Have you ever sat at your desk at the end of the day, or at the end of the week, or on the sofa in the evening, in a bubble of good intentions and thought about the changes you will make tomorrow or the goals you will achieve tomorrow?
Maybe you think to yourself: “Tomorrow I will start that piece of work that I have been putting off, first thing in the morning.” Or maybe: “Tomorrow I am going to be incredibly healthy, go for a run, eat my 5 a day, and drink lots of water.” Or perhaps: “Next week will be my focused week – I will get that project done.”
Yes, tomorrow, the next day, or the next…. it will all happen.
And because of your intentions you feel amazingly great. You are a brilliantly healthy person who has a plan, or a brilliantly organised person who also has a plan. You are sure it will happen, you are so sure, that it does not matter what happens today. You can eat that cake, drink that beer, not go for that run, and not start that piece of work. Because it is all ok! It will happen tomorrow! You have a plan!
You can sink into that sofa feeling great. You can leave the office that day without tackling that piece of work, because you are planning to do it tomorrow.
But what happens when tomorrow arrives?
Oh. Old habits are just too easy, too comfortable, too automatic. You have to react to that urgent email, you have to meet with that client urgently. You must go to that meeting, and well, that project will just have to wait. You have to eat unhealthily as it is your friend’s birthday, or there is a work lunch, and lets face it, steak will fortify you much more than salad ever could. You have no time for a run, as that client dinner is essential; it is anti social not to have a beer at that function you must attend; water is just so tasteless – coffee is better. The excuses for putting off your good intentions just seem to make such good sense in the moment. Why wouldn’t they? They are what you have always done. They seem normal.
You do feel frustrated that you have not finished that piece of work, tackled that difficult task, or frustrated that you have not eaten healthily, exercised, or drank lots of water. The frustration scratches away at the back of your mind.
Until a beautiful bubble begins to form again, perhaps at the end of the week, or at the end of the day. As you slurp that last coffee and begin to think about the next day or the next week, you begin to float in another amazing bubble of good intentions. Next week you will do this, or the next day you will do that. You feel vindicated, alive, happy and motivated. It will happen. You really believe it. Inside the bubble your intentions seem true, real and alive. Because of the bubble you can do what you like over the weekend, or that evening, or for the rest of the week.
…And because of your intentions you feel amazingly great. You are a brilliantly healthy person who has a plan, or a brilliantly organised person who also has a plan. You are sure it will happen, you are so sure, that it does not matter what happens today. You can eat that cake, drink that beer, not go for that run, not start that piece of work. Because it is all ok! It will happen tomorrow! You have a plan!
Beware your bubble of good intentions. Bubbles pop so easily, and leave nothing behind.
Can you move your intentions out of bubbles? Move your intentions into actions? You need intentions that do not float away, do not disappear, do not dissipate the moment they bump into your existing life and habits. Intentions need to translate into real change.
Intentions are helpful, but real change occurs in the moment, on a daily basis, at each small crossroads you face.
How will you keep your intentions from popping?
Sarah Alexander, Coach and Trainer, Vivid Communication.