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What are your INTENTIONS?

by Mia M. Jackson

Intention: A determination to act in a certain way.

Set 'em up!

Often coaches and parents will instruct their teams/kids to set clear intentions before embarking upon a challenge or activity to “set your intentions.” The three words can impact outcome in a competition or a personal exercise in critical ways.  A DISCOVER article titled, “15-minute writing exercise closes the gender gap in university level physics” examined the results from a simple writing class administered at the beginning of a semester-long physics class.

With nothing but his fifteen-minute exercise, performed twice at the beginning of the year, he virtually abolished the gender divide and allowed the female physicists to challenge their male peers. … The exercise is designed to affirm a person’s values, boosting their sense of self-worth and integrity, and reinforcing their belief in themselves. For people who suffer from negative stereotypes, this can make all the difference between success and failure.” Ed Yong

Let’s assume that this study is valid and correct – how can we put the practice of “intention” to use every day? When you sit down to begin your day, do you start it with set strategy or do you tackle the first thing that pops up in your inbox?  At one point, I found myself transferring tasks from one day to the next with few being actually crossed off. Clearly, a task list isn’t intention.

Intention v. Tasks

Setting about your day with intent is NOT sitting down with a to-do list. As per the definition, it’s more about the attitude and determination with which you go about your business.

  • Task: I will file all my papers.
  • Intention: I will better organize information.
  • Task: I will answer all my voicemails.
  • Intention: I will respond appropriately and respectfully.
  • Task: I will read the pile of articles on my desk.
  • Intention: I will review and learn from available information.

Your intentions are yours. No one else need know about them; however, sharing them helps some remain focused. Most importantly, when we set intentions, we also say that we believe in our ability to succeed.

Set ’em!




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This entry was posted on 12/05/2010 by in Cup of Coffee.
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