“You are what your deep driving desire is;
As your deep driving desire is, so is your will;
As your will is so is your deed;
As your deed is so is your destiny.”
- The Upanishads
For the sake of formality -- I am Ashley Sharie of Aspire Business; where I am a co-visionary and coach. I help female entrepreneurs create solid strategy and level up their mindset for success.
One of my favorite tools to use, and one of the first tools I teach is the use of intentions.
INTENTION SETTING 101
WHAT IS AN INTENTION
An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live and show up in the world - or any area of life
Some people use intentions as declarative statements like “It is my intention to...yada yada yada” we are using the definition above.
We are focus on the intentions you state at the beginning of soul cycle or a yoga class.
I use this for entrepreneurs because they are excellent at identifying their values and know that living within their interpretation of them is a powerful way to achieve success, and more importantly, happiness.
This is what intentions help you do.
For example of one of your values is enthusiasm and another is integrity a good intention for you might be “Be the Light”
INTENTION SETTING VS. GOAL SETTING
Unlike goals, intentions are not something you attach a timeline, expectation or evaluation to. Instead they are something you want to align with in your life. It’s an aspiration, a purpose, or an attitude you’d be proud to align and associate with.
Intention setting is actually the precursor to goal setting.
While you may work hard to achieve certain goals that you decide to set to set for yourself, working toward achieving them won’t necessarily keep you satisfied and fulfilled for very long if you didn’t set your intention first.
What really sets an intention apart from a goal is how an intention comes from a place of presence whereas a goal is a future projection of the mind.
Goal setting helps us to see the future, understand what we want, create a plan, and stay on track to get it done. Which sounds wonderful, but for some, there is a downside to goal setting. It ultimately takes us out of the moment and creates an emphasis on what we don't have.
Without being anchored to a soul deep intention, for some who set goals and sometimes fail to achieve them, the act of goal setting can lead to a sense of, not only failing, but of being a failure.
With an intention, you embody your authenticity in the current moment and keep it with you for as long as you need.
Whereas with a goal, you have to use your mind to create images of what you want your future state of being to look like.
Too much future tripping can leave you feeling lack. Intentions balance things out.
WHY SET INTENTIONS?
Setting and living by your intentions allows you to focus on who you are in the moment, to recognize and live your values, and to raise your emotional energy, which in turn raises your physical energy
In simple form, your intentions are your thoughts directed toward a desired outcome.
To be more complex, it’s the realization that our consciousness has the ability to create our reality.
What you think you are is who you become. What you think, you feel, what you feel, you become.
Using intentions daily provide a roadmap and reminder for how to live out each day.
Intentions give you purpose, as well as the inspiration and motivation to achieve your purpose.
The practice of setting intentions can literally change your life.
HOW TO SET INTENTIONS?
Setting intentions seems super easy (and it is!), but it's more then picking single words, or short statements that you “like”
REMEMBER TWO TIPS
So with that being said I have two tips before you begin setting intentions:
1. Let go of limiting beliefs.
We know how powerful the mind is — don’t put a limit on the extent of its ability to change change reality. Believe big, see the world for it’s abundance rather than limitations.
See your personal potential as limitless rather than limited. You can’t create a positive life from a negative mind.
(Talk about be bold for a shy person)
2. Be clear, but flexible.
Seneca said, “If one does not know to which port they sail, no wind is favorable.”
Be clear and specific with the intentions you set, but be open as to what exactly it means in your life, and how it can show up. Being open may be a hidden blessing and steering you in the right direction.
(Talk about be the light can mean for you)
Your intention should be closely tied to your personal thoughts, values and perspective on life. The next activity will help with that.
Intentions can be as simple as a word or phrase you’d like to align yourself with, like “open your mind and heart,” “strength,” “compassion for myself and others,” “peace,” or “freedom.”
Like affirmations, you want to keep the intention positive, so instead of saying “stop being a coward,” or “spend less time alone,” choose the intentions, “be courageous” or simply, “community”.
