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Let Go of Good Intentions

Let Go of Good Intentions

A good intention is simply something that you have an idea about that you’d like to do - such as you have good intentions to look for a job or your good intentions include losing twenty pounds.


If you’re like other people, your life is probably brimming with good intentions. And just like other people, unfortunately, the buck basically stops there, and you live out a life that never changes.


You miss out on accomplishments, opportunities and more because good intentions are like a car missing the engine and tires. It’s just not going to get you anywhere. So why does it happen? Why do people get filled with good intentions that leave them stuck? There may be some reasons you can uncover and deal with appropriately.


You’re the Planner


There is nothing wrong with planning. Planning can get you organized and help you stay that way. When you plan, it means you don’t miss an important meeting or appointment. But good intentions derail the planner.


A good intentions planner likes the idea of everything he plans for his life being done on time. He enjoys the thought that his future life is filled with order and not chaos. He can imagine the trips he’s going to take right down to the last detail.


But a good intentions planner is often just a mask for procrastination. You’ll find this in people whose planning journals are so full of page after page of notes that it’s as thick as War and Peace.


The good intentions planner leaps out of bed every morning so eager to take action - and full of ideas. He has so many ideas that they cram his head full, so he jots them down.


Then he looks for ways that he could maybe someday bring those ideas to reality. He might have the intention of starting a business, so he studies the logistics. Looks at square footage online for rental space to determine where every piece of furniture would fit in.


He considers what color paint he would use and wonders if he’s even allowed to paint the walls of an office space. The one with the good intentions thinks about who else he could bring on board and decides that if the chance comes up, he might ask them.


A planner figures out that it’s always best to know everything he needs to know about his good intentions. So, he waits before he takes any action because he doesn’t want to make a mistake.


His idea is so brilliant, he’d better make sure he’s got all his bases covered first. So he keeps busy figuring out even the smallest possible detail. He believes it’s better to study and to plan so that nothing goes wrong.


What the good intentions planner doesn’t grasp is that in life, something’s bound to go wrong. It’s not a matter of if, but when. All the planning in the world won’t prevent problems.


And all the inaction in the world that’s done through planning never changed a single life. Especially yours. So go ahead, sit back and plan to your heart’s content. A month from now, six months from now, a year from now, you’ll still be who you are.


Right where you are. Full of good intentions. You will never find success no matter how hard you plan as long as you’re led by good intentions. There is a cure for good intentions that keep you stuck because you’re busy planning.


You’re not going to like hearing it, but here it is: quit lying to yourself that your planning is anything other than procrastination - you failing to take action. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can free yourself from a life of nothing but good intentions.


You’re the Promiser


Someone who’s full of good intentioned promises is a little bit like a good intentions’ planner. They just don’t even make it as far as the planning process. A promise is when you declare that something is as good as done.


You’re guaranteeing that you’re going to follow through on that verbal commitment. You might even think that you mean what you say. You might think that your promise is your bond, that your word is good.


But a promise unfulfilled is an intended truth that lives its existence as a lie. So then why are people full of good intentions and make promises that they don’t keep? There are many reasons. None of them flattering.


One reason is because the good intentioned promiser is too disorganized, too scattered to remember to make good on these promises. They’re full of good intentions and in the heat of the moment, when they’re promising other people or themselves, they intend to do just what they say.


But then responsibilities crowd in and that good intention gets put on the back burner. Another reason you give out promises to others or yourself is because you just want that other person (or yourself) to quit nagging you about what needs to be done.


You want to quiet that voice inside of you that tells you you’re making a mistake by failing to follow through. You’re eating too much pizza. You need to stop skipping the gym. You need to get the project done for work. You need to pay more attention to your stalled career.


You silence that nagging voice with your empty promises. “Oh, I know I’m eating too much pizza out with friends,” you tell yourself. “But I’ll eat right tomorrow and every day afterward. This is just a slip up.”


You promise to do better, but you don’t. “I’ll work out extra-long at the gym,” you promise yourself. No, you won’t. You probably won’t even make it to the gym because one promise not followed through on makes it easier to tell another one that goes nowhere.


You tell yourself you’ll do whatever it takes to get your career back on track. If that were true, you would have done it already. You haven’t been the kind of friend, wife, husband, daughter, son, mom, dad or employee that you need to be.


But you promise that you’re going to improve. Everything’s going to get better because that’s your intention. Lying to yourself is often covered up by well-meaning words. But your history of not doing anything speaks for itself in all the areas of your life.


