Having the best intentions, successfully

intention: 1: A determination to act in a certain way. 2: What one intends to do or bring about. 3: A concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge.
Verb: intend. Adjective: intentional.

On Friday, one of my clients emailed me about setting up a meeting to discuss a web development project.  In addition to the usual holiday greetings she mentioned that her word for 2020 is grateful.  Her choice of words surprised me, because she is already extremely gracious.  I do agree with her; gratefulness should be an important part of everyday life. I try to cultivate it by doing things like keeping gratitude journals and reminding myself and my kids to always say thank you.  Moreover, being grateful can brighten some else’s day and serve as a reminder that life is better than it may seem at any given moment. Instead of just reading the rest of her email, I paused for a moment to consider what my word for the year should be based on my hopes and plans for 2020.  The word that popped into my mind was intention.

Repaving the road of intention
I took this photograph at Glacier National Park during a trip out west with my Dad. A long standing intention finally fulfilled with loads of photos and fantastic memories.

Why intention?

It has so many applications in both our business and personal lives.  Thinking about intention can make a difference in big and small ways.  Consider your use of technology.  Are you picking up the phone out of habit?  Are you putting it down when you have completed a task, or do you then check your email, read the news, play a game, or look at social media? It can is very easy to unintentionally spend time going down internet rabbit holes.  An intention to attend more networking events, blog regularly, or better market your business can be lost in a busy schedule or shelved because resources don’t seem to be available. Even personal goals like developing hobbies, getting more exercise, or traveling can become lost in the shuffle.  Let’s reroute that road and pave it with great intentions that lead to success.

As a small business owner who guides people through the marketing wilderness and keeps them from getting lost; intention is often at the heart of my work.  When I start any project I will always inquire what is your intention or goal for this project.  Without that vital piece of information creating a solid plan to achieve success is very difficult. To think of it another way, getting on social media or building a website is an action. What is your intention? Do you want to

  • build your brand
  • teach people about career opportunities
  • build better relationships with customers
  • improve SEO
  • promote your products or services
  • advertise an event
  • share your knowledge on a particular subject

Success is best planned out;  in order to plan effectively it is vital to establish “what one intends to do or bring about.”  This is important both for large projects and daily planning. I use project management software, daily planners,  and lists combined with regular communication to try to make sure that intentions are carried out.   I like to engineer success, not stumble into it by accident. The best way to do that is by being intentional about what, why, how, and why I spend my time.

My word for the year, is definitely intention.  What’s your’s?