For about 10 years, I wasn’t intentional with my health. I wasn’t out of control or ballooned to an unhealthy weight.
I just ate what I desired with the portions I desired at the moment. I exercised some. I ran a few distance races but not enough to get my health where I really wanted.
I was a little overweight. I had occasional heartburn. I wasn’t in great shape and I wasn’t as confident in how I looked.
In 2015 I wanted a change. I decided to get intentional with my health. Fast forward 6 months and I was 25+ pounds less and via consistent workouts, was in better shape and the occasional heartburn vanished.
The difference was my intention. I set intentions with my health and executed a plan.
Intention setting is clearly stating what you want to experience and achieve through your actions. This can be related to your work, personal life, dreams, thoughts, mindfulness practice, or whatever you choose. It works as long as it is clearly defined and customized to your life.
Being intentional is important because it causes you to focus and it allows your mind to work for you.
When you set an intention, you are creating a focus for yourself. When I decided to take control of my health, I set an intention around being the person who sticks to a nutrition and exercise program. With that intention, I was much more able to withstand the temptations to veer off the course.
When we set an intention, we also make our minds work for us in pursuit of our goals instead of against us.
Our brains have a system called reticular activation system. This system is responsible for our wakeful state, ability to focus, our fight-or-flight response and our perception of the world.
This brain system signals to our mind – even unconsciously – what is most important based on what it THINKS we want. Intentions are instructions to our mind. It tells our mind what to go out and look for, how to process the world and creates the mindset that we need to be successful in what we want to do.
When I set intentions on my health in 2015, I found that it was much easier to stick to a nutrition plan and be consistent in working out. I didn’t crave the “old food routine” that I had and was able to achieve the results.
7 years later, I’m still intentional and my health has been consistent.
It’s said that our conscious mind is our goal setter. We create our intentions consciously. It’s said, too, that our unconscious mind is our goal getter because it guides us to do the activities and find the best results.
Here’s a really quick and easy intention setting exercise that you can do anytime in only a couple minutes.
- What area of life do I want to focus on right now?
- Why is that important to me?
- What do I want to achieve?
- How will I know when I have it?
This quick exercise will help you determine what you want, why you want it and what the results will look like. This gives you a clear picture to set-up your action plan to go get it.