a skill that helps you to be fully engaged and productive in life.
Need some help getting started? Whether it’s personal development, improving your health or marketing your business, I’m here to help you stay on track and reach your highest purpose. Please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype), and let’s get started.
“You can do anything you set your mind to!” Did you ever hear these encouraging words from a parent or teacher as you were growing up? Did you believe it then? Do you still believe it? Or somewhere along the way did you quit believing because you started telling yourself self-limiting stories?
Too many times we’ve replaced the encouraging voice in our heads with ones that tear us down and keep us little. They come from our own fears and insecurities or we’ve actually heard them from other people who abusively denigrate and belittle. We’ve heard it so often that we begin to believe it ourselves.
The self-limiting stories we tell ourselves are usually focused on generalizations, negativity and comparisons with others. You can recognize them, because they often start with statement like these…
“If only I was … I could …!”
“I’m not good at…”
“I’ve never been …”
“Who do you think you are…”
“He gets … because he’s gifted. He doesn’t know what my life is like.”
Just because something doesn’t come easily to you or you’re inexperienced, doesn’t mean you can’t do it well. Perhaps you’re not the most talented speaker today. Your story doesn’t have to be that you’re not a gifted speaker. Your story can be that you want to be a talented speaker and you’re willing to do a lot of hard work and preparation in order to influence people with your message. And that’s a new story you can create for yourself.
This shift begins when you become aware of the self-limiting talk running through your mind. Think of that commentary like a Narrator – the voice in the background that is giving substance to the story. Most people are oblivious to it. But with greater mindfulness you can stop yourself from automatically saying, “No, I can’t”, and just listen to the objections in your mind. Without judgment, write them down in your journal.
Ask yourself if it’s true. You may think, “I’m so stupid!” But you’re not. You many have made a mistake, but that doesn’t define who you are as a person. Evaluate it. You’ll see that the Narrator is only offering one perspective, based on previous experiences. You don’t have to accept what the Narrator is telling you, especially if it’s disempowering. See all the good things you have accomplished.
Affirm what you know is true. Maybe you don’t know how to do something. But you have the ability to learn. We’re all a work in progress, adding layers and layers of experience to our core values. And that experience is valuable. Set your intentions for how you want to live each day. Stay in touch with your values and you’ll stay aligned with your purpose.
Tweak your story. You don’t have to totally reinvent yourself. Take the parts that don’t serve you any longer and overwrite them with choices that create the best possible story. Daily reflect on how your choices fit into your greatest purpose.
It takes mindful effort to process through the stories you tell yourself. But you can change your story and you can change your life. I would love to partner with you as you go through the process. Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.