Resolutions were something I kept to myself. The 5 pounds I was going to lose by March, the money I was going to save and my pledge to work out five days a week were secretly held. Resolve was often strong in early January. By month’s end frequent snacking returned, purchases robbed the piggy bank and cold mornings would trump going to the gym.
My old approach had two weaknesses. I was working backwards. I was working alone.
Resolutions were actions that led to how I wanted to be. I spent little time thinking about how I’d “be” once I accomplished them. What would they give me? Hidden in my resolution was an unstated intention of how I wanted to feel. Discovering underlying intentions gives purpose to goals. It lets them reflect what we truly value. I had it reversed.
Now I work in the opposite direction. I create an intention and then goals. My intention to live with aliveness can lead to working out, losing weight and/or saving money. It might also lead to singing lessons, learning to play the drum and more travel. Intentions are great clarifies. They connect us to the bigger story of who we are. Now I focus on how I want to be and let that inform my actions. This apporach provokes useful questions: Is this choice a reflection of my intention? And if not, how can I shift to align with it?
Intentions give purpose to goals.
Ancient wisdom and scientific research agree. Groups magnify individual effort. Research shows that skill levels and tolerance to pain increase in groups. These are just two of the many positive outcomes that demonstrate the power of groups. Meditating in a group can affect the actions of the greater population, according to 50 scientific studies. Keeping intentions or goals a secret deprives us of this powering up benefit.
Magic happens when intentions, goals, and dreams are shared. Napoleon Hill, regretfully no relation, said it decades ago “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force…” That intangible force is available to everyone in the group. Shared purpose calls forth energy that doesn’t appear when we work alone.
Pluck a tuned violin and the other tuned violins in the room will vibrate with that same note. We are like violins when we vibrate with notes of authenticity. Our words invite others to find that place in them. Some would say that it is the heart’s voice. Whatever we call it, we have the ability to resonate with others. (Unfolding page121 -122) Like the plucked violin string our heartfelt intention stirs those who hear it. Our giving voice and their response creates a force greater than the sum of the members.
Individual effort is magnified in groups!
This is what works for me. Create an intention that has meaning for me. See what goals support that intention. Tell a trusted group of like-hearted people. Listen to their intention. Keep my attention on our intentions. Prepare to be amazed!
Rather than secrets I now have partners and results.
Women pictured here are a powerful group of intention manifestors. Left to right, Back row; Norma, Patti E, Patty S, and Julie. Front row; Maureen, Anita, me and Lisa.