Tag Archives: goals

3 Tips to Help Crawl out of the Creative Dumps

creative dumpsThere’s a pile of dishes in the sink. The bed hasn’t been made. There are a stack of bills on my desk that I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to pay. “I need to shower,” is a relevant thought but currently I’m sitting in the middle of the floor, legs crossed, laptop on my lap with a Final Draft document open – completely white except for the blinking white cursor in the top right corner. The cursor refuses to move. There are a million thoughts in my head, scenes that play in regular rotation but can’t seem to make their way from my brain to my fingers and into the document. This is the story of a writer, and how so often the hardest part of being a writer is, well, writing.

My Year of Intent was to finish my first screenplay. My goal is to have a first draft by my 25th birthday (July 4th, if you want to set off an extra set of fireworks for me, that’d be cool). I want so badly to be able to say I wrote my first script by the time I was 25. It’s an over-achiever thing. The problem is that it’s really hard and I’m behaving very much like an under-achiever, which is something really difficult for me to deal with. I’ve had really good training on how to get things done – to make schedules, deadlines, to burn the midnight oil so that it happens – but this is different. This is personal so I want it to be perfect which means I edit myself as the scenes come instead of writing them down. I am convinced that all of them won’t work before they’re even born. The truth is you have to write everything down. If it doesn’t work you can delete it but if you don’t put it down then nothing really exists. The internal struggle has created a bit of a creative depression. Or it’s quite possible that it’s an all around depression at this point. It seems a lot easier to stay in bed than to write. I’ll put those dishes in the dishwasher at some point. Right now, I feel the need to rest in a fetal position and tell myself a few hundred more times how much I suck because this isn’t getting done. I’ve been told this is a thing that happens to a lot of writers.

It’s been my experiences that these pot holes happen to everyone when they’re working towards something big. You get stuck, and the exhaustion from spinning your wheels can put you in a funk. The important thing is that you have to get yourself out of those holes. The dishes are still in the sink, but I did manage to finish the first act of my screen play, so it’s possible. Here are my tips for pulling yourself out of the creative funk.

1. Take That Shower - This sounds like basic information, but it’s important especially if you are working from home. The appeal of rolling out of bed and sitting down at your laptop in your pajamas is so hard to overcome. Next thing you know it’s 7pm and there’s no point in showering because what would you change into? More pajamas. Make yourself get out of bed, take a shower, put on CLEAN clothes (yes, this means you have to do laundry. UGH I know). Eat some breakfast. These basic routines are part of a full robust wake up system. They make you more alert and prepared. They make you feel like a real human instead of a creative zombie on a hamster wheel. I’m not kidding – making yourself wear real pants has an amazing effect on your outlook. It also makes it more likely that people will want to be around you because B.O. is awful.

2. Set Deadlines – The problem with self-appointed goals is just that – they’re self-appointed. That means the goal post can move whenever you decide. Stop that. Set incremental goals and then give yourself a timeline in which it has to be done. My friend and Intent partner in crime MeLissa told me about her brilliant system of asking herself when she thinks she can get something done in a reasonable amount of time, and then she sets a deadline of three days earlier. So if you think it’s going to take two weeks to get something done, tell yourself you really have 10 to make it happen. Set up a penalty if it doesn’t happen. Didn’t get that draft done? Bye bye potato chips. Page count wasn’t met? I guess I’ll be DVR’ing Mad Men this week. Decided not to write at all today/this week? Haha, oh buddy, those plans to see Captain America this weekend just went down the toilet, congrats! When something is at stake you are more willing to keep the ball moving. I’m fortunate enough to have a great screenwriting teacher that’s been coaching me through the process – which brings me to the next thing!

