An Experiment With Capturing Intentions
Something I've been trying the past few weeks is a combination of framing/mindset psychology plus a bit of placebo effect. Before I let my feet hit the floor as I get out of bed, I pause and ask myself “what is my intention for today”.
Committing to the ritual, pausing to think, and taking the time to write down the intention - this gives me the feeling that these words are embued with extra meaning.
Here are some examples of what these four to six word lists look like:
Connect with Meaning + Listen + Make + Share
What am I making this day to contribute to something bigger that I believe in? When I encounter need, curiosity, delight, difficulty, inspiration: be attentive. Share the outcomes that are shareable.
Share + Learn + Converse + Build
Share ideas, learn from things that emerge from the day’s events, be sure to dig deeper in conversations, and build both new things and build upon existing projects.
Share + Connect + Listen + Serve
Sharing is critical to find and grow perspective on what I make. Connect with those around me in the different groups and teams I identify as serving. Listening is more than hearing, listening-well changes me by being affected and understanding. Serve and act upon that informed perspective, connect with the goals of those I’m serving.
Enjoy + Explore + Examine + Express
Practicing setting intentions, enjoying the patterns that have emerged, riffing in a different direction… today is more about enjoying the people and circumstance around me. Explore outside my regular habits. Examine any curiosities that emerge. Express to share what I’m learning.
Listen + Learn + Explore further + Share
Listening with humility is my goal. Listen past the friction and assumptions I have. Learn ideas from the listening. Explore further the ideas that emerge, it might be an inspiring signal that leads me somewhere useful, helpful, and interesting. Share with those near, connected via projects and common interests.
What’s come of this? Does it actually do anything? If so, How?
If you are already someone who habitually processes goals and tasks - I’d bet this will be of use to you. Capturing intentions like this can be a frequent fresh bundling of goal-related tasks and habits.
For me, this sort of practice changes my narrative for the day and provides an extra layer of meaning. It adds a story to compare and explore. It pulls at my rationalizations moving from "I meant to do that" to "This fits with the intent I captured".