Want to be successful? Set an intention

How setting an intention can help you achieve your goals and make good things happen
Setting an intention written on collage background in Common Exception colours
Last year I shared my thoughts about why — instead of focusing on goals in January you should set an intention instead. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have goals, because you definitely should, but an intention helps you think more strategically about your goals, guiding your decision-making throughout the year. Waiting to set your goals also means that you’re less likely to be influenced by other people’s goals and they’ll be authentically your own. Crucially, you’ll also have the energy to start implementing them once you set them — because a goal can’t be achieved unless you work at it.

What’s an intention?

An intention is a simple guide for how you intend to lead your life. It can be a word or a phrase that is meaningful to you. Last year I had a few and added to them during the year as life changed for me. The first was honesty in sharing my journey, and later in the year I had a phrase ‘Lou in the making’ to remind me of both my creativity and that I’ll always be a work in progress and that’s great! Flow was also another word that I thought about to guide my decision-making. This year my word is Create.

Give your year a theme

The artist Hanna Benihoud recently shared her thoughts on the power of having an intention. Hanna uses it as a theme for the year, guiding her to make strategic decisions, with her previous words being Yes, Trust and her latest Build. I hadn’t thought about it like this before but I love this idea of an intention being a theme, and how it might not only shape your mindset but your work as well.

How to set an intention

It’s not complicated to set an intention but it might take some time to think of a word or phrase that’s right for you. If you’re having trouble thinking of some words, it’s time to get inspired! Pick up a magazine and start ripping or cutting out words that are meaningful to you. You’ll soon find your word or phrases. You can also join us at one of our workshops throughout the year.

Make it real

The real trick in making your intention work for you is to think about it daily. If you need a reminder — and most of us do — put it down in writing and place it somewhere you’ll see it every day. You could put it on a post-it note but I like to make it something I want to look at and that will inspire me every time I look at it. If you’re keen for inspiration, sign up to our mailing list to find out when our next Setting an Intention workshop is.

You can set an intention at any time

Missed setting an intention in January? Don’t worry. You can set an intention at any time of the year, or create a new intention if life changes or the words are no longer working for you. The most important thing is to have some positive words guiding you, making you feel empowered every time you look at them.

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