3. Find a Hero/Coach/Inspiring Person  – This can take a lot of forms. For me, it’s Jon Bernstein. He teaches the classes I’m taking to help get this done (I realized that having grown up an academic nerd, literally making writing this screenplay homework was the best way to get me going). He is the loveliest person and super encouraging and his praise is like dancing in a rainstorm of sunshine and rainbows and candy. I feel like Eve the robot in Wall-E when she boots up in the sun whenever he tells me that I’ve done a good job, or that something I’ve written is funny or makes sense. On the downside, when he gives notes and it turns out I’m not his favorite thing about Earth I don’t know how to handle it. When I first started his class I barely had an outline, but I managed to improv my way through a log line and basic plot points. Then I had to given him a detailed description of my Act I plan and he wasn’t impressed. To be fair, I was still winging it and hadn’t really done the work. He told me he wasn’t compelled by the ending and there was no reason to keep watching the movie if that’s how I was going to do it. Um, what? This was life shattering news to me and the worst part was he was right. Everything he said rang true and that was worse. I could have thrown in the towel then because writers are sensitive and clearly if my rough outline of things I was planning to write was crap then there was no hope for me. But…I need Jon Bernstein to love me, because I respect him and trust his advice. So instead of giving up, I sat down at my desk and I wrote. I changed almost everything I had up until that point. Created new things. Broke up my darlings that were supposed to kiss at the end, made them miserable (because that’s what movies are until the end!) and I felt better for doing so. I felt more creative.

And that’s what a good coach does. Stephen King calls them an “ideal reader” but it’s the person who keeps you on track. They pop your ego balloon when you’re floating too high on praise instead of work. They are the ones that remind you that you are capable and brilliant when you’re down in that hole. Find your Jon Bernsteins. Find the people that are going to push you to that finish line because the most important lesson in all of this is that no one ever really gets there by themselves. (And again, it’s why showers are important).

Plus, I have to imagine that it’s sweeter to have people to celebrate with at the finish line.

Overcome Your Procrastination with 7 Go-Getter Quotes

It’s been said that procrastination is the assassinator of opportunity – and that’s probably true. Yet, we’re all guilty of putting things off at least every now and then. There’s always time to do the laundry later or pressing the trash down so you don’t have to take it out just yet. Have you ever pushed off a big assignment or work thing until the last minute? Red Bull wasn’t invented for people with great time management skills.

We’ve all been there so that means we also know that procrastination gets in the way of goals. There are several things you can arm yourself with to combat it though. Make yourself a to-do list of the things you have to get done. The physical representation helps you focus and checking the items off can empower you to keep going. Hide the distractions! If you are prone to breaking your concentration for a round of Candy Crush then put your phone in a drawer or a separate room until the task you need to complete is done. Organize yourself – it is AMAZING how empowering a clean desk can make you feel and motivate you. However, if those tips don’t help try to get yourself back on track with a few of these inspirational quotes. Procrastination may be damaging to progress but we can definitely overcome it.

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Getting started, again

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We started off the year with high hopes.

We were going to find love!
Start new jobs!
Let go of old hurts!

Now that it’s March, it’s time to do an evaluation.
Are you any closer? Are you have the sort of realistic conversations with yourself that are going to stop you from repeating the same old, same old? Or are you still back in 2013?

I hope as you’re reading this that you are thinking back on the short time since the turning of the year and you’re already proud of how far you’ve come, but in case you aren’t, here are some ideas to help you get back on track.

1. Time to affirm your intent. Remember the feeling and place you were in to make you set a big intent in the first place? Maybe you were worn out. Maybe you were on fire with the passion of a new idea. Even if you’re not in the same place you were when you originally made you’re intent, affirming it means you’re still saying “yes!” to that idea. Regardless of where you are today, you are just as committed to your dream.

2. Set visual reminders. I’m not above taking a page out of a teen girl’s book and leaving decorating my walls with reminders. Whether that’s notes on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator to remind myself of a new mindset or empty boxes in my bedroom to remind me to finally purge my closet of all the things I don’t need, a visual reminder is a tangible shift from seeing things the way they’ve always been.

