“The ancestor to every action is a thought.” - Wayne W. Dyer, author of The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way
If the “ancestor to every action is a thought”, then it’s incredibly important to be mindful of our mindset in any situation, whether it be related to life or to work.
It’s increasingly apparent that our thoughts drive our actions, which ultimately drive the outcome of our entire day, or month, or year. You hear a lot these days about mindfulness and starting your day with a set intention, but what does that mean to you as an entrepreneur?
"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible"
- Tony Robbins, American author and life & business strategist
What is the difference between setting intentions and setting goals? How can you harness the power of intention for your benefit? Let us tell you how!
Using the Power of Intention as an Entrepreneur
Subconscious Smackdown: Goals vs. Intentions
Goal setting is defining a specific outcome in your future that you want, then creating a plan of action for achieving that goal and following that plan to completion.
Sounds great, right? While we love goals and think they are important for business endeavors and life plans, they can’t be the only thing you rely on when you wake up in the morning. Future goals can sometimes take us out of our current moment and encourage us to focus on what we don’t have (I bet you didn’t know there was a negative side effect to having goals!)
Plus, if you don’t achieve your goal in a timely manner (or at all), you can find yourself feeling like you failed. This isn’t a good or a productive feeling, especially for an entrepreneur! So, along with goals, we recommend setting a daily intention.
An intention is designed to open you up and bring positivity to your current state of consciousness. There is also no limit to intention setting - they can be about anything. Seriously! Intentions aren't necessarily meant to be tangible or have a specific action take place like a goal.
Some examples of intentions to set could be:
- Finding balance
- Open your mind and heart
- Embrace change
- Stay steady, calm and focused
Compared to goal setting, intentions can be a little vague. The power of intention lies in the fact that it’s meant to center you as you begin your day - not necessarily turn into one more thing on your long list of “to-dos”.
Brain Benefits of Intention
We keep mentioning “the power of intention”, but you’re probably wondering what we mean.
What benefits could this seemingly vague practice have? Why should you add this to your busy morning routine?
Setting intentions before doing anything else will help you to de-stress and get out of your own head. By taking the time to write down your intention for the day in a notebook or typing it into your phone, you’re taking your mind off of your problems and getting rid of any perceived limitations you might have.
As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly faced with new obstacles and tasks you may be unfamiliar with. By setting an intention first thing, you’re clearing your head and giving your busy brain a break. You’re also establishing a designated path for your day.
Once you’ve said “I intend to stay in the moment today” - for example - you might find yourself completing your tasks with more focus instead of getting distracted by new emails or text messages. If you bring intention into your goal-driven task list, you’ll have new motivation and a better focal point.
Getting Started with Intention-Setting
Obviously, the power of intention can only be yours if... you actually do it!
You don’t have to attend any seminars to get a handle on this new routine (unless you want to, of course). Since we recommend setting your intentions first thing in the morning, we have created this simple routine to get you started:
- Brew a hot (or iced) beverage of your choice
- Put your phone or computer on silent to eliminate distractions for a few minutes
- Open a notebook to a fresh page
- Consider what’s been on your heart and mind
- Write down your intention for this particular day (and keep it positive)
- Put the intention somewhere you’ll see it throughout the day
- Continue to be awesome and get to work!
Sometimes it might be difficult to think of an intention, especially when you’re first starting this practice. Here’s a great list from Mindful Minutes that will help you to get inspired with your intention setting. We recommend printing it out and keeping it on your desk as a reminder to always start your day with this new outlook.
By combining the power of intention with focused goal-setting, you can’t be stopped!
We hope you’ve found this breakdown to be helpful. Now get out there and kick a** and make yourself proud.
If you need help reaching your marketing goals, schedule a discovery call with us today!
This blog post was originally published in September 2017. Updated August 2021.