It’s a good idea to set intentions but how do you stay motivated to keep the energy flowing? You know that intentions often do not manifest right away so what do we do to keep the energy flowing while we’re waiting? There is a very important part of intention that no one talks about and yet it is essential to making your intention real, personal, and actionable. And that word is… you will have to read the article or listen to the podcast to find out. 

This may seen like such an obvious step and yet it is never done and that is one of the reasons why we create intentions that we just cannot follow through with or we lose our motivation because we don’t care enough about our intention and what we’re going to create with it. 

 

When my children were young I had no problem getting them to do what I asked because there was always a motivating factor involved. Sometimes it was money, other times it was a special activity or a special treat that they wanted. Once their chores were done they got the reward. If they did not do their chores, no reward. Depending on what the reward was, they were usually very quick to do the work. And it only took one time of not getting the reward to let them know that it was a motivator for their effort and they were expected to make the effort.

We need that kind of motivating factor too because intention is not enough. If we set an intention without a motivator we are going to be disappointed in the results or the result may take a lot longer than we want it to.

We are driven by motivation and sometimes that motivation is a serious situation that forces us to take action because we are in trouble. Other times we simply don’t want to do something and even the motivation of a dire consequence is not enough to get us excited about our intention or the outcome. And from another angle, our motivation can be based on what someone else wants or our desire to impress, manipulate, or convince someone that we are worthy of their attention, love, and acknowledgement. No judgment here but if you carefully dissect your motivation, it can be far different from the grand and glorious statements of spiritual purpose that we like to think motivates us to take action.

To get our intention to work we need a motivator, a valid reason to accomplish something and we tend to put that responsibility onto our purpose, which we interpret to mean the overarching reason that we are alive and in our reality.

But we take the word purpose out of context and give it an important spiritual meaning, one that we may never be able to achieve, and then we use that to judge ourselves and our journey. No wonder we always find ourselves lacking and think we are not on the right path. Sometimes our motivation is not very spiritual, it is weak and needy, fearful, selfish, and even unrealistic or illogical.

How do we take our intention and give it a purpose that motivates and inspires us? We use the most important word in our intention vocabulary and that is the word ‘because’. This is the word that takes our intention out of the lofty real estate of our head and heart and moves it into the stark truth of our reality.  I want to eat because my body needs nourishment is far different from I want to eat because I am hungry and that is the stark reality. When do we eat? When we’re hungry.

When we set an intention without identifying the purpose or motivator, we are trying to get ourselves to act without giving ourselves a reason to act. The reason doesn’t have to be dramatic, it just has to be something that inspires us to move.

For example, if I say that I intend to have a relationship, that isn’t a very clear intention and there is no motivator or purpose.

My motivation is the reason that I want a partner and this is where intention meets reality and the energy shifts happen. I could have a very strong motive, like I’m ready to have a partner. Or I could have a very weak motive, like not wanting to be alone, being afraid I will never have a partner, needing someone to help pay the bills, I am no longer feeling attractive, or I am feeling lonely and insecure.

My motivator then becomes my purpose. Not the spiritual purpose of magical thinking but the grounded, real purpose that I want to change my life from being alone to having a partner.

When we set an intention we have to add a ‘because’ clause because that is what will give us the motivation to take action and the purpose to stay on target. It also reveals the truth of why we are setting the intention and personalizes it in the context of our reality. With motivators we satisfy the two important criteria that are required to make intentions work, alignment and integration. We must be energetically aligned with our intention for it to happen and we must know how we are going to integrate it into our lives so there is a logical fit and flow to this new paradigm.

The addition of the word ‘because’ forces us to identify our reasons for wanting to change or transform whatever our intention will accomplish and that is important because when our reasons are not strong enough, or they highlight our fears, or they clash too much with our beliefs, we get stuck and are paralyzed by indecision, confusion, and doubt.

It is easy to set an intention to ‘get a new job’ or ‘move to a new area’ but if we have strong safety and security needs and we don’t handle change well, we will set an intention that we will never allow to happen. Our intention will clash with our fears and our belief that we are too incompetent, incapable, too scared, too weak, and too unsure to take action.

Add the word ‘because’ to your intention and see what happens.

‘I intend to get a new job’ becomes I intend to get a new job because… I don’t like the job I have, I want more money, I want a shorter commute, I don’t get along with my manager, I want to work at the same place as my friends, I want less stress, I want more responsibility… do you see how the intention gets fine tuned when we add a ‘because clause’?

