Do you set intentions for your work? Your life? What impact would intention-setting have in your life? In this post, I share 5 ways I set intentions in my work – and life.
Since early 2016, I’ve talked a lot about intentional writing on this blog because I feel writing is the strongest and fastest way to change reality. The words we hear, speak, and write have such a big impact on us – for those of us who write it’s important to think about what that impact may be.
Before we go any further, it’s important to get this out of the way: if you work in an office, public service, or any kind of job where reports get filed or messages are sent – you write in your work. If you journal or keep a planner to maintain your sense of balance and practice self-care (or manage your household!) – you write.
Oh, and, if you have social media feeds…where you post… guess what? You write. All of those spaces could use intentional writing.
Intentional writing is using words for an intended purpose and or impact, but how does a person write with intention? What’s the process to creating this kind of work? These kinds of messages?
There are two ways to address intentional writing: one has to do with routine and the other with content.
I do both.
I do both because I want to achieve a certain kind of impact in my life (thus the craft maintenance or commitment to writing regularly) and I want a certain kind of social impact (this is where intentional content comes into play). There are a lot of bloggers, coaches, and teachers who talk about the first part but not the second.
It’s important to do both because this is how a person creates balance (just as I teach in my class The Heart Unboxed: How to Love the Unloveable). If I just focused on myself, I might get far personally, but at what cost? What legacy would I leave? And, most importantly, would I be honoring my principles?
If I just focused on social impact, I would begin to suffer. My work would actually have less impact, and who knows what my wellness would be – it is a recipe for burnout, bitterness, guilt, and shame.
No. These things must be done together.
Intention in Routine
First let’s talk about intention in craft because this is something that is fairly easy to understand and implement.
I’ve talked a lot about setting intentions for different parts of life, and my writing is no different (in fact, you can use these tactics with any aspect of life!). In this case, I do a few things to set the intention to write daily:
I created a schedule to ensure I write every day (for more about why I schedule things, read my post from Monday!).
I created rituals to ensure I maintain my commitment to writing (part of this is writing blog posts weekly – which I discuss in this post here).
Those are the two I definitely do on a regular basis, though sometimes I add pieces. For example, if I was developing a book or product, I’d set a certain word count to reach on a daily basis until the project was complete. Sometimes, I add journaling to my daily routine to make sure I continue my writing routine.
Intention in Content
To create intentional content (that is content focused on a specific social impact) there are other practices I include whenever I write. These vary slightly depending on the kind of writing I’m doing, but for the most part, they are consistent and yield the best results:
Meditate before writing. This helps to focus my mind on the impact I intend and write to achieve the highest good.
Follow best practices for the platform. This means I read up on best practices for social posts, guest posts, blog posts, speeches, etc. Whatever the writing form, the language used and the format needs to follow conventions in order to be the most accessible it can be (otherwise, I won’t have my intended impact).
Make sure what I’m producing aligns with my purpose and goals. I could produce work in all kinds of areas (and have!) but if it doesn’t push me forward along with my social agenda, it’s a waste of time. I think about my tribe and the connections I want to make as well as consult my gut for this step.
To be honest, I didn’t always follow these steps. These are new things for me. The regular meditation before writing started around April 2016. Keeping up with best practices of platforms was again, something I got serious about in the last few months – I’ve spent hours learning from people like Melyssa Griffin and Caitlin Bacher, as well as spending time studying Q&A threads along with high-performing tactics and strategies in my social feeds and groups. I didn’t fully embrace my work aligning with my goals until probably June of 2016 – and that has become more intense and refined within just the last two weeks. This took me a long time and a lot of energy and effort to really understand what it meant to be completely intentional about the work I created.
Because, until I embraced these three things, I floundered. I floundered in different ways at different times, and it was painful. I’m always learning more – which is both humbling and exciting.
But I do this all because I am worth it. Because I am in love with my message and the community bubbling to the surface around this work. I do it because I know someone I’ve never met, maybe from across the world, will read my words just when they need them.
That’s what getting serious about writing with intention does – it guarantees those kinds of moments.
Try out these steps and leave a comment below letting me know how they work for you!
Not quite comfortable going it alone? I’d be happy to help you out! Contact me here for a conversation where I can give you clarity, perspective, and support in setting some awesome intentions!
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