The Benefits of Daily Intentional Practice
Practicing intention, like a muscle in your body requires training and discipline. It's more than just having a vision. It's taking that vision and turning it into your dream life. It's finding your true wants, wishes and dreams and manifesting those on a daily basis. Sometimes its an awkward feeling, having to focus your attention on you, figuring out what makes you blossom. I will be the first to say, its not an easy task, but with time, consistency and a lot of patience, it actually works.
I read quite a few books that all have one thing in common...how to be the best version of yourself. The question at hand is this, "If what I truly want requires work, how do I focus my intention to reflect my inner most desires?" After all, if we want to achieve success in our lives, we have to retrain our minds to envision accomplishments as "if they've already happened"-Rachel Hollis (New York Times Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker). Why this particular exercise? Well, when you tell your mind of all the things you've achieved (even though they are still a working goal), its as if your brain goes into overdrive. Because you're telling yourself this already happened, it signals a part of your brain to complete tasks, almost like a mental check list. Once you're reached your goal, you feel a sense of pride. A feeling of self-satisfaction.
Here's another great example. At the moment, I am currently reading, "HUSTLE, BELIEVE, RECEIVE" by Sarah Centrella, a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. Her book has taught me that manifesting your dream life, is like re-creating your own personal movie. The more you write down and envision your best life over and over again in your head, the closer you are to living that life. Dan Felix, COO and Co-founder of Billionaires Row said it best, "You have to believe that you already have what you've been longing for, because then you can become it. Train yourself to turn these things into habits, and that will turn into success." It sounds silly and so far out in left field, but the only person stopping you from really putting your own success first is you. So why not try? What harm could it do?
Some might say the problem with getting into a deliberate practice, is we live in a society that constantly reminds us that, "There just isn't enough time in a day to make room for that sort of nonsense." I call bullshit on that one! In fact, studies prove that when you set your intentions for the day, your sense of purpose becomes much clearer, and your mind becomes less cluttered with negative thoughts. Thoughts that might even sabotage your dreams. Now, that's pretty deep. The practice of managing your mind, is where it starts, and the key motivation to build the future you've always wanted. Setting your intentions can be so self-rewarding if you let it become a daily ritual.
There are many benefits to daily intentional practice. Some examples would be meditation, keeping a daily journal and writing down or saying positive affirmations out-loud, practicing yoga, working out, being out-doors...these are a few effective ways that you can incorporate daily intention into your lives (or whatever activity is best suited for your practice).
My daily intentional practice goes a little something like this...waking up around 5:45 a.m., making a cup of coffee or hot tea, sitting comfortably on my over-sized couch, writing down five things I am grateful for, and then jotting down 10 dreams "as if they've already happened-(this exercise is from the START TODAY JOURNALS which you can purchase, along with two of my favorite books "Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing," by Rachel Hollis at https://thehollisco.com/).
Next, I set at least three intentions for the day, jot down three positive affirmations, preceding with 20-30 minutes of reading and finally finish with a 5-10 minute meditation session on my living room floor. Before I end my meditation, I always finish with this phrase, "I have more than enough to provide for myself and my family for today." By the time I completed this morning ritual, I've had at least an hour to myself, uninterrupted, and I can productively start my day!
Just to prove that this method actually worked, at least for me anyways...two years ago when I first began keeping a journal, every morning when I'd open my notebook, the very first sentence on my top 10 list of dreams I made happen was, "My husband and I purchased our dream home and we finally have a backyard for the kids to play in." We had, had our shares of ups and downs for the past five years prior to us buying a home last year. It was heartbreaking every time we thought we were close, but something always came up. It was a struggle knowing that we couldn't afford to buy a house. But, I had hope that one day we would be laughing around the dinner table in our dining room soon enough, so I kept my dream of becoming a homeowner alive through the power of intention. Let me tell you faith came knocking on our door last year in February.
After countless searches and open houses, our realtor wanted to show us one more house on the market. My husband was hesitant to go, but I convinced him otherwise. We weren't as picky with the layout of the house, as long as it was a three bedroom ranch with plenty of room in the backyard for the kids. When we drove to the address and parked in the driveway, I immediately felt a sense of peace while walking up the steps to the front door. When we walked in, something told me to check out the dining room first, and there in front of me was a Cable & Nelson piano propped up against the wall. As a kid growing up, I played the piano, and it had been years since I dabbled in it. Rob came around the corner after hearing me play a few chords. I looked at him and said, "This is our house." Two weeks later, we put a deposit on our home and in March of 2019, Rob and I officially became homeowners! Its amazing what the power of intention can do!
Something that stuck with me, after reading a blog by Career Coach, Chrysta Bairre said this, "Being intentional means you are purposeful in word and action. It means you live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. Making thoughtful choices, and actively interacting and engaging with your life; embracing instead of expecting." Setting your intentions is an important practice, because it gives us the boost we need to start making changes. Changes that allow us to create more than just a fairy tale image of the life we dream of, but turn it into a more permanent and meaningful lifestyle. The secret is simple, live and practice with intention.