Community Futures Meridian

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Setting Your Intentions for a Great Day

  • October 2, 2018
  • Written by Meridian Admin

People who study and teach mindfulness, suggest we consider our intentions for the day by spending a few minutes, first thing every morning, considering what we intend to achieve and how we are going to actually follow through on those intentions. This is not about setting goals or objectives, but how we will live and interact with people; how we plan to ‘feel’ during the day and how we ‘touch’ the people we work with, our customers and the world in general. The idea is that our sub-conscious mind can affect the reality we experience. In terms of our business lives this can all seem a little hokey; how can simply voicing an intent have an effect on the outcome of our day?

Consider: if you intend to be happy and joyous today, you are far more likely to meet pleasant, positive people than if you don’t think about it at all. If on the other hand, you don’t set an intention at all and spend the day being miserable or worse emanating hostility, you are likely to meet a whole bunch of mean-spirited people. Our intentions can affect the quality of our day and the outcome of our interactions with customers, prospects or employees.

Intentions are by definition rather nebulous (unlike harder edged goals and objectives). We relinquish control, in part at least, to the ‘universe’ and trust that the outcome we intend will occur. Instead of being vigilant, we set an intention and let it loose. This is not to be confused with going through the day on autopilot, which is more akin to zoning out rather than having a focused underlying intent. Buddha said, “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”

If you attend yoga classes you are probably familiar with setting intentions; many instructors start their sessions by asking participants to do just that—the problem is that most people jump to setting a goal or an objective such as work harder, sweat more, stretch further. 

Intentions on the other hand, should be broad such as:

  • I will keep an open mind today
  • I will focus more on the present moment, rather than live in the past or the future
  • I will welcome change and diversity
  • I will be more patient
  • I will listen more and talk less
  • I will spend a few minutes today in peace (e.g. meditating)

Feel free to borrow one of the suggestions above, or better still come up with your own intentions. Intentions should always be framed as positives, not something like, “I’ll bite my tongue when someone upsets me.”

Setting intentions should become a daily habit, as ingrained as stretching when you wake or cleaning your teeth in the morning. It takes mere seconds to set your daily intention and you can keep the same one for several days, if you feel the need to put that intention out there until it takes root. It’s best if you write down your intentions somewhere where you can see them and refer to them regularly. Initially, try setting an early morning reminder on your smart phone—it can be just one-word intention.

Setting intentions everyday will make you more aware of what is really important to you at the core of your being. What it is that will make you happy, contented and successful.