After almost 150 years of emphasizing problems in psychological practices, we have begun to see the limited results of these efforts. What we’ve learned is that change, i.e. productive, healthy, personal growth, is limited by a continual emphasis on the past. The more that we keep ourselves connected to past feelings, thoughts, and behaviors the less room there is for us to create something new and different.

In his book, Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon, Dr. Joe Dispenza discusses our addiction to stress and negativity. He states that we are so familiar with stress and negativity that we have a difficult time creating something new. He believes we can train our minds to let go of this stress and negativity focus. When we do, it frees up a lot of energy which can then be used to create what we really want in our life.

Knowing how to shift out of a state of stress and negativity implies good things for our future but it’s not the total picture of what is necessary to create transformation. We cannot simply apply positive thinking and bypass the hard work that needs to be done and expect to get non-stop great results. Our growth is also dependent on our ability to integrate the past. However, we often stay looking at the problem long after it’s been resolved … we do not move on and create something new and better in our life.

There are many tools that can help us move forward toward a new and better future. One of these tools is being intentional. Being intentional is the difference between being on a slow-moving river in a canoe without a paddle or being in that canoe with one. Without the paddle you still move in the intended direction, but you’ll move more slowly and often get hung up on things along the way. With the paddle, the current works for you, while you make the most out of it by intentionally steering. You more easily avoid obstacles and you will most definitely reach your destination faster.

When you set an intention for each day, you are picking up your paddle. Not much else has changed, but this one tool makes a huge difference in how things go.

Throughout each day, many things are vying for our attention. By setting an intention, we’re able to help ourselves in the following ways:

1. Direction: Where our attention goes our energy flows. When we set an intention, we help direct our energy so we get more of what we want.

2. Get Back On Track: When life events hit and throw us off our track, our intention can serve as a gentle reminder of how we want to focus ourselves in any given moment.

3. Stay Aware: The act of setting an intention makes us a bit more conscious each time we do it. The daily repetitive act of setting an intention helps us increasingly become more aware.

4. Build to What We Want: Being intentional regularly and consistently helps us build our lives so they go towards what we want in life. Being consistent in our efforts helps us both achieve the results that we want—and see the progress as we go, which helps us stay on track.

5. Positive Feelings: Just the act of setting a positive intention helps generate positive feelings. Each and every moment we spend in contact with positive emotions is helpful to our overall wellbeing.

Setting a daily intention is a powerful tool that only needs seconds each day. You can do it while brushing your teeth or while driving to work. It doesn’t require anything besides a few moments and the dedication of your mind and heart.

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