In these years of attending and chatting with people, I have confirmed something obvious: we are always part of an abstract intention, initially, and we need to keep the focus and decision to take our plans from the role of truth.
Materializing ideas and formulating desires is reduced to this, essentially: decide, bet and act.
Recently, I realized that many people still confuse intentions with directions. This is our nature, to a certain extent. Beat a will, an inspiration, we see the example of someone leading a lifestyle that we long for and fantasize what our life would be if X happened.
This is the beginning of the journey, really. But starting to walk, you know, is not the same as reaching the final destination. This text, innovative short and direct to the standards of the writer of this blog, will take you in a course of 3 exercises to give you more chances to materialize your goals for next year.
Or even this year, who knows?
Be aware of your intentions
The good part of this party starts with our imagination a thousand – and, at this stage, I recommend loosening the chick as much as possible.
The first step in this journey is often the best of all: to dream, to capture some references and to feel in there what is the new reality that you want to bring into your life.
Some questions that can help you make this reflection!
- What are the subtle or grandiose opportunities that have been knocking on my door in recent weeks?
- What sneaky ideas have passed through my head the last few days – and I, without attention, let myself escape?
- What is that Great Impossible Idea that, no matter how much I pretend not to want, always comes poking me in the middle of the night?
- Who was the last person I talked to who had a practice, a habit, or a lifestyle much like what I’d really like to have?
- How does this person live that lifestyle in practice?
- If I needed to choose a single area of focus to develop in my life next year, what would it be?
- What area of focus, if flourished and cultivated, will it bring benefits, joys, and good changes to my life as a whole?
- What repentance, frustration or emotional knot I do not want to charge for next year? And what can I do about it now, this year?
My biggest recommendation for this step is to create a warm, authentic and inner ritual for you to think, reflect on and bathe in your abstract wills.
Early on you may, for example, think that you would love to feel more energized, more disposed and with a more resilient body. This is a health goal at first, and it would be a very good thing to have.
You still do not know how this abstract feeling will happen and materialize in your life now, at that exact point in time and space. Not yet!
You care about that already. For now, we are on the terrain of imagining and wishing.
Set aside an afternoon or a quiet, energized morning to create your own ritual of co-creation.
Another very good idea to fertilize your desires is to enter Pinterest, create a folder called “2019” or “my life in 2019” and save several images that, however crude they may be, contain something (a color, an action, a feeling) that you want very much to live.
Put a song that matches the ideas in this folder and stay for a few hours in this power pool. This will, right now, align with your intentions and facilitate the next steps, I assure you.
Rational Mind to Play
To continue this path and bring your abstract intentions into practice, it is time for you to call your Rational Mind to play and help you group, categorize, and cleans up your creative desires.
Look at the answers you gave to the previous questions, enter your Pinterest folder and start grouping the similar intentions and giving a more palpable format to them.
If you wrote twenty intentions, realize: which of these ideas are sisters? Similar and similar things that could be grouped into one thing? What intentions are the most ardent in you now, today?
Write each of these intentions in the center of a sheet of paper and start mapping.
You can write several things in the center of this sheet. In the realm of intentions, there is no right and wrong.
There is only what moves you, what animates you and the words you find to express it. “Being a more sophisticated person” is an intention. “Feeling good in my own body” is another.
Here are some examples, more or less abstract, to inspire you in the second step of this journey: make a career transition, write a book, spend more time with children, solve the problem Y, create a financial reserve, diversify your card of professional activities, travel more, cultivate hobbies that do you good, take care of your mental health daily, strengthen the bonds with the friends.
The examples are a thousand and they are as diverse as the people who create them.
Write each intention in the center of a different sheet.
You can write as many as you want, but as a good perfectionist, I always reinforce that direction exceeds speed. Do not be tempted to compensate for all the years of missed goals in a single sitting.
It will hurt you more than benefit you, believe me. Now, pulling little sketches to the sides and edges of the sheet, write down some of the tasks, projects or changes you can make to shape that intention in your life.
If you wrote “taking care of my mental health,” for example, focus on that idea for a few minutes and make a rainfall of ways to make it happen in practice.
For now, you are not committing to any of them. You’re just weighing your options.
Think of the phrase from the center of your leaf as the destination where you want to get and the options of projects and tasks from the edges of the leaf as the specific roads and means of transport that you will choose to get there.
If the center of its leaf were a geographical place, it could be South of France, for example.
The projects, then, would be the routes you would take to get there. The ways of arriving in the same place differ greatly from person to person, from one moment of life to another moment of life, from case to case.
Write several project options, connect well with what you really want (and not with society’s conventional ways of doing that particular thing), think about their practical availability (time, money, energy, resources, and help) and do this Rain of ideas for all your intentions.
What is the desired result?
Intentions pushed out and mapped possible paths, now lacking only the cherry of your cake: the practical, firm and the material decision of which is the desired result you want to have in your life.
Now is the time to go back to your mind map, look at the phrase you wrote in the center, and write it again. This time with a clear verb of action and more specific details about his will.
To get one of the examples from above, suppose you wrote: “spend more time with my children.” Intention excellent, noble and very commendable – But now?
When that happens in your week, or in your day, how exactly is it going to be? What is the image that comes to mind when you think about it? In what way will this intention exist, in the same hard, in your daily life? Do you want to devote one hour of your morning to play with your daughter? Or thirty minutes every night reading stories to your child?
Will you book a weekend period (morning, afternoon or evening) to take a special, yummy and creative outing with your children? Or will you start a craft project with them soon this week?
The designs and tasks you wrote at the edges of the sheet, composing your mind map, can help you decide and understand your exact readiness to make that idea come to life. Maybe you work on the weekends and cannot spend all Saturday morning with your kids.
What can you do then? Which way are you available to tread?
Think about that question and answer it on paper, shovel it up to the back of the sheet where you started to make your mind map: what do I want to happen in my life, in a practical and visible way, when that intention is fulfilled? Of all the possible options, to which of them do I have more resources and more availability?
Rewrite your intent by placing this new phrase in the middle of another sheet.
The old abstract will “travel more” has now turned into “making a short trip every month.” Or, if you can, write something more specific: “travel for a whole weekend every month.”
The level of clarity is not as important as the fact that you have reached your next level of clarity, do you?
“Strengthening ties with friends” can turn into several things: “call a friend for lunch every Friday” or “accept a different invitation from my friends at least once a month.”
It could be “call a friend to make a Skype every week” or even “visit so-and-so in the building where they work every Monday.” Once you have done this, look at the projects and tasks you wrote in the first draft of your mind map and edit and cut those that no longer make sense.
Now that your direction is clearer (and the practical, visible result you want to have in your life is enlightened, conscious, and definite), not all path options are more feasible, desirable, or good. What specific projects and tasks will make this new specific result happen?
Depending on the clarity of your goal, two basic tasks can already make that happen. Who’s in charge of this party is you, after all. The only requirement is to make your projects and tasks (the practical, small, and specific steps) as clear as your desired outcome.
So starting Monday morning, you will look at the tasks on your final map and know exactly what you need to do. Good Luck!