Making good intentions work for you rather than against you
Posted on 23rd February 2022 at 07:33
Sadly, despite our best efforts, many of our good intentions come to naught. Dare we say, even the vast of majority of them. And, we’re not just talking about the dreaded New Year’s resolutions, although these are the easiest to see in action – or, more accurately, in their lack of sustained action… True, they’re often fuelled more by alcohol than anything else, but they’re still a stark reminder of what all too often happens in practice.
Sometimes, there’s a flurry of activity as we try to ensure that, this time, things will be different. Perhaps accompanied by gritted teeth and lots of willpower. We really will make some progress in this particular direction this time. However, all too soon, we grind to a halt with little difference to be seen. Then slip slowly back to where we started. Or, perhaps, even further back...
Other times, it all seems too much. We find ourselves giving up before we’ve even started.
Whichever one it is, the result is the same. At best, only marginal progress is made, giving yet more ammunition to the Little Monster in our heads to use when we next try to make changes in our lives. It’s little wonder we find making changes so difficult.
So, why is it that failure seems to be built in to the whole process, ensuring our good intentions never get over the first fence?
Well, there are a number of reasons for this, but they’re usually down to three related things.
The first is very simple. It’s all about the tense we use. Whether we’re expressing our good intention as happening in the past, present or future. While this may sound rather pernickety, it makes a huge difference to the likelihood of success.
If you stop and think about it, there’s only place where we can live. The present. The past has gone, so, there’s nothing we can do to change it. The future has yet to come, so, again there’s nothing we can to change that either. Well, we can, but only from here in the present. What we do NOW does affect the future which, when we get there, will also be the present. And, yes, we know people can find this a difficult concept to get their heads around (!). However, that isn’t the important bit. The only thing you need to know is that, for our good intentions to stand any chance of succeeding, they MUST be expressed as happening now. Be in the present tense.
The second is all about semantics, the words we use to express our good intentions AND our understanding of them. And, again, if this all sounds a bit pernickety, it is BUT there’s a very good reason for this. Some words are fraught with danger for the simple reason that what we assume they mean and what they actually mean are two completely different things. Added to this, the energy and intention behind some of our favourite words is actually negative when, on the surface, it appears positive.
We’ve talked before about some of these words before. Should. Would. Could. Hope. Try. Say them out loud and you’ll quickly notice they feel “heavy”. That their energy is negative. How they’re all followed by a silent “but”. An instant giveaway that our hearts – and minds – aren’t really in whatever it is.
And there are many more besides. If you’re unsure whether the words you’re using are likely to trip you up, the simple solution is to get out the dictionary. Find out whether the word means what you assume it does. It may sound very simple, but you’ll be surprised how many words have a very different meaning to the one you’d assumed…
And, finally, the third is all about the intention itself. The advice usually given by self help books is to make good intentions as specific as possible. Such as:
“I intend to lose 7 kilos of weight in two months.”
“I intend to drink 2 litres of water every day.”
However, they don’t leave any “wriggle room”, no pun intended. You either achieve them or you don’t. And, when you first encounter any difficulties in meeting this intention, it’s all too easy to treat it as a failure with all too predictable results. Or, more accurately, lack of results. Not forgetting giving more ammunition to the Little Monster in your head and ways for him to undermine your efforts in the future.
Instead, our advice would always be to take the opposite approach. To make your good intentions much more general. This leaves much more leeway when things don’t quite go to plan. Makes it easier to keep on going, rather than straight out through the door marked “failure.”
If you look at these two good intentions again, what are they really about? Good health. Being healthy. So, we’d suggest going for a much more general intention. Not only does it cast the net much wider but also covers the specific intention too. Something like:
“I intend being health today” OR “I am healthy today.”
Together, these simple statements make it clear what you desire AND that you have it today. It sends out a clear message to both your subconscious AND the world around you that this is your state TODAY.
Even better, not only does it cover losing weight and drinking more water but EVERYTHING ELSE that makes you healthy. This is why more general and far reaching good intentions have a much greater effect and likelihood of success than their more specific counterparts.
Having had this conversation regularly with Clients, we know people can find it hard to translate their specific intentions into more general ones. So, here’s some other examples to help you on your way:
I intend vibrant good health today.
I am healthy today.
I intend abundance today.
I am abundant today.
I intend happiness today.
I am happy today.
I intend peace today.
I am peaceful today.
I intend inspiration today.
I am inspired today.
And, finally, before we go, the question we’re always asked. How to get the most of your shiny new intentions? Rather than having a whole list of them, focus on a few at any one time. Say, 2 or 3. Then, first thing every morning, say them out loud to yourself repeating each one slowly 3 or 4 times to let it really sink in. As you do so, imagine how good it would feel if this was your natural state today. Smile as you feel the words coming to life. If there are people around you, just mutter the words quietly under your breath.
While it may not seem it, saying your intentions out loud is an important part of the process. Why? Well, for the simple reason that spoken words are much more powerful than written ones which, in turn, are much more powerful than thinking the same thing. Saying anything out loud sends the words – and their energy – out into the world around us. And, yes, we know it sounds a bit “woo woo” but it works, trust us!
Then, having sent your intentions out into the world and feeling how good it feels, let the impetus slowly build up to nudge you in that direction. Before you know it, you’ll notice changes starting to appear in your life.
So, now it’s over to you.
As always, the choice is yours.
Photograph by unknown author
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