52 Intentional Affirmations:
#10. I am intentionally in the moment! This week I will pause and concentrate on my intention for the people I meet face to face or on the phone.
Each week I’m reporting here on my personal experience in implementing my 52 Intentional Affirmations. These are designed to help us be more intentionally mindful of the impact our intentions have on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. (Click Here to start work on your own 52 Intentional Affirmations).
This week’s affirmation is central to the Intentionomics philosophy – that it is our intentions that will have a direct impact on the potential for each of us to live more happy, flourishing and prosperous lives.
Some years ago now I was chatting via Skype with Australia’s international Kick-Bike champion, and my friend Alan Stewart (http://syntaxmarketing.com.au). Part of Alan’s training regime is to set his alarm each hour to remember to hydrate and refuel his body with the carbs and protein balance he needs to compete at world class level.
Taking a leaf from Alan’s book, this week I set my iPhone alarm to sound every hour on the hour through the day. The reason was to create mindful moments of pattern interrupt, to help me assess my level of intention in whatever I was doing.
At the sounding of each alarm, I stopped and recorded in my journal the answers to the following (which I created as a jpg and set as my iphone home screen for the week):
- How aware was I over the past hour of my intentional actions (the intentions I had when completing tasks, and my intentions for the people who I would directly or indirectly impact during and as a result of completing those tasks)?
- Reflecting on this last hour, what am I grateful for?
- With what I plan to do over the next hour, who will I potentially impact either directly, or indirectly from my actions, and what is/are my intentions for them?
I decided to focus this affirmation only during work hours. Last week was a short working week because of Easter, and my aim was to apply this process by setting the alarm to sound hourly between the hours of 9:00am and 6:00pm (adjusting when I was presenting to clients).
Wow… what a great week I had – not just while I’m reflecting on it here in this post, but more importantly, while I was in the moments, experiencing mindful intention and how it made me feel, how it helped keep me focused on my tasks, how it inspired me to work more ‘in flow’ and recognising that the work wasn’t what I was doing, it was the outcome and results that I was working toward and the impact of those outcomes and results, not just on myself, but on the people those outcomes and results would intentionally impact.
Two questions you might be asking yourself right now could be (1) But surely stopping each hour would break the flow of your day, and (2) Didn’t it take up valuable time while reflecting and recording in your journal?
My answer to the first is Yes! I have to admit that the pattern interrupting was a distraction, and often, quite unwanted. However, the whole idea of this week’s intentional affirmation was to mindfully and with discipline really focus on the impact of my intentions. So even when I didn’t want to stop, I found the discipline to do so.
In answer to the second question, I set the task of reflecting for no more than 3 minutes, every hour on the hour. That was pretty tough. The discipline (and trust in the process) that is required is in those short 3 minutes, to look at each question and just write without analysis… 1 minute on each. So, over each day, I invested approximately 30 minutes of mindful intentional reflection and writing.
I personally wouldn’t want to do this every day – however, now that I’m into a week without the alarm sounding every hour on the hour, what I’m finding (as I’ve still got the questions sitting on a post-it note on the bottom of my computer screen) is I’m almost automatically at the end of stages or phases in my tasks during the day, naturally stopping and wanting to reflect – so although not every hour on the hour, over the last few days, I’m still gaining the results from mindful and intentional reflection which leads to more mindful and intentional actions throughout the day.
Quite simply, mindful Intentional pattern interrupting and reflection works – it’s not soft – and while it is simple to do, it isn’t easy and takes discipline.
And the results will positively surprise you.
I hope you give it a try… at least for one day.