Intentions

*image courtesy of quotable cards.

I live my life with lists, including ‘to do’ lists – many of which never get done even though I love ticking the items off when I’ve completed them!  If I have an event coming up, out comes a spreadsheet and I meticulously plan what items I need for the event to be a success.  A family party will inspire menus and shopping lists and a schedule for cooking, freezing and things to do on the day.  Holidays elicit lists of things to purchase and pack and Christmas requires a list of cards to make and send.  Why then do I fall down when it comes to scheduling tasks and goals necessary to build a business?

It would appear that building my business falls way down in my list of priorities – somewhere behind catching up with emails and facebook, my favourite blogs, recorded TV shows, days out with hubby and, when things get really bad, housework!

So inspired by ‘A Year With Myself’, I think it’s time to get organised.  To give myself a framework that will keep me straight and guide my posts.  And since Monday starts the week, I thought that would be a good day to set an intention for the week.  On Wednesday, I will participate in Amy Palko’s Beautiful Beliefs Project and on Friday I will reflect on the week and consider what gifts I have received over the previous seven days.  Tuesdays and Thursdays will be left for me to ponder what takes my interest on those days!  And most importantly, I will retain a bit of flexibility just in case there’s a bit of a cock up!

At this juncture it might be helpful to explore what an intention is and how it differs from a goal.  A goal is defined as “the aim or object towards which an endeavour is directed”, whereas intention is defined as “an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result” or “purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct” (Collins Concise Dictionary).

Dana Theus gives a simple personal example. “You may have a goal to leave the office every day by 6pm to spend time with your family. Great goal, but inevitably, if you’re in a leadership position, business intervenes with – stuff. If all you have is your goal, every time the business hands you a stinker, you fail, feel bad, piss off your spouse/boss etc. Who wants goals like that? Alternatively if you have an intention to spend as much quality time with your family as possible, you will still have to deal with those inconvenient work problems, but you have no guilt about coming into the office 30 minutes late the next morning to make time to take your kid to school”.  She suggests that by meeting your intention, you’re giving yourself the flexibility to deal with life as it shows up while still achieving success on your own terms and that intentions give you permission to achieve success where others only see options to fail by not meeting the goal. This distinction is important for someone like me for whom failure feeds into the whole ‘I’m not good enough’ frame of mind!

So, without further ado and it being Monday, today I will set my intention for this week – to give myself time, ahead of everything else, to write.  To research my topics so that I come fully prepared and present to the posts that I write, and to make sure that my readers get the best of me.  Oh, and to ensure that I get two Father’s day cards made before the weekend!

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