Practical Intention Setting

Maybe you don’t meditate.

You’re not opposed to meditation, but you don’t enjoy it much. As Alan Watts famously said, “You should meditate because you dig it.” And, sometimes, you simply aren’t digging it.

Regardless, you’re open to mindfulness practices. You’d like a tool, a practical application of Eastern philosophy to improve the quality of your life, and (subsequently) the lives around you.

You’ve tried yoga, but that didn’t work out as you expected. You’ve read books, listened to podcasts, and nothing seems to stick. So, what else can you do?

Perhaps it’s time to try practical intention setting.

This can be done anytime, any place, under (almost) any circumstance. It requires no more than 10 seconds. Before your workday begins, before you enter a meeting, before you walk into a party, take 10 seconds and ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of this experience?”

Typically, an answer will arise within you immediately. That answer is your intention.

Maybe you want to be kinder in your work interactions. Maybe you want to be relaxed in social situations. Maybe you want to be confident in unfamiliar situations. Whatever the occasion, wherever, and despite whoever will be there, take a moment to set your intention.

Then, proceed.

Without a thoughtful, heartfelt intention, you will revert to your most-used patterns of behavior. And, considering you’re seeking mindfulness practices to help change your life, it’s safe to assume you are not entirely thrilled with your current behaviors. Even so, you’re excited to work to change them.

Give practical intention setting a try today, tomorrow, or sometime soon. Set a clear intention, take focused action to achieve that result, and observe how you feel afterwards. I can guarantee a positive result for those who genuinely want one.

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