Honest Intent Inspires Authentic Goals

We create our future in the present moment, so it is extremely important for us to be honest with both our current situation and what we are willing to do to achieve our dreams.

Intentions influence our actions and behaviors. If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people oftentimes do not achieve their goals. Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent. It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.

Honest intentions become even more important as we age; Our well-being depends on our ability to be authentic and true to ourselves.

Intentions have the power to strengthen your Inner Leader and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience. Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.

What we truly intend will happen, so I encourage my coaching clients to create SMARTER Intention Statements that support their personal vision.

Create Your Vision to Guide Your Intentions

When working with clients, I encourage them to create the time and space to create what I call a Vivid Visual Vision.   Why?  When done with emotion and intention, a Vivid Visual Vision serves as a guide. It helps transform your mind and beliefs if it has the following elements:

Vivid:  Authentic, clear and powerful emotionally, physically and spiritually. 

Visual:  Imagery that clearly illustrates your wants, needs and desires.

Vision:  Your intentional and holistic dream of the future.  

This process can also help uncover what might be hiding below the surface of who and where you are right now —your personal truth and deepest desires. An honest vision also helps guide the SMARTER Intention process and goal setting. Your intentions and goals help create the present that supports your purposeful future – your vision.

SMARTER Intentions

So, what exactly are SMARTER Intentions? They are statements designed to help you achieve your vision while holding your accountable and having some fun along the way because they are Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded. Let’s explore SMARTER Intentions in greater detail:

What we intend will happen. Actions support honest intentions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome.

What we intend will happen. Actions support honest intentions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome.

Super Cool: Write SMARTER intention statements that clearly outline what you truly need and want to do to make your vision a reality. Make sure you think they are super cool! Personalize your intentions so they tap into your sense of personal fulfillment and passion. What does this mean? You should get totally jazzed about your SMARTER intentions when you read and revisit them. Being true to your passion and purpose will help you stay motivated and focused!

Measurable: Take charge of your progress by building in accountability. Use metrics, numbers and other fun ways to monitor your progress (I like to use stars and smiley faces . Monitoring progress helps you determine what works and what needs change. Great metrics also provide a feedback mechanism that super-charges motivation. Realize your progress so you can celebrate success!

Achievable: Create SMARTER Intention Statements that seem doable to you. Each statement is a step forward. Small consistent steps are the key to accomplishing big dreams!

Relevant: Intention statements should move you forward in a way that holds meaning to you. Make sure your Intentions are specific enough to keep you focused yet cool enough to inspire action. Great intention statements support your vision and build on one another. Relevance is focus combined with synergy.

Time bound: Each Intention should be completed in an established time frame. When will you accomplish your Intention? Set a date and establish a time line. Use time as an effective tool to build in accountability and to monitor progress.

Evolved: Your SMARTER Intentions must be designed to fulfill your life vision. Revisit them often (daily, weekly and monthly) to make sure they are still working for you. How do you feel when you reach a goal? If it feels right, you are on target. If something feels off, it may be time to make adjustments. These are your intentions, so be true to yourself and make them work for you! Performance based on passion equals success!

Rewarded: This is the best part of a SMARTER Intention! Celebrations help us realize our progress while building momentum and motivation. How will you celebrate achieving your Intention? Be creative and have fun with this one. Recognize your accomplishments and share your wins with others. Go wild with confidence and celebrate each success!

It’s Time for a Little Practice!

Find a quiet spot where you can still your mind and center your thoughts. If this is new to you, a quick and effective way to center yourself is: 1) close your eyes in a quite place, 2) take 3-4 full, deep breaths (a great way to take full deep breaths is by taking air in through the nose and releasing it out through the mouth making a constant “S” sound) and 3) slowly opening your eyes. Invest some focused time in honestly creating SMARTER Intention Statements that serve as a map on your journey to achieving your personal vision. Your SMARTER Intentions should be Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded.

Coaching Tip: Get Creative & Have Fun!


Pictures truly have the power to speak a thousand words. Use images, pictures, stickers, colors and whatever other images or visuals that move you. Using both words and images stimulates your whole brain and is an extremely powerful way to establish SMARTER Intention Statements. Your smarter Intentions may end up being a collage of images with a few words. Be creative and have fun!

The table below is a coaching tool designed to get you started. Remember, what we truly intend will happen. Have some fun with this exercise. Also, make sure you are true to yourself and find fulfillment and meaning in each statement. Write as many SMARTER Intentions as you need. The table below is only a guide with an example of one of my SMARTER Intention Statements for 2021.