3. Make an appointment with yourself. A boss I had taught me how invaluable it can be to make appointments with yourself, especially living in our fast-paced culture. You have someone asking you to get coffee (not necessarily a bad thing) and so you look down at your calendar and find an open place. If you’re like me, this might happen half a dozen times in a week and so you keep filling up the open places in your calendar with meaningful conversations and meetings. But then you arrive at the end of the week and realize you’ve left no time for your own plans or progress. Before you make it to Monday, sit down and find a block of time that can be added to your calendar that is reserved for the tasks that are hanging over your head. Writing? Organizing? Going to the gym? Sometimes it feels selfish to save time for you, but you would never tell a friend that making their own positive progress was selfish, so why is it for you?

So where are you getting started?
It’s possible you don’t feel progress being made because you never set an intention to begin with.
Check out this Year of Intent intention made my Mallika Chopra:

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 2.02.44 PM(click the image to see the entire intention)

Since originally posting about her new book, Mallika has been updating, affirming and responding to the comments left by other users. It keeps her motivated and, most importantly, focused on accomplishing a satisfying task- her newest book.

If it’s March and you lasted a good week on your resolutions and intentions, that’s fine. We’re here to get you started again.
So, again, I’ll ask where are you getting started?
What’s it going to take to get going?

Interested in checking out other Year of Intent goals? Check them out here.
Then set your own at Intent.com!

Empower Your Intents with These Motivational Social Media Accounts

motivational social mediaBy Elizabeth Eckhart

The holidays are long gone and the rush of the New Year is steadily drifting by, which means that the motivation to accomplish all of our new goals for 2014 might be declining. If the weather hasn’t brought you down, perhaps it’s the stress of work and school, or family concerns that have got you worried. Luckily, social media has become an excellent tool for spreading inspiration left and right, just when you need it most. No matter what your goals are, whether fitness, meditation, scoring that new job or graduating with straight A’s, we’ve found the most popular, and appreciated, motivational social media accounts, as well as the most discussed tools that will encourage you daily. So when you’re feeling down, check out some of the motivational sources we found using social media tool ViralHeat below, and continue paving your way through your good intentions!

Twitter Accounts to Follow

Fitness Motivation (@BeFitMotivation)

fitness motivationWith over a million followers, Fitness Motivation must be doing something right. The account encourages healthy eating, clean living, and constantly shares pictures of success stories. Better yet, they even include quick, on-the-go and at-home workouts for the busy bees out there. Their motivational quotes are also positive messages, no body-shaming allowed there. After a thorough search, it seems that the main message is to aim to be your best self, and that the short-cuts (such as unhealthy fad diets and questionable supplements) are NOT appreciated. Bonus, they have an Instagram account, too: @BeFitPhotos

Daily Motivation (@wisdomsquote)

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Daily motivation is exactly what it claims to be — a Twitter account that aggregates as many motivational quotes as it can find. Some are familiar sayings, and some are new, but all of them will integrate themselves into your feed to keep you pushing through your day. The account tweets at least a few pictures a day as well of inspiration role models from Buddha to Albert Einstein and Bruce Lee. Trending topics on the page are mental strength, determination, and courage. Warning: following this account might give you the bravery to achieve everything you put your mind to (as well as a few nifty pictures to pin up by your desk).

Inspirational Book

59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman

If Alfred A. Knopf, who published both Julia Child and John Cheever, once promoted the work, then this book deserves to be called phenomenal. A self-help book to decode all previous self-help books, this inspirational guide is written by an actual psychologist and professor, which sounds much more promising and helpful than someone who found success through their own personal path and hopes others can do the same. Professor Wiseman helps you promote change in minutes, to create habits that will last years, based on knowledge of the human behavior and brain power all of us possess. The best part? It’s a quick read, so convincing yourself to give a try won’t take that much motivation at all. Click here for his book talk. 

Pinterest

These Pinterest accounts will knock out any connotations that this site is primarily used for wedding planning and DIY crafts. In fact, these accounts are all dedicated to achieving goals on a larger scale, with helpful pictures, quotes, and videos to achieve them.

