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The power of intent

The second tenet of mindfulness is intention. Well, we already know that!


According to the psychology nerds at Harward, intention is "a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future".



Translation?


It's your plan. It's something you intent on doing in the future.


But what factors increase the chances of your intention matching your behavior? A positive attitude, social approval and self efficacy.


We also know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions too. And despite the best of intentions, sticking to your Dieture meals everyday don't always match your behaviour (ahem).


Affinity. Approval. Ability.

According to the theory of planned behaviour, if you have an intention to do something, you are more likely to follow through with it if the below stars align.


  1. Affinity: You see the said behaviour in a positive light. (#goals)

  2. Approval: You think people around you will approve of your behaviour (#peoplepleaser)

  3. Ability: You think you're in control of your behavious (#selfefficacy).


Intention Vs Behaviour

A meta-analysis published by Dr. Webb and Dr. Sheeran (no, not the singer Ed Sheeran, duh), showed that intentions are powerful.


Specifically, the review showed that a medium-to-large change in intention leads to a small-to-medium change in behaviour.


What does this mean?


Instead of focusing on your behaviours, starting with an intention to do something differently - be it sayijng no to your favourite dessert or getting 10,000 steps in today - might just be the push you need, to take action.


You need an example, don't you?


A spark ignites the intention to go to the gym a few days a week from here on out. That is it, that is all.


Affinity: You finally listen to Dieture dietitians and believe exercise is good for your body, mind and spirit.


Approval: You think your family and friends will see you as hardworking and dedicated if you go to gym.


Ability: You have done it before, so you can do it again.


Chances are, you will end up going to the gym few days a week.


On the other hand, if you think negatively about exercising, your thought process can direct towards...


Aversion: Exercise is useless.


Disapproval: Nobody wants to be friends with a meathead


Disbelief: I don't even workout once a week.


Sorry to be the bad news bearer, but with that thought, you wont be hitting the gym any time soon.



Conclusion: Your intentions are powerful. As are your attitudes, social approval and your abilities.