ACTIVITY: FIRST, RAISE YOUR VIBES
Before I do any work (job included) that requires the best of me, or soul deep work like setting intentions -- I like to get my mind right.
Expressing gratitude is the quickest and easiest way for me to do that.
Expressing gratitude is the simplest way to get you realigned to your positive vibes. As I said before you can’t create a positive life with a negative mind. Same goes for doing any good work, nothing worthwhile comes from a low vibe place.
So take a moment and aim for a list of 5-10 things you are grateful for. When you feel yourself getting in a groove, when you feel like you could rattle off a list for days -- you’re there -- you are in a place of alignment with high vibes!
ACTIVITY: THOUGHT STARTERS FOR CRAFTING INTENTIONS
Before I send you on your way to create your own intentions, I want to cover a few instructions. These questions are designed to get your thoughts flowing, and your only job is to just journal it all out.
Don’t approach these questions with your intentions in mind -- instead get everything out on paper first. Then look back over it for major themes, big ideas, and strong emotions that come through. These are the basis for crafting soul deep intentions. One’s that you can anchor SMART goals too.
Here are some thought-starters to help you get started in forming an intention:
- What matters most to you?
- What would you like to build, create, or nurture in your life?
- What would you like to let go of?
- Who would you like to forgive in your life?
- How do you feel when you are your happiest self?
- What makes you proud?
- What word(s) would you like to align yourself with?
- What fears would you like to release?
- What are you grateful for?
Keep in mind intentions can be words or phrases as long as they are expansive.
10 Intentions You Can Borrow
- Find balance
- Open your mind and heart
- Stay steady, calm and focused
- Act with courage
- Embrace change
- Give and receive love
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable
- Connect with others
PUTTING INTENTIONS TO USE
“How you start your day is how you live your day”. - Louise Hay
CONSCIOUSLY CREATE EACH DAY
Now that you have you intentions, it’s time to put them to use. The best way to do so is first thing in the morning. Why? It’s easy to get caught up and shift into old reactive habits, or to run on auto-pilot. Use your intentions and take time each day to consciously choose for it to be different.
One method for doing so is via the Miracle Morning 6 Step Morning Routine. Now bear with me -- I know 6 steps sounds like a lot, and if you are like me your morning can barely hold two steps. But once you hear the outline -- you can get creative with crafting your own miracle morning for your life.
Using intentions to help fuel your morning, and a combination of some (or all) of the 6 step routine is hands down the most effective way to putting intentions to use. Believe me when I say silently stating your intention at the beginning of your meditation or yoga practice won’t be enough.
It takes a village of positive reinforcement for soul deep changes to occur.
With that being said, Miracle Mornings are comprised of 6 Life S.A.V.E.R.S
S - Silence (Meditation, Prayer, Breath work - goal is a quiet, calm, mind)
A - Affirmations (Encouraging words you tell yourself)
V - Visualization (Imagine yourself accomplish your goals for the day)
E - Exercise (Doesn’t need to be an hour long gym sesh, even 5min of body weight exercises will do)
R - Read (Fill your brain with positive ideas to improve yourself or learn)
S - Scribe aka Journaling (Process thoughts, or reflect on life, just get it out and on paper) Journaling is an excellent activity for increasing awareness and its easy -- there is no right or wrong way.
I have to get creative with my mornings, so mine go a little something like this. I do yoga, specifically sun salutation and recite my intentions to myself. I meditate and pray for 10min. Post meditation I journal about anything, I try not to focus on the “what” of it.
Next, I get in the shower and visualize, also incorporating the feeling of my intentions, and the feeling of getting things done throughout the day. Lastly on the metro into work, I read (or listen to an ebook).
And there you have it my practical Miracle Morning. Now it’s your term, use the SAVERS as a basis for creating your own Intentional Morning Routine.
So take about 5-10min or so and nap it out. BE SPECIFIC. Include the timing. List the book you want to read etc. The more real and detailed the better!
Keep your intentions with you:
- Set an alarm(s) with your intentions throughout the day
- Write it in your planner daily
- Make a background for your computer/phone
- Put sticky notes around your room (on mirrors or computer screens)