Inspiration {Video}: Inspiration video is exactly what it claims to be — a collection of videos from Youtube and other sources that will leave you itching to accomplish your goals. Pin it on your own board, or simply sift through the page and watch them all, it’s up to you! The wildly popular “Move” video, inspiration for any traveler out there, is one of the quickest and best!

Career Inspiration: Hoping to achieve your dream job, or know you need to make moves at your current position and show just how great you really are? This page is for you! Pin it to your Pinterest board, but better yet pin it to your bulletin board, your mirror in the morning, your desktop at the office.. the possibilities are endless! A personal favorite is this quote: Dreams don’t work, unless YOU do!

Ideas: Ideas is the help-all, inspire-all Pinterest page that addresses everything from physical health to soul and spiritual well-being. You never know exactly what you’ll find as you scour the page, but chances are at least one image or video will give you exactly the kick in the butt you need to move forward, move on, and start achieving.

Of course, at the end of the day, one of the most inspiring places to be is right here on Intent.com and Intent Blog! Use these motivational tools to set your own intents and inspire others!

Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

It’s the Journey, Not the Destination That Matters

the journey homeSo many of us are rushing though life – focused on the destination, not the journey. A great life, however, is really all about the journey – about what you meet, learn, endure, understand, appreciate, discover and choose along the way. Be intentional about participating in what life shares with you as you head out each day.

It is good advice to have goals and objectives – to know in which direction to head. The more we understand our unique abilities – our talents, strengths and passions – the clearer our life’s direction becomes. With this information, we can then sort through what our world has to offer to find those opportunities that fit what we are good at, passionate about and what matters to us. This is only the start. The real value happens not as we define our road, but as we show up on that road – to see what we can see and be part of along the way.

“The view matters,” is something my dad used to say to my five siblings and me. The view from the meandering garden path matters as he would stop us on each curve in the path to see what could be seen, experienced and even smelled. His intentional planting of certain trees, bushes and flowers created beauty, fragrance and an experience along the way – from the house to the street and from the house to the driveway. All of it was intentional. Stop. Look. Appreciate. Enjoy. Learn. Experience. It’s here for you – along the way.

My 3 daughters are now in their 20s and out of the house. Between rushing to and from soccer games, school events, college dorms – it all seems to have passed by so quickly. Goals achieved: college completed, jobs and lives on their own. On those roads over the past 20 years, I met amazing people, been to some outstanding places, done some totally dumb things and some absolutely amazing things. I have such bigger and fuller memories of the times I took the time compared to those that blurred by as I dashed here and there. I truly believe that a great life is not about getting it all done, but is one committed to seeing and experiencing things along the way.

Mind you, I have better intentions to slow down and show up than my delivery seems to show. But I am glad to be aware of it because awareness is the first step to becoming more intentional about choosing to experience the moments of life. Acknowledging that we are rushing through life, missing the things along the way, can help us choose to show up more present – to notice what we can see, feel, sense, experience and be part of. Life’s value isn’t in getting the to-do list all done. It’s about how we how up to the list.

So we are still at the start of a new year. There is time to make a commitment to make 2014 the year of the journey, not the dash for the finish. What today, right now, can you pay better attention to – can be more intentional about – so that you connect to the moment and all that it has for you? How can you slow down to increase the learning, experience and connection that will feed your soul, your spirit, your passion and perhaps even help you find your purpose. Everything you need for a most amazing life is found in the moments that you meet along the way.

Like Jay’s blog? Check out these similar Intents on Intent.com!

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photo by: paul bica

From the Year of Intent: Affirm Your Intent by Saying No

yoga-1_300Do you ever notice when you make a decision to do something, suddenly a million opportunities present themselves to throw you off your game or steer you in a different direction? The first thing that has to happen after you are clear on an intention is to practice saying no to anything that does not serve it. This can come in the form of relationships, business opportunities, how you spend your free time, and more. And it can be extremely difficult!

