In my experience, too many people are going through life moving without intention. They wake up each morning, do their morning routine, go to work, come home and that’s that. They aimlessly walk through the world living for the weekend or just getting by. This also occurs in the gym. They walk in, do their thing and walk out. No plan, no guidance, just doing.
By now, you understand how much of a planner I am and how I do things to ultimately to bring me closer to my goals. In doing so, every action I take has meaning and therefore I must set my intentions. Because this is mainly a fitness blog, I will stay mostly in that realm, but applying intention in your everyday life can really change the vision you have for yourself and those around you.
With personal training I teach a lot of explosive movements. I am always saying things like ‘now faster’, or ‘quicker’ or ‘push the ground away’ and my clients always reply with ‘I’m moving as fast as I can!’ or ‘I feel like I’m so slow’. Sometimes they are absolutely correct; they may not be moving any faster and maybe they actually are moving slow, but it’s all about what they intend to do. You can see when someone is trying to actively improve each rep and when they’re not.
There’s a big difference when you simply go through an exercise versus when you are actively thinking of what the exercise is supposed to do or how it’s supposed to feel. Commonly known as the mind-body connection; this level of attentiveness separates the weak from the strong – literally. When an athlete focuses on pushing the ground away in a sled march, they learn to focus on pushing the ground away in a sprint – inherently making them more efficient and faster. When a bodybuilder (or anyone) does a leg press and focuses on knee alignment and the muscles firing they get more out of each rep which leads to #GAINZ. The latter is where I struggled when switching my training style a couple months ago. It wasn’t until a session with Jonni Shreve that I unlocked a new level of concentration during isolation movements and secured my seat on the #GainTrain (I do not apologize for that very bro and lame sentence).
What I’m trying to get at is that you must always set an intention, a purpose, a goal with everything you do. Intention gives you direction and for me peace of mind. If it’s in the gym, then intend to be conscious of every movement you perform. In life, walk with intention, verbalize it, share it, write it down and remind yourself every damn day.
Intention is the starting point of every dream – Deepak Chopra