The first time I really understood the importance of intent, I was a very tired mum with two children under two and trying to get some kind of sleep routine in place. It had been an uphill battle with both of my daughters and neither particularly favoured the idea of sleep! I dreaded bedtime and could already predict the outcome, jumping on beds, refusing to lie down, me totally frazzled and stressed out.
I guess you could say that my dread for bedtime created their dread of bedtime and so we found ourselves in a vicious cycle. To break that cycle I had to take back some control and start doing bedtime with intention rather than a hap hazard, half-hearted attempt because I was just so exhausted.
Once I started doing bedtime with an absolute intention in what I was doing and believing that they would, lie down and go to sleep, things got much easier for all of us.
We can be more aware of our intention in all areas of our lives. In fact, we can even brush our teeth with intention. I can’t think of a single thing we can’t do with positive intent. It acts as a form of mindfulness in the simplest expression, and you find that perhaps what was once a tedious chore, now becomes enjoyable. Or at least a bit more bearable. I also find that whatever it is I’m doing, becomes much easier as the mind is working in harmony with the body in achieving its shared goal, rather than the mind pulling against the body in an epic tug of war. Ultimately you will end up exhausted and burnt out.
I like to visualise me putting one foot forward and starting to walk steadfastly towards my end goal, whether that’s tidying the house or doing the food shopping.
We all know the saying ‘tidy home tidy mind’. We all know how good it feels to put your feet up once the chores are done. And if the motivation just isn’t there (we all have those days too), then I like to offer myself an incentive.
If I get my tasks done, then I might reward myself with an episode of my favourite TV series or a cup of tea and a biscuit. If I’m on a health kick then a chocolate digestive is usually replaced with a fruit smoothie! Going for a nice walk with headphones in or just taking the time to prepare yourself a delicious and healthy meal are great ways to reward your body and your mind
We lead busy lives and sometimes this is easier said than done, but if you can repay yourself in even the smallest ways, it does help to get you moving. And we should all be practising self-care more anyway….it’s a win-win!
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