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The Power of Setting Intentions: 5 Reasons Why You and Your Family Should Adopt Intention Setting Practices

POSTED: Monday, February 25, 2019

“Intention setting” has become an increasingly popular practice over the years in the fields of mindfulness and personal development. Whether you choose to adopt a practice on an individual level or as a family as a whole, intention setting is a powerful practice that can provide more direction and greater ease as you work towards your goals.

Here are 5 beneficial reasons why you and your family should adopt intention setting practices:

  1. Intention setting encourages you to be more mindful of what you are doing and where you are headed.
    • In the midst of raising children, working, traffic, taking care of yourself and all the other tasks you have going on in life, it’s sometimes easy to lose track of what you really want to be doing. There are a lot of distractions in our world, and intention setting helps keep you focused.
  2. Intention setting helps you to be more effective with your brain power.
    • You may be familiar with the statement “wherever your intention goes your energy flows” which basically means that your personal energy, or brain power,  follows wherever you direct your thoughts or focus. Being intentional with your thoughts will encourage you to take actions that are more in alignment with what you really want.
  3. Intention setting is easier than, and a great complement to, goal setting.
    • Goal setting, if you are familiar with the SMART model, requires an outcome to specific, measurable, and time oriented. Intentions can be specific, but they can also be more broad or big picture. They can be measurable and time oriented, or as well as ongoing. Intentions can be a bit more flexible in application, which may be helpful when you have a busy life. The way I think of it, if goals are like the pins at the bottom of a bowling alley, intentions are like the arrows or guidelines that keep you focused in the right direction when you are throwing the ball; they help you stay focused and present to what you are working towards.
  4. What you focus on expands
    • Our brains process the world through our own unique set of beliefs, thoughts and filters; they pick up on unique specific details  to affirm the way we hold our reality in our mind. If you are generally a positive and optimistic person, you’ll probably notice that you see pretty positive and optimistic people around you, and have pretty positive experiences. You probably have had an experience where you went into something with an expectation and saw what you wanted to see. If you go into your day thinking it is going to be a long boring day, you are more likely to perceive it a such. If you are not mindful of what you are doing, where you are going and why, you risk getting lost in things that don’t matter or that are not in alignment with what you really want. If you are intentional with what you focus on, you can prime your perception to start picking up on more of what you want.
  5. Setting intentions gives your mind an opportunity to work for you in the background.
    • One of my favorite teachers Dr. Matt James always says, “the conscious mind is the goal setter, the unconscious mind is the goal getter”. In any moment, there are about 2 million bits of information floating around that our brain could pick up on, but we are only able to pick up on about 126 of those bits consciously, the rest is unconscious. The conscious part of your brain is limited in how much it can perceive and focus on. The unconscious is in charge of everything you can’t possibly be aware of in every single moment (i.e. taking in all the things happening around you, processing and reacting, breathing, keeping your body moving and your heart beating, keeping you safe, learning and committing things to memory, and so much more). If you use your conscious mind to set intentions, you can give direction to your unconscious mind so it can work for you beyond your conscious awareness, just as it supports you in breathing and making sure your heart is beating without you having to think about it.

One of the great motivators for setting an intention is that it can be as easy as just thinking about what you want to accomplish in the day before you start taking action.

San Diego local mother of 3 says, “I start by setting the intentions when I wake up for the kind of day I want to have and how I want to feel that day. I find that setting intentions set the mood for the day as I visualize it being great it usually turns out pretty close even when things take a left turn sometimes it still doesn’t seem so bad. Then my more advanced intentions are more specific to what I may have going on in my day. In general, start with setting intentions on what kind of day you will have and how you want to feel. That programs your unconscious mind to look and make your intentions a reality while you’re consciously moving through your day.”

A few years ago I set the intention to improve my relationship with my family. As soon as I committed to that intention, I immediately started to notice different ways that I could take action to begin improving. Once I started making progress, then I started to get more specific and even more intentional about aspects of our relationship I wanted to improve, but it just started with one simple intention based on my desire for positive change.

Interested in setting intentions for yourself or your family?

Check out our Facebook or Instagram for tips and practices for how to set intentions with your family.

 

Jocelyn Burke, MA.Ed., CMP-NLP

Program Director & Coach at Club Xcite

Jocelyn Burke, Program Director

 

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