Five Ways to Live a Life of Intention

Intention: noun: The thing that you plan to do or achieve; an aim or purpose.

It’s that time of year again when we begin to take stock of the current year, assess our progress, and look ahead to a better, happier, and healthier new year. How was 2015 for you? Did you achieve all of your goals – personal and professional? Are you exactly where you want to be, or are you a few steps behind?

Instead of talking about goal-setting, which I wrote about last month, we’re going to talk about intention, because the two concepts are very closely linked.

Intention posits that if you know what you want and you work towards those goals with clarity and purpose, you will succeed. Almost everything we do in life begins with intention, from deciding to buy the perfect holiday gift for mom to building a million-dollar business.

Living a life of intention is very powerful, but of course, there are a few tricks to ensuring your intentions don’t fall by the wayside, so here is how to get started – and stay with it:

Pick a word of the year

Every year, I pick a “word of the year” that will help me focus on my main intention.   In 2013, the word was “meditation.” My goal was to meditate every day, and I almost did – I think I missed about eight days out of the year. Because I worked on this goal with clarity and purpose, 2013 was transformative to my health, personal relationships, and business – a win.

Write down your intention

Choose one intention, write it down, and post it where you can see it every day (I do this with my word of the year – it goes in a little stand that sits on my desk). You can even carry it around with you. The important thing is to read it and …

Take meaningful action

Working towards your goal with clarity and purpose is another way of saying you need to take meaningful action. Every day, do something that will take you one step closer to achieving your goal, no matter how big or small that task or activity is.

Stay open-minded

You also want to be careful not to force your intention, either. While it is always a good idea to have a plan in place, make sure you leave doors open to new possibilities – you never know where they might lead.

Avoid obsessing over your intention

You might be so excited about your intention that you end up obsessing over it. When that happens, instead of working with purpose towards reaching that intention, all of your energy goes into thinking and talking about it. Release your grip on your intention, and accept that you will reach your goal over time, not at the snap of a finger.

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