So far in this mini guide to personal transformation, we’ve looked at the power of affirmations and the importance of setting goals and list writing. Setting your daily intention is essentially a technique that combines elements of both and can really help in the quest to make things happen. It is a great way to empower yourself to reach the milestones that together will take you to your big goals.
What is a daily intention?
A daily intention is a statement that sets out your intention for the day ahead. It defines what you intend to do, as opposed to what you plan to do – a subtle but significant difference. The word intend evokes determination, will power and resolve – all essential to achieving success and transformation.
Whilst it is great to start each day with a plan, for many people this is as far as the journey goes. A plan means nothing if you are not compelled to deliver on it – otherwise it is like a car without fuel and will do nothing towards getting you to your destination.
A plan is a great way to identify goals for the day, however a daily intention differs in that it provides the motivation, determination and sense of purpose needed to follow through on things – execution.
What does a daily intention look like?
A daily intention has a very simple format. It is a statement that is structured as follows:
“I intend to complete (specific task) by (specific time) today.”
“I intend to finish my article on cognitive therapy by 7pm today.”
The statement must begin with I intend, and must include a specific, measurable task. The intention does not necessarily have to be to complete something in its entirety – if you are writing a book, for example, this is best broken down into smaller units – pages and chapters. So as you progress through your project, your daily intention might evolve as follows:
“I intend to complete three pages of my book by 5pm today.”
“I intend to complete chapter one of my book by 5pm today.”
“I intend to complete my book by 5pm today.”
This act of separating the overall objective into manageable, measurable milestones is key to making the project achievable and realistic. It should be applied to all big objectives.
One final word of advice – steer clear of the minutia. Whilst it would be beautiful to have a single item on your daily to do list, life sadly doesn’t tend to work out this way. The harsh reality is that there will always seem to be a million and one small tasks competing for your attention.
The key to using your daily intention effectively is to use it for the big goal, which is often also the hardest one to commit your time to. So when you make your intention, make a commitment to deliver on it regardless of what else comes up.
How do I use my daily intention?
Assuming that you plan for the day ahead by writing your to do list in the previous evening, this is a great time to write your daily intention. Leave one free line before you start your to do list. Once you’ve made your list for the next day, decide on your intention and write it clearly and boldly on the first line of the day. Use capitals or a highlighter to make it stand out f you want to! Don’t use a red pen though – this is known to have a negative psychological effect.
When you get up in the morning and check your to do list, state your daily intention out loud and with conviction. If you use daily affirmations, then state your intention directly after you have completed your affirmations – after all, they are very closely related.
Be sure to also read the other articles in our series on techniques for transformation:
Do you use daily intentions? What do your daily intentions look like? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!