One of the cornerstones of my executive coaching process with clients is to establish clarity about their intentions – what they really want, in all aspects of their work and life.
A Goal or Intention
For me, intentions are different than goals.
Goals are specific and measurable; often linear in nature. They are transactional.
Intentions are guideposts; beacons upon which we can set our sights; navigating our way, not necessarily in a straight path, but always a benchmark leading to our desired outcomes. Intentions are often transformational.
Having a clear intention provides a future vision that is the backdrop for taking action. Are these actions aligned and consistent with the intention or not? How will XYZ contribute to or detract from the intention? Actions can then become a choice, rather than a mandate. Actions that are aligned with an intention are made by choice, without guilt, without judgment and without pressure.
Intentions are very personal and can be aligned with a higher purpose or aspirations. Again, transformational, not transactional. Oftentimes, people create intentions about health and wellness, their leadership practices, who they are in their relationships or their spiritual practices.
Aligning Intentions for Results
As part of the coaching process, my clients create a series of “key words” that are reminders about their intentions so they can stay on track and gradually transform and alter their outcomes.
There is a sense freedom, integrity and joy that comes with making choices that are aligned with an intention.
Introspection and Reflection
Intentions require introspection and reflection.
One of my clients reflected on her experience of creating intentions in a profound and powerful way:
“Having intentions has changed the way I participate in the world.
Intentionality invites alignment and brings integrity.
I show up differently.
Having intentions gives others the opportunity to show up too.
An intention is the bridge between thought and a new reality.
I don’t have to know ‘the how’ or have all the answers.”
I am struck by the clarity and the profound impact that creating intentions has had on her and invite you to explore the possibility of intentions for yourself.
7 Ideas for Creating Intentions
- Inter-dependence – rather than strive for independence, which can cause isolation, look for opportunities to collaborate or have inter-dependence with others towards a common goal.
- Identify – two or three areas of your life to create intentions that will bring you joy and peace of mind.
- Introspection – take time for self-reflection through guided meditation or prayer
- Inquiry – Intend to be curious – ask questions. Don’t make assumptions.
- Imagination – create an intention to day dream. Allow your imagination to flourish.
- Involve – others in your intentions as appropriate. They can support you in your transformation and you may inspire them to do the same.
- Invest – in yourself – in your personal, professional and spiritual growth. The more you invest in yourself, the more you will have to contribute to others.
Marty Stanley, Certified Speaking Professional, is a catalyst for change. She speaks, writes and consults on how to create intentions to envision a new future and put the action steps in place to get results that are empowering, regenerating and sustainable. It’s time to Be the Change. Call Marty today: 858-432-6764 or 816-695-5453 firstname.lastname@example.org
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