When it comes to changing your habits and behaviours, you must first learn to harness the power of your mind. Read on to find out how. You know how there are some people that seem to be able to do exactly as they say? That follow through on every single promise and desire they have?
And you know how there are also some people that struggle to make a single change to their lives? That are all talk and no action?
I secretly admire those in the first category, the ones for whom changing habits and behaviours seems to just be a breeze. Cut out sugar? OK, done. Train for a marathon? Sure, why not. Launch a new business? Can't wait.
For many of us, it just isn't that simple. Especially when it comes to our lifestyles and eating habits.
Want to know a simple-yet-effective way to turn your mindset into a change-machine? Keep reading for a fail-proof Intentions checklist.
What is Intention?
When it comes to getting out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself and beginning something new, it all boils down to to one thing: Intention.
This nine-letter word is extremely powerful and is to be used with great caution and deliberation.
But before we tap into it's power, let's take a quick look at what it actually means.
Intention comes from the Latin intendere, "to have as a plan". The modern-day meaning has become "a course of action that one intends to follow". In other words, it's what you ACTUALLY plan to do.
Which many times can be at the other extreme of what you say you will do.
I'm sure you can think of more than one time when your intention was very different to what you actually said you would do? Like "I'm going to go for a run tomorrow", knowing full well that there was an 80% chance you would in fact stay in bed.
That, my friend, is how NOT to use intention.
Why use Intention?
If you're unaware of your actual intentions when you're making a promise to yourself or to others, then you'll probably find that your life looks nothing like what you talk about - or the life that you wish you had.
Let's look at an example here. One of my friends Rick is notoriously late for all of his appointments and meetings. It's a curse.
Try as he might, something always happens to steer him off track. It always seems like a good reason, but somehow they just pile up.
If you listen to Rick's language, you can clearly hear his lack of intention. He says things like "I'll try", "I'll call you when I'm ready", etc.
The thing is, Rick's intentions are all over the place. He himself is unclear as to what he wants, how he wants situations to unfold (in his case being on time): therefore his life unfolds that way.
When you don't set any intentions, you choose to go with the flow. You choose to believe that some invisible force will somehow help you change your ways.
You choose to be a victim to the current moment, your current emotions and feelings. And we all know how that can draw us far away from what we would actually love.
Most people's intentions are a bit like Rick's: all over the place. They lack clarity, and therefore so do their behaviours.
Going with the flow is a beautiful romantic notion, but this hedonism is not always conducive to living the healthy and balanced life you dream of.
Going with the flow is a sure-fire way to AVOID doing, feeling or experiencing what you would really love.
You are a laser
Many people are not aware of the quantity of thoughts they are sending out on a daily basis. As we have seen before, your thoughts are waves of energy sent out into the ether. Every single one of them.
For many, these are all over the place, often contradicting each other. So many times, we get disheartened before even starting, at the mere thought of getting out of our comfort zones.
"I will go for a run tomorrow morning" turns into "but it might be cold and wet", which then turns into feeling the struggle and discomfort of said situation. And in no time, the original thought is abandoned.
To use the Power of Intention, you must use your intention like a laser.
You must be crystal clear about what you would love and what you intend to do. Rather than sending out mixed messages to yourself and your body, you must make a decision and focus on its end result.
Using your intention means making a clear decision about what you want or how you want to feel and maintaining your focus on it - an unwavering, laser-like focus. Not on the How, but on the actual result you are looking for.
It means knowing that you will follow through and acting as if it was a done deal.
Let's go back to my friend Rick. If instead of "I'll try and be there on time" he changed his language to "I WILL be there on time", do you think he would act differently? And if he made the clear promise to himself to be on time and kept that in his focus, do you think he might actually change his habits?
Think about one scenario in your own life where you're not following through with what you say you will do.
How much power are you putting into your Intention? Are you clear about what you want the end result to be?
Do you keep an unwavering focus or do you find yourself distracted by over-thinking the process?
How to use Intention?
When you start to understand the Power of Intention, and how to be laser-like in your choices, your life will begin to take a different shape.
Instead of lacking in self-trust and self-belief, a world of possibilities opens up to you.
What intention do you have for your life?
What intention do you have for today?
What intention do you have for your next meal?
What intention do you have for your next workout?
I use Intention with my clients: before each workout and each set. It allows them to CHOOSE to push their limits, achieve new records and to feel great about it.
Oftentimes, when we don't set an intention, they withdraw back into their old subconscious patterns of falling prey to their feelings (which are generally something along the lines of "OMG I'm going to kill myself").
The Intention Checklist
1. Decide what you would REALLY love to do / feel / experience
2. Measure how truthful your intention resonates: you'll know if you're lying to yourself!
3. Clearly communicate your intention to yourself - and to others if needed, which adds the accountability factor
4. Choose 3 If...Then strategies to reassure yourself in case of any surprises
5. Visualise yourself following through - use your imagination, it's powerful stuff!*
6. Focus on the end result
7. Follow through
*Scientists are slowly beginning to understand the power of our imagination. A 2011 study from McGill University has found that planning your food and visualising yourself following through nearly doubles your chances of success.
Einstein, one of the fathers of quantum physics, even says "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination" and "Logic will get you from A to B, Imagination will get you anywhere". Why? Because 1/ you communicate to your subconscious and 2/ you send positive thoughts into the ether, in return attracting situations to support your intention.
ACTION STEP: Decide on 1 action you want to introduce into your life, and use the checklist above to set a clear, powerful Intention. Then leave a comment with your result!
And as always, please SHARE this post with those around you - and help us spread more love and health around the world!
Love & Health,