The Intentional Life

Jan 12, 2006 | Health, January 2006, Mind & Body

Align with your values and intentions and create the life you want!

By Chris Lucerne, PCC

I say we throw out New Year’s resolutions in favor of a more inspired and heartfelt approach. So many New Year’s resolutions are set according to what we think we “should” do. We should lose weight, we should get rid of a bad habit, or we should be better people.

There is nothing inspirational about “shoulds.” In fact, shoulds require us to push, control, and will ourselves to accomplish the goal. They drain our energy, dictate our behavior, make us feel guilty and signify that we do not have choices.

A more refreshing approach is to set intentions that come from the heart; intentions that are so compelling and inspiring that they effortlessly pull us forward. How? Set your intentions in alignment with your values and your sense of being in full integrity with yourself. Your values are as personal to you as your fingerprints and they describe who you are at your core. They have the power to motivate and inspire you to higher levels. Essential to happiness is living in alignment with your values, living a life of integrity.

Many of us have sacrificed our values in favor of other things that we have been told are more important. We have careers we don’t want, possessions we could care less about and relationships that are not satisfying. Sacrificing our values results in living a life that is not really ours; it belongs to our outdated beliefs or to people and situations that really don’t have our best interests in mind. The result is anything but happiness and fulfillment. Conversely, when we are in full integrity with our values, and intentionally living according to what we believe is important, we experience true joy.

Step One: Identify your top five values. There are many to choose from, and here are a few: relationships, spirituality, health, travel, creativity, mastery, security, community, personal growth and accomplishment. With an open mind and heart, begin identifying your values by asking yourself the following questions and journaling your answers:

• What must I have (do or be) in order to be happy?

• What is it in my life that if it disappeared tomorrow would create a sense of loss or emptiness?

• When I am at my best, what is going on in my life?

• When I am so involved in something that time seems to disappear, what am I doing?

As you answer these questions, continue to look deeper into yourself, listening closely to your heart for the answers. Continue journaling until you feel complete. Now, find the common threads in your writing. Use one to three words to describe each of your values. Make sure these words inspire and motivate you. You might find it worthwhile to construct a sentence that accurately defines your value. For instance, here is one of my values (Be of Service) and its definition: Be of Service is my commitment to share my genius and my heart with others so that they might know the full beauty of who they really are and step into a life that is truly extraordinary.

Step Two: Consider each of your values and what you would like to bring into your world this year. What would be very satisfying and enjoyable for you to create? Now set an intention (for each value) of what you wish to have (be or do) and write that intention in one inspirational sentence.

My intention is to _____________________________________________________.

Step Three: If you feel inspired to do so, make a list of three to 10 steps you will take toward manifesting your intention. Set a timeline of when you will begin each step. If this does not inspire you, then identify one step you can take and decide when you will do it.

I will __________________________ no later than ____________________. Once complete, decide on your next step. If you are not inspired to set an action step at all, then question whether or not you have set an intention in alignment with your values.

If you would like additional support in identifying your values and setting your intentions, please visit my Web site (resources section) for a FREE Values and Intentions Assessment Tool.

Creating an intentional life is not about struggle or doing what you don’t want to do. In your willingness to look deep into your heart for the answers, you will find what is true for you; that which will make your life most satisfying and joyful. You deserve to have (do and be) what you truly desire. If you doubt that, then I encourage you to challenge your beliefs and doubt your doubts. I wish you the best in designing a 2006 that exceeds even your expectations!

Chris Lucerne is a professional certified coach. She specializes in two areas: Supporting clients to Build Relationships that Matter, and to Go Beyond Loss and Embrace Life.

South Texas Fitness & Health