When was the last time you enjoyed a sunrise or sunset? This summer, I have seen the most incredible sunsets! As I watch the spectacular color combinations of yellow, orange, and pink over the ocean, it always reminds me that one of my greatest joys of summer is being outside more and the impact it has on my personal and professional recharge. Nature has so many wonderful surprises.
I developed a habit this summer that I call the sunset intention. As I watched the magnificent beauty of the sun setting, I would remind myself of one thing that happened that day that I was grateful for and then I would set an intention for the next day. For example, I was really grateful one day when a client came in and shared with me an exciting promotion he was receiving. My intention for the next day can be as simple as being more adaptable, or spending more productive time managing my emails, or being a more focused listener.
In my book, Career ReCharge: Five Strategies to Boost Resilience and Beat Burnout, I share the importance of having a purpose to enhance your career and resilience. I think many people get confused with figuring out their purpose and find the concept overwhelming. This is where setting a daily intention is helpful. Setting an intention is a way we can continue on the road that reflects our purpose one day at a time. You can also set an intention for your day in the morning when you have your first cup of coffee or before you begin checking email. You can ask yourself these questions:
- How might I show up today to make the best impact?
- In difficult moments, how can I be more compassionate or let something go that is causing stress or anxiety?
- What matters most to me? Am I making time for whatever this may be?
I shared this practice with my clients this summer, and many began this practice at the end of every day or as their day began. The feedback I received from my clients was that it made them appreciate the day more and enhanced their focus for the day. It is easy with our busy lives to get stuck in the rat maze and feel like we are just running around trying to find the cheese, instead of having the impact we want in our careers and lives.
An intention can also be to let go of what doesn’t work. Consider those things you would like to change in your life. It could be bad habits, toxic friends, and even old grudges. As you set your intention for the day and you find there is something that just keeps bothering you, that is a red flag. Pay attention to those red flags—they can give you your intention for the day. Your intention can be as simple at letting go of something somebody said or a work situation you have no control over or just to pause before sending an important email.
Sometimes it takes seeing something absolutely spectacular in nature to remind ourselves we need to pay attention more. Stop, take a pause breath, and ask yourself what you want your day to look like. Over time, you will notice how the quality of your communications, relationships, and sense of purpose shifts.
I would love to get your feedback on how setting intentions made a difference in your career or life. Email me at email@example.com. As we only have a few more weeks of summer, get out in nature as much as you can and enjoy the refresh!