I’m an intentional guy. I’ve made three major career shifts over 30 years, each bringing new things into my life. I pour tons of intention and energy into my relationships. And as a million miler traveler, I never hit the road without checking in with my intentions.
What about you? How intentionally do you move through your days? I’ve found that most people can benefit by adopting what I call the “Intention Habit.” Simply put, it’s taking a few moments before an activity or engagement and asking yourself some version of the question: “What is my intention for this conversation?” or “What do I want to have at the end of this engagement that I don’t have now?”
It’s that simple. And incredibly powerful. Here are four areas where I find the "Intention Habit" makes a huge difference.
- Before meetings: Take a few moments before every meeting to make sure you are clear on your intention for participating. Align with key colleagues, if appropriate, by sharing and comparing intentions. If you are not clear on why you're attending a meeting, you're wasting your time (and possibly others’).
- Before conversations: When you enter a conversation with a clear intention of why you’re about to connect, you’ll be amazed by how much richer the engagement can be. This is true whether catching up with a friend, meeting with your boss or colleagues, or even calling your mother (!). I promise that just a few seconds pondering the “why” of your upcoming engagement will be game-changing.
- Before business travel: If you’re making the effort to travel for business, you’d better be sure you know what you are intent on achieving in exchange for your time, energy and money. Define your goals/intentions -- alone or with colleagues. Always hit the road with a clear and prioritized list of what you want to have upon your return to the office.
- Before vacation travel: This is my favorite place for intention setting. Vacationing is such an intentional act. You’re taking the time to do something different with your days, whether disconnecting from your world, reconnecting with loved ones, learning something new or indulging your senses. Raise your awareness by getting clear on your intentions and sharing them with your travel companions. I never take a trip without doing this, either on the way to the airport or on the outbound flight. It’s an amazing habit to build.
As a personal and professional coach I support clients in all sorts of transformations: Building a new business, finding more satisfying work, becoming a better leader or making more money. Whatever the change clients are seeking, they always find a faster path to achieving it when they go through their days with intention.
Here’s to building new habits!