The word Intention is thrown around a lot and it can be easy to assume we all know what it means. At Move Strong, an intention is a promise. Some might say it’s a plan. Whichever word works for you, it is simply an aim you hope to achieve. Intentions turn into action when do at least one of two things.
No. 1: We go public and put the idea of our intention outside of our mind by discussing it with others. This is the more vulnerable of the two options and not most people’s first choice.
No. 2: We create space for our intention by setting aside time to take action. This being the simplest choice, I’ve no doubt we’ve all put something on our calendar before with the intention of getting it done.
Regardless of which approach you take, the moment you intend, is the moment you create possibility. And possibility is the playground where realistic plans for action are born.
I attended the Hay House writer’s conference last weekend in Portland as I’m finishing writing a book for Move Strong. While listening to the words of Robert Holden, British psychologist and Britain’s foremost expert on happiness, he reminded us of how easy it can be to truly set an intention and the immediate challenges faced once one does.
Mr. Holden made this distinction with eloquent simplicity by saying; If you’d like to be a writer, you need to make sure and write. And if you’d like to make sure and write, you’ll have to set aside the time.
Overly simple though this may seem, his idea points to how truly easy it is to make things happen in this life. It takes intention, a specific time and an action. It’s always that simple for you isn’t it? You have an idea, you put it on your calendar or talk to others about it and then poof! You’re good to go and your intention becomes a reality, right?
For most us, it is absolutely the opposite experience that intentions become actions that are completed easily. Instead, even the best intentions get buried under the to do list, behind the line of responsibilities and they feel more like past memories than present possibilities.
The important question to ask is, who stole your ease? The ease of this formula, time + action = fulfilled intention, is clear and cannot be taken away. However, we can impact our ability to use the formula easily. Here’s how.
Imagine you’ve just created a space on the calendar to complete something. You see it on the books and you’re glad it’s finally made it high enough on your list of priorities to become a part of your day. In that moment, resistance becomes real as you now need to protect the space you made like the body protects itself from invading viruses! Inevitably, something immediately pops up to compete with the very same hour you set aside to fulfill your intention. Now what do you do?
First, you give yourself permission to be just as important as anything on your calendar because no matter what the intention or the action, the space you just made is really for You! Then, re-commit to your intention by reminding yourself what it’s really honoring. There are always more layers than just what your conscious mind reflects. Sit with your intention and ask, what is at the heart of this promise or plan?
For me writing is the latest thing to claim a space on my calendar and that space is “asked for” or “needed” by something else, each and every day!. For you it may be dinner with a friend, going to the gym or that personal project you’ve wanted to complete.
When I ask what is at the heart of writing the honest answer insures that I keep the space I’ve saved no matter what! Writing is about delivering a message that is larger than me. If comes from a source beyond me and it is meant to heal me and help those you read it. This reminder of my true commitment combined with the time and the act of writing (cue Robert Holden, “If you want to be a writer, you must write”) is what fulfills my intention without less resistance, with NO guilt and with a big sigh of relief.
So the initial formula is altered slightly and becomes useful in ANY situation. Choose an intention and the most realistic action that will make your promise come to life. Set aside time to take action. Give yourself permission to be as important (or more) as anything on your calendar and remember what’s at the heart of your intention. While it includes you and may even be about you, your intention is always much larger than your individual self and will impact the world beyond you in a positive way.