Now we understand our motivators for setting this intention and then we can choose the most important one or ones to become our purpose.  Our motivator tells us why we are doing something, and our purpose tells us how we are going to accomplish it.  The motivator to find a new job because you want a shorter commute has a purpose of determining what that commute is and using that as a benchmark for the job search.

Now we have a fully funded intention that has an outcome, a motivator, and a purpose and we know where to focus our energy as well as why we’re setting that intention.

Let’s look at the relationship intention and see what happens when we add the ‘because clause’.

I intend to have a loving, fulfilling relationship becomes I intend to have a loving, fulfilling relationship because …. I am ready to do this now, I don’t want to be lonely, I am afraid no one loves me, I am afraid I will never have another relationship again, I am getting old, I want someone to go to dinner with, etc.

Can you see how as soon as you add the because clause the entire focus of the need for a relationship opens up and we recognize our fears, doubts, and insecurities as well as why we are focused on relationships?

In addition to giving us clarity about our intention, adding the because clause can also make us aware of what other things are around our intention as well as some of the outcomes that we may not be ready to deal with.

I see this all of the time with clients, when they think that setting an intention for something new will solve all of their current problems. But as we talk through the situation they realize that setting intentions adds new elements to their lives that they have to align with and integrate and now they have twice as much, or more, to deal with.

That is why the ‘because clause’ becomes so important because rather than just setting an intention and then waiting for it to happen, we have to define our intention in terms of what we really want, what we’re secretly looking for, and how we’re going to motivate ourselves to stick with it.

The ’because clause’ also puts the focus on us and on what we want as we set intentions. Do you ever say ‘I set an intention for a new job because my mother wants me to do it’ ?  Or I intend to create a loving relationship and get married because then my mother will stop reminding me that I am getting old and she wants grandchildren? Now your mother may be pushing you to find a different job or relationship and you may give her interest in your job situation or your non-existent love life some mental bandwidth but do you ever consciously set an intention because someone else wants you to?

Maybe you do it unconsciously to avoid confrontation or to avoid feeling guilty or being shamed, or maybe you do it to make someone happy and to get them to like you. But you probably do not do it with a full awareness that you are setting an intention which is focused on what someone else wants you to do.

These are motivating factors that we use all of the time and then wonder why we feel less than motivated to achieve our outcomes. It is because we are setting intentions for what other people want or think we should do, we have no real interest in their fulfillment and may even sabotage their completion because we do not want that outcome to manifest.

We don’t know what these hidden intention influencers are unless we set the ‘because clause in place and then answer the question – why am I setting this intention?

Here are a few guidelines to establish your motivators:

  1. They have to be personally relevant to you. You cannot create a motivator that relates to what someone else wants, no matter how much you want to impress them.
  2. They have to be honest. We are dishonest with ourselves when we try to be too good, nice, spiritual, or self effacing and deny ourselves what we actually want usually because we are afraid of what others may think of us. This creates energy gaps in our intention process and we get stuck. Listen to the podcast for a story from the blog talk radio show to see how this worked.
  3. They have to be realistic and doable. If you are usually motivated by drama, trauma, and chaos, you risk engaging in wishful thinking and having extreme motivators because you are in immediate danger. If you need extreme motivators to take action on your intention, you will quickly burn out and lose interest. Make sure you are fully aligned with your intentions as it is easier to get motivated and be on purpose with an intention you feel aligned with and can easily integrate into your life. Moderate your motivators so you do not wait for extreme situations to set intentions and then require superhero powers to get motivated to stick with them.

And here are a few guidelines to establish your purpose from your motivators, remember purpose is not you’re your overarching reason for being here, think of it as your mission.

  1. Think process, not magic. Creating anything is a process, there are no shortcuts.
  2. Be open to more than one option – leave some room for miracles.
  3. When you get frustrated, remember your motivator and make sure they are actionable.

Don’t be afraid to put your ‘because clause’ into your intention and then carefully examine the answers.

Is it your intention or someone else’s?
Is your intention weak or strong?
Are you being needy or empowered?

And most important of all, is there a motivating factor that can become your purpose so you stay on track and follow through with your intention because knowing what you want and being able to clarify it with a ‘because clause’ helps you to get clear on exactly what your intention is all about and create your own motivation and purpose to get you started and follow through.

 

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