Last week, I attended a live intention-setting workshop with Jess Lively of The Lively Show. To say I enjoy her work is a serious understatement; her podcast has been instrumental in teaching me the vocabulary I need to live a more stable, intentional life.
This workshop was a little teaser to her full course, Life With Intention Online, that I hope to take someday based on all of the positive things I've heard about it and just how much I appreciate Jess's influence in my own life.
The intention-setting workshop
As we went through the workshop, she walked us through the difference between values and intentions. This is how she defines values:
A value is a principle or quality that is intrinsically desireable.
And this is how she defines intentions:
An intention is a statement of our deepest values in a particular area of life.
From what I understand, values are more universal and less changing, while intentions are more flexible based on the season of our lives or our circumstances. Values are fairly broad, while intentions are a bit more specific.
From there, she reminded us something that hit me pretty hard:
Intentions are not goals, future-oriented or expectation-focused.
I am such a sucker for all things goal-like, future-oriented and expectation-focused, so it's a stretch for me to tone it down a few notches and connect with my true intentions. This workshop helped me recognize how I've been operating, and where I need to start giving myself a little more grace.
But first, values
So I first thought about where my values lie. It helped to narrow my focus to a specific area of my life, so I looked at my work and writing. When I came up with these values based on that area, I realized that they were relevant across the board. Here they are:
- Sharing Joy
I wanted productivity in there as well, because I know how fulfilling it is for me when I "ship" something. As in, hit publish on a blog post, send an email, finish another row on my crochet project, etc. I just felt like creativity wasn't enough of a push to me, so I doubled down with productivity as well.
Crafting an intention from those values
So after that, she encouraged us to combine those values into a statement of intention, and it came so easily:
My intention is to produce creative work that brings joy to myself and others.
That "brings joy" part is really important, because I want to feel good about my work and I love knowing that it helps others feel good as well. I know how much I depend on uplifting people in my own life, so I hope to also uplift others in need.
So here's the challenge for you: choose an area of your life (possessions, personal habits, relationships, career) and identify three or four values you hold in that area. Here's a giant list of values if you need some help.
Then, pull those together into something concrete that you can put by your desk or in the notes on your phone - somewhere you'll see it and reflect on it often. Use it as your guiding light when you have to make tough decisions. What choice is in line with the intention you set?
Jess Lively has a free intuition mini-course that's always available, if you want to get a feel for her work. I can't recommend her enough.
I'd love to hear some of your values or intentions! What area of life do you need to focus on right now?