I have heard the word ‘intention’ thrown around in various settings. Intention is defined as (1) a determination to act in a certain manner or (2) what one intends to do or bring about.

In yoga, the teacher will sometimes ask you to identify your intentions at the outset of class. In the 30 Day Shred, Jillian Michaels is constantly asking you to bring intention to the painful exercises she demands you complete. In the land of business jargon, trainers and managers are constantly asking about your career and project intentions. As a self-proclaimed skeptic and non-believer of touchy-feely, quasi-spiritual jargon (as I sit here typing I can picture Kate Street shuddering and realizing there is not enough glitter in the world to save me,) I have always dismissed the concept of using intention to complete various tasks. In my world, if you are going to run 10 miles, go out, do it, and move on.

Is it really possible that my theoretical intentions have an effect on how well I complete a specific task? Before becoming a mother I would easily have argued, no! However, as my life now revolves around three young girls I find that I need to pro-actively think about my intentions for workouts, parenting goals, career responsibilities, and sometimes on those really tough days I need to identify and focus my intentions on just getting through the day.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Bourne Perillo

As a parent you are continuously juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities; if you are not focused on what you want to achieve you can find yourself feeling lost, like you are running around in circles and never getting anywhere. Focusing my intentions on my daughters has helped me to set goals and achieve them. For example, my intention for our summertime bedtime routine was to streamline the entire process and make it more efficient. I was fed up with the lengthy routine of excuses, complaints, and feeling of frustration, with little-to-no change. I committed myself to bringing about change in our family’s nighttime routine, and I did not stop working at my goal until I achieved success. As a result, my children are more rested, I am less frustrated and I have more personal time in the evening.

I truly believe that if I was not focused on my intention, I would have been side tracked, I would have lost focus and I would not have been able to change what really mattered.

As a working mother bringing intention to my fitness goals are crucial. There is always something “else” that I could be doing besides working out. However, if I want to bring about change and I want to achieve my physical goals, I need to act in a determined manner. Focusing my intentions on working out has helped me step away from the laundry, grab my running shoes, and hit the pavement.

So… this lesson may seem like a no brainer to some, but for others, like me, who have scoffed at the thought of using the power of positive thinking and your intentions to impact your actions, the results are impressive. Try to focus your intentions on goals that you have not been able to achieve, you will notice a difference!

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