Have you ever established a habit that was really useful and then realized over time that you have let it drop?

This week I am returning to actually writing my intention for the day or an important call or meeting. I started to use this tool in 2008. Now, I can envision the framework and cover the bases in my mind. What I’m considering is what gets lost without the pen-to-paper activity. Do I think and intend quite as clearly?

Any intention is made up of four aspects: 1) how you think, 2) how you feel, 3) what you do, and 4) what you have as a result. The first two occur “inside” and the second two are the “outside” happenings. Click on the image and download a printable copy or get it hereTake five minutes at the beginning of your day to set your intention.

Start your planning with an overarching outcome for the day or meeting/call. Put that at the top of your worksheet.

Think and Feel On The Inside

Most of us are conditioned early in life to believe that we are not in control—especially of how we feel. And, I agree. Feelings seem to appear and take hold of us. Anyone who has tried to meditate very quickly realizes that our thinking is constant and automatic. Just try to stop thinking.

In fact, thinking and feeling are highly integrated. We Think-Feel or Feel-Think all the time. It is sometimes hard to separate our what we feel from what we are thinking.

What I’m suggesting today is that we can all be far more intentional about how we want to think and feel given the overarching outcome we want to produce.

Have And Do On The Outside

Next, isolate the 4-5 key outcomes that you want for the day or interaction. What would success produce? Think broadly and say what you truly want. What decision? What understanding? What information? What debate of differing opinions? These “wants” feed your overarching intention at the top of the page.

Lastly, identify what you need to do to stimulate, contribute to, or allow the outcomes. Note, I said LAST.  That is because 1) we usually we start with what we need to do and ignore the other three quadrants and 2) what we do should be decided based on what we want and how we intend to think and feel.

Take five minutes now and either use the framework or create a 4X4 and make an intention for your day. At the end of the day, note your successes and what got in the way.  Let me know what you experience.