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The Power of Declaring Your Intentions



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by dr. Saby Labor in Blog, Resources
January 18, 2018 0 comments

I have a secret to share.

I believe we expect way too much of new year’s resolutions and goal-setting. I think there is too much pressure put on each of us to transform every aspect of our being when the new year comes around. I’m a big fan of fresh starts, of renewing our sense of time and energy, to bring pause to our lives. My opinion is likely because I have lived within the academic calendar for all of my adult life. For those on an academic calendar, or even those on a fiscal calendar, the calendar new year is an additional time marker. I find myself falling for the pressure to put new routines off until the start of the new year. Start today!

In past years, my spouse and I have spent the new year’s time to engage in goal setting. We love the the 90-day, 3-year, and 30-year “goal achievement formula” provided in “Success Is Not an Accident” by Tommy Newberry. We set our individual goals, then we set our goals as a couple, as a family. This year, for a variety of reasons, we have yet to complete our goal setting exercise. Partly, I have not been as successful in achieving the goals and resolutions I establish in the New Year. Some would argue that much of our outside aspirations have to be put on hold during a doctorate program. Another element of habit-creation is needed in order to realize my dreams, to quiet the negative noise of my own subconscious doubt in my abilities.

The Power of Intentions

This year, I’ve noticed that many of the influencers I read and listen to on a weekly basis are uplifting the use of intentions rather than setting goals and resolutions for the new year.

Oprah is really passionate about the power of intentions and centers intentions in her daily life. This has really resonated with the reflection I’ve been engaging in as 2017 concluded and we kicked off 2018. I don’t know if others felt a bit of a “2017 hangover”. I know I felt the need to celebrate it, as well as recover from the year in some ways. This year was a true test of resisting negativity, hate, and division and choosing to live into abundance, kindness, and community.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, intention is defined as:

“a determination to act in a certain way”
“what one intends to do or bring about”
“a process or manner of healing of incised wounds”

Motivational speaker, Mike Robbins, discusses the connection between intentions, goals, and actions:

By starting with your intentions, you get right to the source of what you truly want. Intentions are the core and the magic of all of your goals and desires.”

He argues that we uncover our “authentic desires” and aspired “states of being” when we set our intentions, and that our intentions are intricately connected to our goals.

Conceptualize intentions as the direction in which you persistently point your energy, time, and focus with purpose. This direction leads us toward accomplishment of larger goals, because it is one of the essential ingredients of success.

I decided to get back to the basics with my intentions this year and keep it as simple as possible. For myself, this increases the likelihood that I will live into these intentions, to set myself up for success, to experience a small win each day. The larger purpose is guided by my value systems and is informed by my reflection of the previous year. Intentions guide our thoughts, actions, and uncover the stories we tell ourselves about our abilities and potential, which are often embedded in our subconscious mind.  

If you’re interested in declaring your intentions for a purposeful year/quarter/month/week, here are two helpful resources:

Sarah Prout’s “7 Steps to Setting Powerful Intentions”

Woodward Institute’s “Intention Setting Worksheet”

What are your intentions for this year? Share them with me on Twitter or Facebook!  

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