When you’re making a shift in your life toward a new vision, one of the hardest things to do is discern which opportunities to accept, and which ones to decline. However, if you are clear on your intention and know what you are moving toward, saying “no” is a powerful way to affirm what it is you want and are creating. I see it as a way of sending a clear message to the Universe, propelling you forward in the best direction 

For the past five years I have worked to build a thriving private yoga and Thai yoga massage practice. In the process of building that business I worked part-time in an unrelated field, plus taught many group classes to hone my yoga teaching skills and build my client base. Now, I’m happy to say, I have a full time private practice and can say no to opportunities that get in the way of my time with my clients.

This year though, my intent is to build a thriving online business to allow for maximum mobility in my life. Basically, I’m shifting gears so that in addition to my private clientele, I can reach people throughout the world with a variety of online offerings, including essential oils, meditation, and Soul-Care Sessions (my newest program). I am doing this to allow more opportunity for writing, travel, and spending time with my family who are scattered all over the globe.

Even though I am clear on what I am moving toward, it can still be amazingly difficult to turn down opportunities that show up. Since the start of the New Year, I have turned down 3 business opportunities that I determined would eat up time and attention from where I really want to direct it. Saying no was not easy though! I still have that fearful voice that thinks saying no means I’m ungrateful or entitled. Thankfully, largely through my meditation practice, I’ve learned how to turn the volume down on that voice, and turn the volume up on my intuition that gives me that gut reaction of what’s a good idea and what isn’t.

I don’t think there’s any real formula for this, but this is what I’ve observed about my own response.

Scenario 1: If someone makes an offer or proposal that right away feels good, exciting, and inspiring, I usually accept it. Sometimes fear will kick in after trying to discourage me, at which point I tell myself it’s worth a shot and if in the end I decide it’s not in my best interest, at least I tried.

Scenario 2: If someone proposes something that makes me hesitate, question, and feel uneasy, I usually say no thank you. But, if I don’t know right away it’s a no, I take time to think about it. Often then, that fearful voice will try to convince me that it’s a mistake to turn it down, but if I’m trying too hard to rationalize it into my life, I know it’s not right. Then I say no.

Like with anything worth developing, it’s a practice. Taking a moment to check in with how you feel, on a physical and spiritual plane, is always a good idea. There’s almost no decision that requires an immediate answer, so take the time to feel good about your response. Listen to your intuitive voice, and know that saying no doesn’t mean a stop to opportunities, but more likely an invitation for the right ones to appear.

I would love to have your support in my Year of Intent! You can follow me HERE.

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Sasha Stone is participating in our Year of Intent campaign. You can support, adopt or comment on her 2014 Intent and all of her updates here, or go to Intent.com to start your own! 

Set Your Intents By Finding Your Passion

As you can see, we are already hard at work at making 2014 the Year of Intent. Mallika wrote a blog post about what makes a good intent and how to write it, but how do you find out what your soul desires?

In our experience setting intents from a place of passion greatly increases your odds to stay motivated to manifest your intent. Do you know what your passion is? For some people it’s simple but for a lot of us that question can be kind of complicated. Maybe we know what area interests us – like writing or fitness or helping people, but we aren’t sure how to refine that into one coherent intent. Or maybe you’re still searching for that thing that makes you happy to get up in the morning.

If the latter is the case try asking yourself a few simple questions: In your free time what are you most often doing? Try describing your perfect day to yourself. What are your hobbies? What sort of things make you feel relaxed and at peace? It could be that your great passion is something you’ve never tried before, but exploring the things in your life that make you happy right now are the key to finding your path. If your perfect day includes a lot of being outside then maybe you’re passionate about nature and the environment. Were you doing something like a hike? Then maybe you should consider an intent to hike a challenging trail or to increase your stamina to hike further than you have before. Did your perfect day involve curling up somewhere and catching up on all the reading you’ve been meaning to do? Set an intent to finish the stack of novels by your bed. Or be adventurous enough to try writing one of your own. Maybe your perfect day would be spent with some mystery person that makes you feel special. Set an intent to date more or be more social! Intents can be about anything and can help you reach any goal for yourself. Follow the good feels and you’ll know when you’ve hit the right spot.

