Intention, defined as: “An aim or plan.” by Oxford (aka Google’s dictionary). How often do you go about your day with a particular target in mind? I have found that the more routine an activity has become, the greater chance my aim is forgotten.
Mundane or Meaningful?
A silly but useful example is something like showering – okay perhaps this is no longer the habit it was pre-pandemic, but it still (hopefully) is a daily…? occurrence. Most likely we are not declaring, “I AIM TO BE CLEAN!” before we jump on in to the shower. More likely we go through the motions half asleep and be singing to ourselves the entire time! Therefore, setting an intent for this type of activity might not be necessary.
On the opposite end of the spectrum let us consider the annual review with your leader at work. In most cases, this type of formal conversation is THE chance to highlight your strengths and improvement areas. Typically in hopes of receiving feedback, recognition and even a promotion. This example shows the importance of being prepared and confident at the very least! Setting a specific intent for this type of an appointment is a game-changer! Going to your annual review with specific intents empowers you to stay focused, confident and prepared!
1. Build a relationship with my leader
2. Identify two areas of opportunity
3. Learn which of my abilities my leader thinks is my biggest strength
In between these two extremes, there are the ever changing activities of our day and specific goal- related tasks. As easy as it could be to complete our day to day activities, checking them off the list; being deliberately intentional about getting the most out of each activity leads to a more fulfilling day (and therefore life!). It is my personal experience that setting intentions by appointment or to-do allows me to give my full attention to each activity. It raises my energy level, allowing me to go from one activity or meeting to the next confidently.
Activities with set intentions have greater meaning and thus better outcomes than those that do not.
Let us use our previous example of the Annual Review; below are listed four more intentions that might apply better to your situation:
- Compare notes of self-evaluation and organization’s evaluation.
- Gain alignment on growth opportunities and strengths.
- Highlight the results accomplished and aim for a promotion.
- Ask for a recommendation to start applying for positions outside the company.
With each of these intentions comes the need for individual preparation, potentially differing time requirements and will result in different outcomes.