Setting Real Intentions – Brett Thornhill

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You’ve seen them: memes that float around social media, shared by your friends and family, that supposedly give you tips on how to improve your life.

“Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it,” they might say. Or “Do things that challenge you” or “Be brave” or “Make a change.”

I don’t disagree with them and you probably don’t either. (What’s to disagree with, after all?)

The trouble is that they’re very general statements, and we absorb them in a very general way. We read them, think “Yes, I SHOULD make a change,” continue our scroll and forget about it.

In order to make these memes have actual impact on our lives, we need to tailor them to our own personal circumstances. You have to make them real for you so that they identify things you want in your life and changes that you need to make. In this way, they have real meaning for you and aren’t so easily forgotten as you move on to the next thing on your to do list.

The way that I suggest you do this is to set real intentions around each phrase or sentence in whatever meme or motivational quote you find inspiring.

For example, “Do things that challenge you” could become “I want to incorporate more music in my life, so I will take guitar lessons because it challenges and interests me.”

“Be brave” could become “Meeting new people is scary for me but I want to make new friends, so I will join a dance class.”

“Make a change” could become “I’m not happy with my career, so I will take classes that will help me gain new skills so I can get a job that makes me happier.”

Inspiration is great, and social media memes and motivational quotes can often pique our interest and make us think about changes we need to make in our lives. What takes that inspiration to the next step is identifying exactly what it is you want to change and setting specific intentions or goals around it to help us measure when we’re making progress and actually ACHIEVE the change that we desire.

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