SMARTER Intention StatementDue DateReward
1I will create 52 posts based on the most common and profound client questions and challenges in 2021December 31, 2021Social media themed party with my family!
2
3
4
5
SMARTER Intentions Coaching Guide and Example

Final Coaching Tips on Setting SMARTER Intentions

Remember, this life is your journey. If you need to make changes to your SMARTER Intention Statements, do it. If something doesn’t feel right, fix it. Intentions should be set for you as an individual and based on personal fulfillment, not simply on what you think you should do based on the thoughts and influences of others or society. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Be brutally honest with yourself when setting SMARTER Intentions. Truly meaningful intentions are powerful and have the potential to grow your Inner Leader and your life.

What you truly intend will happen; therefore, your SMARTER Intentions must be based on your personal truth. Intentions become goals; therefore, honest intentions inspire authentic goals. The more genuine you are about experiencing your SMARTER Intentions, the more likely you are to stick to them. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends in goal abandonment and ultimately in feelings of failure and self-doubt. Feelings of failure and self-doubt can seriously erode confidence and our sense of self-empowerment and success.

My Final Coaching Tips: Set holistic SMARTER Intentions that recognize the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection for different areas of your life, including the areas of self-care, family and relationships, spiritual growth, finances and personal development. Different areas of life ebb and flow together like an ecosystem. Each area of life needs attention. Life should be cultivated and cared for like a plant or flower if it is truly to be enjoyed.

Keep your SMARTER Intentions in front of you; refer to them many times per day until they become part of your subconscious mind. Take inspired actions daily, change course when needed and enjoy the journey!

How do you set goals?

A client asked me how to set goals for 2021 – this was a great question, and we enjoyed exploring it during our coaching session. I suggest to clients that they begin by letting their creative juices flow through the process of drawing their vision.

We create our future in the present moment, so our thoughts, actions, and activities benefit by having a guide.  The best way to establish this guide?  Create a Visual Vision.

Start by Drawing Your Vision

Grab yourself a big piece of paper  — I like to use poster board or flip charts — and some markers, crayons, oil pastels, paints or whatever medium you prefer and begin to let your imagination wander.  This should be an enjoyable process, so I highly recommend savoring a hot cup of tea or favorite beverage of any kind while creating your vision of the future.  When you have everything you need, including quiet, focused time, begin drawing your vision for the future.  

Vision 2021

Most of my clients are challenged by seeing beyond 2021, so start there! What is your vision for this year?

Draw a picture of your vision – who do you want to be this year?  Where do you want to be at the beginning of 2022?  And, what do you want to have experienced and accomplished along the way? 

Let go and have some fun with this process!  Refine it until it feels good to you and truly represents your vision for 2021. Keep your visual vision in front of you and use it to guide 2021.  I also suggest looking at it daily – put it somewhere you are going to see it several times per day without having to manually get it out of a book or drawer. These repetitive visuals will help guide your subconscious mind.

Coaching Tip: You can use whatever timeframe that works for you. One year goes by quickly, and we want to give ourselves enough time to accomplish or reach our vision. So stretch yourself but also ground your vision by thinking what is real for you by 2022.

#YOU

I also suggest creating a unique hashtag or bumper sticker phrase to anchor your mind to the vision every time you set a goal or need to make a decision.  A great vision guides intentional and authentic goal setting and decision making by anchoring your mind, serving as a guide, simplifying the processes and becoming your compass for 2021!  Try it out and let me know how it goes!!

Coaching Tip:  You can use this process as an individual, with your family, with your friends and with teams at work.  Enjoy!

-Dr. Connie

The Mind Body Connection

For the past year, I have had the good fortune of working with faculty who focus on mental health. Dr. Matthew Wappett is the Executive Director of the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD) – also known as the “Laughter Doctor :). Dr. Ty Aller is a Senior Program Coordinator for for UCEDD. They are both part of a team focused on growing the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Leadership Institute.

I loved one of the recent Instagram posts because it clearly demonstrates the connections between our minds and our bodies. Mental health transforms our physical health. About fifteen years ago, I read The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton. His book was my first introduction to the field of epigenetics. I studied genetics in graduate school but never heard of the word epigenetics until I found his work. Dr. Lipton began is career as cell biologist. His research around the mind-body-health connection is truly remarkable and is worth reading/watching/listening to if you are interested in how your thoughts transform your body and your life. I like to use his work in my personal life but also for my clients because thoughts are so powerful!

Working with prolific leaders who focus on mental health has enabled me to learn from experts who helped me refine my own tools, ideas and thoughts. And, I have been able to share my knowledge with them too -what a blast! Follow the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center if you would like to learn more about their work or if you are interested in improving mental health:

Webinars in October!

I am co-teaching webinars with Drs. Wappett and Aller in October. The schedule is below. I will share more details about both webinars in the next few weeks. I also wanted to share some of the content their organizations create to help all of you understand and improve your own mental health.

