Your intention matters. By doing things with intention, it makes you focus and pay attention to the things that matter to you. This helps steer you in the direction you want to go. It keeps you oriented toward your goals. Intention gives you control, and helps to pull you forward rather than being pushed from behind by your old habits and experiences without efficacy.
Setting intention before your runs will help you connect to what you are doing, and bring a conscious focus to what, and more importantly, how you want to do things. Being intentional can be applied to anything, not just running. Setting intentions allows you to have the power and choose the direction you are headed in. It allows you to transcend old habits and create a more optimal way of living. It improves awareness, attention, and sense of purpose. Your intentions focus on the big picture and what you value in your crusade.
People don't set intentions for every little thing, but our behavior shows our values and unconscious drives. Have you ever seen somebody do something that had a negative consequence and say, "That wasn't my intention." In that scenario, your intention is irrelevant, it is the behavior that caused harm which matters. The behavior that is not your intention, is mindless, and it reveals what your underlying drives are. By setting conscious intentions, you can become more aware of what it is that you want, and cultivate the type of behavior and thus persona that aligns with your true values. Setting intention gives you back the power to be the person you want to be. Setting intention with regard to our running illuminates the people we want to be, and we get to practice that through our running.
Setting small goals will help you to accomplish these things by giving you specifics to how you go about achieving what you intend. What is your intention for your running? What values matter to you with regard to your running? Put these values in your intention statement, then set small goals for how you can be true to what you intend.
My intention statement:
My intention is to create a space of self-care, self-acceptance, tenacity, and persistence through my running. I will make time to reflect on my process, and give myself the opportunity to do things in a way that allows me to fulfill and strengthen those characteristics.
Goal setting involves identifying specific ‘hows’ to accomplish your intention.
My objective goals for how to follow through with my intention:
1. Waking up earlier to give myself the time to do the little things like feed myself, use the bathroom, set intention, and become focused.
2. Allow time after my runs for mental reflection, as well as physical cool down and strength & mobility work.
3. Identify the positive aspects of the time spent running, rather than rushing onto the next thing in my day.
Running is a very concrete, structured arena to set and practice intention. And now is a fantastic time to set solid intentions with what you want from your running. Without races, it is really boiled down to the purity of it. Why do you run? What do you want to achieve for you out of your running? This is not to discourage time goals, as setting time goals are an awesome way to cultivate an end point that motivates the process. The purpose of this is to establish what the purpose of your running process is. What do you want to put into the journey? What parts of yourself do you want to enhance through that journey?