I’m not sure about you, but I grew up hearing things like “what is your goal?” or “what are your objectives” or “what’s your mission?” And I came to realize I couldn’t truthfully or adequately answer these, as I didn’t yet know my intention. What is intention?
© Clare Munn 2008-2011
To me, it is about commitment and “energy-truth.” It is first understanding the reason why I am about to do/want to do/say something, coupled with the understanding of my desired outcome. And the active part is a laser-focused energy on accomplishing the intended purpose. For example, if my intention is to do my best, and if my goal is winning a game of squash, I will focus with laser beam focus on both my goal and my intention. If I have no intention of winning, even if my goal was to win, I would just wing it and see what happens.
Once I know my intention then I can better understand how to list out my goals or objectives.
In business, I have heard Fortune 100 CEO’s talk about Goals, Missions and Objectives, but I have never heard them talk about Intention. Why is this so? Why do we feel okay applying intention to our personal lives, but not necessarily to our business lives?
Why can people say, “My intention is to lose 10 pounds and therefore my goal would be to work out 5 times a week for the next 3 weeks,” but they can’t say, “my intention is to have fun at work and therefore my goal is to go out for lunch or a walk with my colleagues at least twice a week.” Instead, it is always, “My goal is to get through my to-do list today.”
Here is an example of how I mess up with this:
I am often loudly declaring apologies for being late. Even today, I watched myself spiral down the clock’s anxiety ladder, and prayed for magic to occur, such as crossing town in Manhattan in 7 minutes during lunch hour. And so on… I knew my goal was to be there at 2PM, but I clearly wasn’t going to be. So…finally I asked myself, (don’t tell my therapist) “Self, what is your true intention here? Do you want to be on time for this meeting or not? Is this important or not? Do you think you are more important than whom you are meeting and able to be late? Or do you just have a challenged sense of location and time?”
After looking at all this I see my intention was really skewed. Because 2PM was a doctor’s appointment (just a general check up) I realized I was not putting my health as a very important goal amongst my daily objectives. Therefore, my truth was not about respecting my self worth. I’d fallen into the cave of only goals and objectives and hadn’t even knocked upon Intentions door. If I had, I would have seen that my Intention is of course to look after myself and be responsible about doing so. But I didn’t ask.
It is hard to remember all of life’s do’s and don’t’s, but I really do think it could be quite easy if we always remembered that the first step is about understanding Intention. Once we have thought of that, the rest pretty much falls into place.
How To Prepare For Intention Planning:
- Why are you about to do what you are about to do?
- What interests you about it?
- What would you rather be doing?
- Do you have to do this?
- What have you promised to deliver?
- Why did you promise to deliver? Job? Moral obligation? Ego? Other?
Once You have 1-6 answered then let’s assume you are now understanding why you are about to do this ‘task.’
- Make sure your intentions are clear to you
- Make sure your intentions are clear to relevant others
- Help others understand your goals after your intentions are made clear.
- Then go to the project management basics.
- Have fun.
I hope I remember to walk my type.