My role in the project has been focused on developing content and tools designed to help coach mental health leaders and professionals with a focus on innovation and the future. Why? Like many professions, COVID has been a huge wildcard for mental health researchers and practitioners. Their work is more important than ever but the ways in which they collaborate, share, train, coach and assist others has changed and will continue to evolve. They are creating next generation mental health innovations, which is super exciting!!

Zoom fatigue and burnout are real things, so I promise to add a little activity and fun to the mix! Mark you calendars and register for the remaining webinars by going by clicking on the image below. I look “forward” to seeing some of you there!

Looking for Something Different?

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you want to learn more about or what would like help doing as you create your desired future while having more fun 🙂 Your insights, questions and ideas are what drives my creativity and content. Use the form below to send me your burning questions, coaching needs and innovative ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!

Live Your Future,

-Dr. Connie

Mondays are for Fresh Starts

It may be time for a fresh start. Clients have been reaching out to me because they are stressed and wondering what to do next. The uncertainty created by the COVID-19 situation is a challenge for businesses and leaders. How can you possibly create a bright future right now?

In face-to-face workshops, I really enjoy watching my clients jump over fresh start lines after they have decided to pivot and move in a different direction. Now is the time to jump over that line if what you are doing is not working.

We have made a lot of changes in our house too. Growing a business while helping kids with their new normal of remote learning at home is a total mind bender. One of our dogs died, and we closed on a house that we were in the process of buying before this all happened. We also received very difficult news about two loved ones that are struggling with health issues. It has been hard and more than a little depressing.

Through all of the challenge and stress, there is hope and opportunity.

For example, I had to give myself permission to hold off on launching the online version of F*school while also expanding my client base to serve those who are in need. The challenge was putting my almost completed F*School on hold so I could move into the opportunity of helping more clients. My personal philosophy is to serve the immediate needs of existing or new clients first while developing products requested by future clients.

If you need to create a fresh start for yourself, or your business, then do it. Today, or any day, is the perfect time to do something different, experiment with ideas and reconnect with yourself and the clients.

If you are having a hard time dealing with the need for constant change and need a mindset shift, then let me know. The experienced coaches I know and admire are all adding clients in an effort to help individuals and organizations navigate this rollercoaster of a ride we seem to be on right now.

Give yourself permission to create a fresh start! If you need help, please let me know. I am here for you. If I am not the right fit, I will help you find someone who is.

We will get through this, and there are opportunities out there – for people at every age and stage of life. Let’s create joy and hope in the world again. It’s time.

Go Wild with Your Fresh Start!

-Dr. Connie

What 100 Things have You Accomplished in the Last 10 Years?

We are ushering a new decade, which means it is a great time to reflect on the past while preparing for the future! It is easy to move on to the next goal, intention or resolution; however, I encourage all of you to take the time to remember, honor and celebrate what you have already achieved – in the last 10 years. Yes, you read that correctly – the last 10 years!

What 100 Things Have You Accomplished in the Last 10 Years?

Why 10 years? This decade stretching coaching exercise is designed to tap into your memory banks while providing a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Investing time and effort into this process will also strengthen your motivation and confidence. This can be especially important for high-achieving individuals who feel like they are getting older and are interested in or working towards a life transition or transformation. Achievers tend to move quickly and overlook what they have accomplished. This exercise was intentionally designed as a slow, yet insightful, process that helps us see how much we have grown and changed over the course of a decade.

The first few may or may not come easily to you. Expect the process to get a little more challenging as you add more accomplishments. Ten years goes by quickly, and we tend to forget all we have experienced and achieved. If you get stuck, refer to your planner, calendar and pictures for ideas. Use your social media accounts, colleagues and friends to trigger your memories. Think back to fun times and feelings of joy. And, think broadly! This is not an exercise focused only on work or career. Think about the whole of your life as you go through this exercise. Below are a few thinking prompts:

  • How did you invest in yourself?
  • Where were you, and what were you doing, 10 years ago?
  • Where are you, and what are you doing, now?
  • What experiences did you enjoy?
  • Did you have a child(ren) or grandchild(ren)?
  • Did you try a new hair color?
  • What type of physical exercise did you try or grow?
  • Did you write your first blog post or record a podcast?
  • What romantic encounters did you experience?
  • What vacations did you experience?
  • What classes did you take?
  • What hobbies did you develop?
  • How did you volunteer or freely contribute your talents?
  • What did you do for exercise or self-care?

Stretch your thinking and have some fun with this exercise. You may just surprise yourself! Download the 100 Things I Have Accomplished in the Last 10 Years Coaching Tool below by clicking on either the text or the 100 graphic. Make the time to complete the list, and then let us know all about the 100 accomplishments you have achieved in the comment section below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers to all of you!

-Dr. Connie

What 100 things have you accomplished in the last 10 years?