I no longer set New Year’s resolutions. I think it is far better to set intentions. If we follow the latest developments in neuroscience, we can rest assured that our brain, if used correctly, can be a very powerful tool. Although, we currently only use a fraction of its capability and get caught up in the noise of our self-doubts, limiting beliefs and repeat dialogues.
Setting an intention is key to bringing about a change or a desired state or goal. The various synonyms for intention are purpose, aim or plan. Setting intentions can play a key role in activating our subconscious mind to help bring about a goal or desired result. The word ‘intent’ originated from the Latin word ‘intendere’, which means to stretch towards.
My first encounter with intention was a few years ago when I read the book ‘Synchrodestiny’ by Deepak Chopra. I was trying to find my purpose in life. I knew I wanted to leave corporate life but had no idea what type of business I wanted to create. I learnt that the best way forward was to firstly intend to find my purpose and then to place lots of attention on the activity. I woke up every day for a month and said the words; I intend to find my purpose. It became like an anchor for me. It reminded me that I needed to intend and galvanise my attention towards that intent; for instance, attending courses and reading books. Which is exactly what I did when I attended a talk by Chrissie Rucker, the founder of the White Company, titled ‘How to become your own boss’. Ever since then I have been sold on this idea of intention, as opposed to setting resolutions. Two years later I left corporate life, I wrote a book about authenticity in leadership and started helping organisations and individuals to transform their approach to leadership and culture.
Why don’t you set a powerful intention in 2019 to enhance your success this year? It could be an intention to focus on being a more transformational, inspiring leader. Therefore, focussing more of your attention on brainstorming with your team, defining your shared values and team strengths together or my ultimate favourite – creating an engaging team purpose that creates a sense of belonging and increases performance and trust.
Going one step further, it is even more powerful and compelling when we help our subconscious mind through visualisation in tandem with setting the intentions. This can be done by creating a vision board. A few years ago, I facilitated a very entertaining team activity, where I moved away from setting objectives with my finance team in a boring spreadsheet, towards a team activity on visualising our goals in three different areas:
What we wanted to achieve
• In our own growth and development,
• For each of our individual teams and
• The greatest obstacle facing our individual areas
Notice the focus on the more ‘traditionally soft leadership and team dynamic areas. The activity was a huge success, and we really bonded as a team. I believe it is because we shared so much more than just the key business goals we wanted to achieve. We really connected with each other on the greatest obstacles facing us and also immediately offered our support to each other – a huge unexpected win.
My four-step approach to achieving success and goals more easily:
• Set an intention for the desired outcome
• Repeat the intention often, at least 21 days to make it stick
• Align your attention to the intention through activities
• Create a vision board to depict the future state you want to create
Don’t get left behind. Take your leadership to the next level in 2019.