Living with Intention
Finding inspiration to elevate your life and the lives of others From Blue Cross Blue Shield of VermontLiving with intention can take many forms. There is no right or wrong way to live with intention, it simply means purposely opening your heart and mind to the world around you.
An intention can be:
I am going to hike every Sunday with my family regardless of the weather. This intention creates reverence for place as well as invokes tenacity, grit and endurance.
Or perhaps your intention is simple and attributable to many situations like, I am going to be present in all I do by ignoring my device and putting it on silent mode.
Maybe, your intention is something as simple as I am going to approach each day and each person with kindness (intention: be kind) because I don’t know what someone else is living through.
Regardless of what language you choose and how you anchor your intention, living with intention can help shift your relationship to the world. In our busy, fast-paced lives we start to drown in a culture full of commodities, saturated with the fear of missing out, and topped with the shallow social media blitzes that move us away from our central, most human selves. Living with intention allows you to find your compass, to move through all of the modern stresses and distractions with purpose and grit.
Below, you’ll find tips and questions to help you live with intention. These tips are merely guidelines and are not prescriptive. They come from our own lived experience – the small nuggets of truth we’ve gleaned from our own practice of living with intention. Think of this as a jumping-off point to get you motivated and working towards understanding what living with intention means to you.
Catherine Hamilton, vice president of consumer services and planning shares her experience of living with intention
“As a leader, I use the power of intention daily. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont our mission supports all aspects of the customer experience. We want to ensure access to high-quality health care services and medications at the lowest possible cost for all Vermonters. This is the “why” of our work. But this also means, I need to be an intentional leader, to keep my co-workers and teammates motivated and engaged to be their best selves.
Every day, while getting ready for work, I set a personal intention which serves as the “how” I will show up as a leader to advance our important mission. Some examples of my intentions include: “Be fearless,” “Be present,” “Be compassionate,” “Be strong,” and “Be accepting.” I use daily intentions as a way to hold myself accountable. My intentions serve as my barometer. And, I check back at the end of the day with myself to see how I approached my day.
Setting my daily intention is as important as my cup of tea. It energizes me and helps me stay motivated and positive throughout the day. I also practice yoga daily, which is a good way to “seal” my intentions and “reset” at the end of a busy workday.”
Questions to ask yourself to help set your intention
Who do I want to be in my daily, waking life?
How do I want to approach the world?
What are my core values?
What do I want to achieve in the short term?
What do I want to achieve in the long term?
Who do I have in mind when I start to think about living intentionally?
What inspires me?
What do I want to have more of in life?
What do I want to have less of in life?
How does gratitude show up in my life?
Tips to remember as you start to consider living with intention
Setting intentions is about recognizing what balances you and then pinpointing the actions you need to take to honor your intention and elevate your inner being.
An intention is a state of being that connects you to your greater purpose. Reverence, or a deep respect for place, space, people or creatures, provides a framework for setting intentions and living your brightest, most connected life.
Intentionality requires accountability. How will you hold yourself accountable in order to honor your intention? Consider your best friend or your partner. Who will hold you accountable for living with intention?
Don’t beat yourself up if you have trouble sticking to your intention -- it happens to all of us. Allow yourself to be fully human, present and loved.
Remember, intent is fuel for change. Goals can be crafted, honed and shared, but without intent all of the hard-won planning can fall flat. Be certain to communicate your intentions to others and make sure your goals support your intention.