Found your area? Great. How do you refine that to a specific intent? It can be overwhelming when you think of all the things you want to accomplish and narrowing it down may seem like an insurmountable task. Take a moment to think. When setting your intent, be brave. Your inner self already knows what it wants, you just have to listen. Don’t be quick to talk yourself out of an intent or a certain goal by saying you can’t get there before you even begin. (On the flipside, don’t create a situation for yourself that really is impossible because you will only be met with the frustration of failing your own expectations. And that sucks.) Be ambitious, but realistic. And remember, we’re here to support you.

If you need a little motivation to remember how awesome you are and your true potential, check out this video. It was created as a response to Nash Grier’s “What Guys Look For in Girls” video, but without the context it’s an inspiring set of words for anyone.

What’s your passion? Tell us in the comments below! 

photo by: AlicePopkorn

Keep Your Health and Fitness Intents by Varying Your Routine

bepresenteachmomentThe most popular resolutions that are made for New Year’s relate to health and fitness. At Intent we really push the idea that you should strive not to make resolutions or physical goals like “I want to lose 30 pounds” but dig deeper in yourself and set intentions about how you want to feel for the new year – “I want to feel healthier and have a better sense of wellness.” It’s also important that to achieve your intent you set realistic smaller goals to motivate you to satisfy the intent desire in your soul. But once you have set your intent and created realistic landmarks to help you get there, how do you stay on track? According to StatisticBrain.com, 24% of people never reach their intended resolutions.

Your chances of succeeding at your intent increase as long as you keep the passion for it alive, and that means not letting yourself get bored. More than half of new exercisers quit within three to six months after starting a workout program, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). If you get bored or dread working out then you are much less likely to keep up the regimen. So how do you step out of your comfort zone? Try these tips.

  1. Try a new healthy food or recipe once a week – By expanding your food vocabulary you force yourself to learn more about the nutritional values of food, making it easier for you to make decisions about meals and snacks in the long term. Think of finding a new recipe as a new adventure. You can learn to love new foods or love your current favorites in brand new ways and this will prevent you from getting burned out on the same routine meals. “Find healthy foods you love, or learn creative ways to prepare foods so that eating is not a punishment, but a pleasant, (sometimes even spiritual) experience that involves mindfulness and togetherness,” says Sports Club/LA nutritionist Karen Sherwood.
  2. Take a group fitness class – There are so many ways to get in shape besides tying yourself to a treadmill or elliptical. It can be as simple as going for walks outside or changing your running route. Look at your local fitness center for their classes and pick something that you’ve never tried before. In September, Sports Club/LA launched their “Recess” classes, which helped adults work out by playing the games they had so much fun playing as a child.  Or you may try one of their Blitz classes which is a full body work out designed to improve your endurance, strength and power. Take a yoga class for a month and then switch to cardio dance classes. Not only do you allow yourself the chance to try new things and meet new people, but also you work out different parts of the body and you allow exercising to be something you really enjoy rather than an appointment with a machine you’ve grown to dread. You are not a hamster on a wheel, so why create a work out routine that makes you feel like one?
  3. Stay centered and in touch with your intent – Sometimes our intents evolve as time goes on and it is important to stay connected to that feeling. Trust yourself to change as your intent changes. By building a meditation or yoga practice to keep your center you can feel when a routine has started to not work and you can use your inner instincts to adapt your routine to what your body and mind are telling you it needs. “Physical activity along with peaceful practices such as yoga or meditation to help build a refreshed sense of self. This is the glue that seals in the new lifestyle as the body begins to change physically, resulting in a new stream of motivation,” Sherwood explains.

By combining these tips you not only increase your chances of reaching your intent, but you also give yourself more opportunities to grow and learn more about your health. Being adventurous with your fitness and nutrition routines not only makes the journey more interesting but you get a deeper appreciation for the journey as you go on, and that will propel you forward. We hope you take these tips to heart and that your 2014 is healthier than ever.

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