Brighton Leadership Group

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Don't Confuse Intention with Action

Intention is the thing you plan to do or achieve.  Intention is wonderful when it enables you to clearly decide which path to take and where you want to go.  Intention is not wonderful when it gets confused with action.
Brain research has uncovered something fascinating. When you spend time thinking about the accomplishment of a goal it can create a false sense of positive fulfillment (since the goal isn’t actually reached) that lulls your brain into a less motivated state to act on your thinking.
To avoid the intention trap:

  1. Next Action  – The best intentions may get drowned in a sea of procrastination. David Allen has a brilliant way of moving from intention to action. In order to create momentum he recommends asking yourself, “What’s the Next Action?”  This deflates the pressure of having each step planned. Once you get moving you have the ability to adjust as needed but the first step is the most critical.
  2. Get Committed – It’s not intention that creates action, it’s commitment that makes a difference. Challenges will occur on the way to accomplishing the thing you plan to do or achieve. If you are not totally committed to success, those challenges could seem insurmountable. Get to the heart of your commitment by answering the question “Why?” seven times.  Start with, “Why is the thing I plan to do or achieve important to me?” then ask why about that answer.
  3. Create Accountability – Tell others what you intend to do so you will create accountability. Go public by telling other people what you are going to do or achieve. Support groups like a mastermind team or an accountability partner are very beneficial in creating commitment to action through accountability.

Intention is useful to get clear on what you want to do or achieve but don’t get stuck there. Determine your next action, ask yourself “why?” to create commitment and share your intention with others to create accountability. This will help you overcome the intention trap and accomplish your dreams.

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