What do you do when your alarm clock goes off in the morning?
As the blaring sounds seems to rip you from your dreams, you might think:
“No way. It can’t be morning already. I’m way too tired,”
“I should probably get up and exercise. Maybe just a few more minutes of sleep ….”
“I don’t want to go to work today. I’m not nearly prepared enough for that presentation. Maybe I should just stay home.”
Maybe you roll over and hit the snooze button a couple times. Or three times. Or four times. Waiting for the last possible minute you can get up and still be on time for work.
You might even think these things and manage to drag yourself out of bed anyway. Sure, you won’t be happy about it, but you’ll make it to work and that’s what counts, right?
In my experience, it’s not good enough to just roll out of bed and into the world. You’re likely to just keep rolling from there. You will roll every which way and be pushed around by your personal addictions and self-hatred.
If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is how bad your day is going to be — boom — you’ve just set your tone for the day. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your day will be bad because that’s how you’ve imagined it from the moment you stepped into consciousness.
Well I’m here to tell you that you can change that. You are a masterful creator and you have the power to take control of how your day goes and how well you accomplish your goals.
It all starts first thing in the morning when you wake up. You can choose to think negative thoughts and have a negative day; or you can take responsibility, start the day on a positive vibe, and tap into the true nature of your potential.
I like to call this Setting your Intent.
The Intent statment
Your brain is most open to suggestion when you first wake up in the morning. The waking mind is filled with alpha brain waves which allow your brain to receive new ideas, form belief systems, and shape your reality.
Unfortunately, this is the perfect opportunity for The Bully to step in and put you down.
The Bully is a little voice that everyone has inside their head, telling them that they’re not good enough, they’ll never improve, and that they’re a victim of their circumstances. The Bully is a liar and he attempts to shape our belief system into a pattern of self-hatred and self-destruction.
(You can learn more about the Bully in a cool video we made here)
The problem is that so many people allow The Bully to set their intent for them without even realizing it. They don’t think about how those first precious minutes of the day have the power to change everything, and so The Bully steps in, telling them they will fail.
Fortunately, if you are conscientious about setting your intent, the first moments of the day can provide you with the chance to drown out the voice of The Bully with positive self-talk, alter the way you feel about yourself and others, and take the first steps toward effecting real change in your life.
The first thing you need to do is write an Intent statement.
The Intent statement is a short sentence or two that will become an essential part of your morning routine. After choosing and memorizing it, it will be the first thing you utter when you wake up, thus pushing aside The Bully and creating your own future through the power of Intent.
“Where intention goes, energy flows!” -James Redfield
During the dark days of my addiction to drugs and alcohol, I was miserable. Every morning I woke up thinking about how miserable I was, how worthless my life was, and how I was going to fail that day.
It is through the power of intent that I was able to overcome my addictions and change my life. This was my Intent statement:
“I, Todd, am grateful to be clean and sober. And nothing, and no one, and no circumstance is going to change my mind today.”
That was it. Every morning I Set my Intent for the day. If I could do that and nothing else, the day was a success.
Notice that my Intent was in the present tense. I didn’t say “I, Todd, desire to become clean and sober,” or “I, Todd, will be clean and sober one day.”
I didn’t hope for sobriety, I expected it. I stated it as if it were already fact. And in time, it became fact.
Eventually I outgrew my Intent statement. I no longer had to Set my Intent to be clean and sober — I was clean and sober. It had become a part of my inner being, and nothing was going to change that.
But I didn’t quit stating my Intent first thing in the morning. My statement merely evolved. Here’s my Intent statement today:
“I, Todd, am going to have an epic day. I am full of energy and I am going to make everything I desire come to pass.”
It’s miraculous how well this works.
When you have Intent, your behavior changes. Everything you do, every thought you think, will be focused on reaching your goal. Not only your own power, but all the powers of the universe seem to conspire to make your Intent happen, and you will succeed.
You’ll be amazed to find that it happens every time. I get what I intend every time.
How do I Set my Intent?
As you craft your own Intent statement, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to lofty or complex. It just has to state what you desire and what you hope to cultivate.
One of my clients says,
“I, Aaron, am grateful for today and I am happy and energetic.”
Some other examples are,
“I, Cindy, am happy and I am going to live in the moment,”
“I, Sean, am happy, calm, and beautiful.”
The point of this exercise is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and suggest to the mind that you are powerful to choose how you think and feel.
One of my clients complained that when she wakes up in the morning she immediately feels anxious. She felt powerless to control her anxiety because it was already there from the very beginning of her day.
After I explained the power of Intent to her, she started to become conscious of what her thoughts were when she woke up:
“Today is going to be so hard. I don’t know if I’m going to make it.”
By changing her Intent, she was able to discover that she does have power over the way she feels. You have the dignity and ability to choose.
As you begin to Set your Intent in the morning, say it with conviction. You have to state it as fact and really feel its truth and power behind your words.
Rolling over in bed and muttering half-heartedly, “I, Jim, … am grateful … to be — ” is not going to cut it.
As soon as that alarm goes off, you have to pop out of bed like a piece of toast. Don’t hit the snooze button: it’s your enemy. Declare your Intent with vigor and really, truly believe it.
I call this the “Think, Feel, Create” model and it is essential to building any belief system.
Most people don’t even think about what their Intent is in the morning. They simply get out of bed and start their day on whatever note The Bully or any other force happens to throw at them.
As you become conscious of what your Intent is and start to state it out loud, you will begin to feel it and know it to be true. Then you will have the power to create it and make it a part of your reality.
Setting your Intent doesn’t even take five minutes. It only takes five seconds, but they may be the most important five seconds of your day. This one small act has the potential to change your entire day and cause miracles to happen in your life.
Your Intent is your defense against The Bully
First waking up in the morning may be the most important part of your day, but don’t let your intent stop there! You should find yourself re-stating your Intent several times throughout the day.
The Bully is relentless. He won’t rest until you’ve caved or cracked — given in to old habits or surrendered your power — and he will keep haranguing you all day long.
In the past this may have seemed intimidating, but once you have Set your Intent you don’t have to fear The Bully. He has no power over you.
Your Intent statement will become your sword and shield with which you will fend off The Bully. It’s your comeback for any time he tries to put you down.
During the first years of my sobriety, whenever I had the urge to use or drink alcohol I could simply say:
“Nice try. I’m not falling for that one. I, Todd, am grateful to be clean and sober — ” etc.
And that was all I had to do. I knew what my Intent was because I had already defined it. All I had to do at that point was stick to it.
Remember the three affirming beliefs that constitute Love of Self:
- I have the dignity and ability to choose
- I am a masterful creator
- I am powerful beyond measure
When you Set your Intent, you are demonstrating your ability to choose. Don’t let yourself be a victim of The Bully. If you do, you are only becoming a victim of yourself.
Take responsibility for the way you feel instead. Create your own fulfilling reality, and watch as your Intent fills you with power.
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