The Positive Energy Workplace

How do you set an intention?


So how do you set an intention?


If you've read the last two morning's posts and can see how intention relates to you, you're halfway there.


There are two parts to setting an intention:

  1. the emotional and spiritual component to ground it (which is supported by presence, awareness, and connection to deep intent) and
  2. the actual make it so component (which is supported by presence, mindset, and the action required in order to have your desired impact)

Grab a piece of paper and a pencil to work from. You can do this process in your head as you get used to the steps (especially for "quick" intentions). That said, I still write this process out as it helps me catch things that can often get missed or overridden when working inside my head.

You'll find what works for you. For the first 30 days, write it out.


Part 1. Ground it with meaning (presence, awareness, connection to deep intent):

  • Stop. Breathe. Be quiet. (This can be for a minute, five minutes, or a day -- your call.)
  • Connect with your heart. Stay in your heart (not head). What do you want to create? (If it's tricky to get out of your head, put your hand on your heart, breathe, see what shows up.)
  • What is the outcome you seek? (This is something you want to have happen.)
  • What will this intention serve that is bigger than you? (This has to be bigger than you to be its most powerful. If it's just about you, ie. "I want to look good, buy a new car, be 'right,' or impress the Joneses" it is not a sustainable grounded intention. Its shallowness will likely have you running out of fuel when it gets hard or things don't go as planned. However if this is about something bigger than you, ie. being in service of something or someone, you'll find fuel becomes abundant.)
  • Who will this intention serve? Again, WHO here. Who are you in service of? I promise, this helps. No worries, it can still be about you -- I'm asking you to go deeper. For example, even an intention that feels "selfish" (a common one I see for people is self-care) can be in service of something bigger than you: your leadership, your kids, your energy and stamina to serve others, your ability to make good decisions, show up for your job, to be kind and patient with others, to bring home the bacon for your family, etc. Connect with the who and the what before you proceed.


Part 2. Make it so (presence, mindset, and action):

  • Once grounded, rewrite your intention and outcome(s) from part one to ensure it still works and feels grounded. Then consider...
  • What is the emotional experience and impact you want to create? (How do you want others to feel, how do you want to feel?)
  • How will you have to show up to create it? (Presence, energy, way of being, etc.)
  • What will you have to believe to show up that way?
  • What will you actually have to DO, what actions will you take, to make this all so?
  • What will you have to say no to? What new skills or "yes's" will you want to bring into your life to support it?
  • How will you know when you have achieved your intention?


Once you've got this set, smile, give yourself some acknowledgment and gratitude for setting the tone, and lean in. If you want to integrate the full IEP Method into this practice, download the IEP Sheet and do that as well. (I have a pad of them I keep on my morning desk and use one/day or for each BIG meeting or intention.)


Tomorrow we'll talk reboots and moving forward when intention falls apart.


Thanks for being here.


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