What are your intentions? Do you take time to set an intention for the year? For the week? For each day? It is different than a goal. A goal is to get a graduate degree, read 100 books, lose 10 pounds, or something else tangible that you can complete in a set amount of time. Intentions on the other hand are embedded in everything and can be ongoing. They are internal and about your relationship with yourself, others, and the world.
Intentions are a way of paying attention to what you desire or believe to be true. Every single day holds opportunities for a myriad of feelings, learnings, and connections. We choose what to pay attention to in each day, and then how, and if, we will carry it with us forward. So our intentions are creating our vision of reality, keeping us engaged in the present moment, and communicating to others who we are.
A couple years ago, I dated a guy who told me about how he always fell into serious relationships. When I say “fell in”, I mean that. He never entered into relationships with any thoughts about the future and their progression always seemed to be guided by his partner. He was dating a girl in college, and after a couple years, he felt it was just expected that they get married. He didn’t feel strongly about it, didn’t stop to reflect on if it was a good decision, just went with it. As the marriage deteriorated, he did not seem to learn much from it except that he should have gotten out of it earlier than he did. The next woman he dated wanted to get engaged after about a year. Again, he did not even love her, just thought it was time for him to propose. It took his whole family telling him they didn’t like her to keep him from making the same mistake again. In both cases, he did not begin dating with the intention for marriage. He did not take time to think ahead about what he wanted or needed or what the ladies he dated did. As for me, we hadn’t had many dates, yet I could see he was already treating me as if we were in a serious relationship. I could see how he misled girls. And at my age, most women are looking for a man who knows what he wants and can commit to them. My girlfriends (who were experiencing similar dating issues with men) and I agreed that women want a man who is intentional. We want him to set intentions about what he desires in both work and love, and then he expresses it to others. We want him to communicate his intentions clearly.
This idea of being intentional is not just for men in relationships. It is for everyone individually and collectively to set intentions. By setting intentions with others, they become more powerful. Intention is just paying attention to what you want to come. Without intention you are aimless, which may allow you to open yourself up to too much. Any thought could high-jack you and become what you convey to the world as your intention. If you let what surrounds you determine your path, then you are living without purpose or just blindly following others’ purposes. This denotes a lack of awareness of your own self or understanding the power you have in creating your reality.
So what do you think about being intentional?
What intention could you set for your own good today? What do you desire to feel? Who do you desire to be? Think about your relationships. Maybe there is a relationship that you could be more intentional about. Think about your state of being. Perhaps you could cultivate the peace, love, or joy you desire with your intention. Your intentions will help you prioritize how you spend your time and energy. Choose the energy you want to put out into the world by directing it with intention.