Your hollow promises are acting like termites. Slowly, but surely, they’re eating away at your life - your health, your relationships, your career. Your world is built on a house of cards that will eventually come tumbling down because you never took the time or made any effort to fortify it with action.


You’re the Learner


Someone who has good intentions often starts out in life full of hope and planning and promises. They know what they want and they would love to have it happen. They can even visualize what their lives will look like once they’ve achieved what they want.


A good intentioned learner is eager to get things done. These are the kind of people whose charts have charts. They want to discover everything there is to know about the end result of their goals.


But first, they want to know what it’s going to take to go on this journey. So they begin to educate themselves and they chase after learning like their very life depends on it. If they want to lose weight, they’re going to examine every single weight loss program available to them.


They’re going to compare the different plans offered by each of the weight loss programs. Then they’ll look up the foods that are recommended. They’ll weigh the cost. These well-meaning learners will talk to other people who may have tried that weight loss strategy.


They’ll research testimonials. And they’ll keep on digging into the information. Without ever making a commitment. Without ever losing a pound. If weight loss could be accomplished by trying to develop a strategy, they’d be golden.


But finding a strategy by itself keeps you in the same size clothes. It keeps the same number on the scale and keeps you at the same risk for health problems caused by being overweight.


Some good intentioned learners really want to improve their relationships. They believe that it can be better and that it’s what they truly need. So they research books they need to read for advice.


They look up what kinds of therapy they might be able to get involved with. They think about talking to the other person to see if it could help and run scenarios through their mind to see how things might go.


But their strategy and all that research doesn’t do anything to improve their relationship because learning isn’t doing. There’s no hard work, no effort put into it. Sometimes people have a strong desire to go further in their career.


That might be you. You know what you’d like to be so badly that when you close your eyes, you can almost feel it. You think about that big corner office, those extra zeroes on that paycheck.


You think about the college courses or the skills you could learn that would help get you there. You think about the networking you could do. You think about the changes that you could make that would send your career to the next level.


But nothing happens. And nothing happened because you didn’t make it happen. You just had some good thoughts, good ideas, and good intentions. In the meantime, you get to stay just where you are.


You might immerse yourself in the courses and training, but that’s where your journey ends because every time you finish one step, you’ll be looking for something else to study before you take action and fulfill your dreams.


The Consequences of Your Good Intentions


Never making changes? Sick of being stuck? That’s a pretty grim picture of life. Looking, but never having. Wanting, hoping but then getting up and repeating your day just like the day before it and the day after it.


Your life ends up stuck on a treadmill of mediocrity, of settling - because your good intentions are in the way of your actions. There’s a saying that goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” and what that means is that you can wish and hope and plan on doing things all day long, but unless you actively implement a strategy, you’ll never get anywhere.


Good intentions aren’t movement. They’re life-stalling. They’re problem intensifiers. They’re you staying overweight. You with the relationship woes. They’re you working your whole life with your dreams tucked safe and sound in the back of your mind, held firm in your wishful thinking.


There are some modern psychology theories that teach that you’re not to blame when you have good intentions but don’t end up following through. If you’re not to blame, then why are you the one living with the results of your inaction?


Here’s a thought: if you don’t like being overweight, change it. You don’t like the trajectory of your relationships? Do something about them. You feel stuck in your career?


Want something more? Want better for your family? Then take a deep breath, face yourself in the mirror and tell your good intentions to take a hike. Figure out what you have to do in order to give your good intentions some wheels.


The thing about good intentions is that at the heart of them, they hold a lot of potential. They’re brimming with ideas, thoughts, hopes, and dreams that could rock your world and change your life.


But without any power driving them, putting them into motion, they stay there like baby birds that never learn how to fly. Good intentions are great. But they’re not enough. And without action, they will never help you achieve your goals, regardless of whether or not you’re a good person who deserves success in life.


Hint: You do deserve a good life. You deserve to have the body that you want to have. You deserve good health. You deserve great relationships with people who’ve got your back through the bad times and will root for your success.


You deserve a career that fulfills all your dreams and makes you extremely happy. But it can’t happen unless you take the reins and begin applying a strategy that will help you take what’s in your head and apply it to your life in the form of action steps.


A Sad Ending for You with Your Good Intentions


Don’t be a cautionary tale. You know the one. The warning that other people pass around like party favors whenever there’s a dire comparison waiting to be handed out.


You know what really stinks about having good intentions?


It’s the sneaky little emotional backfire that goes along with it. When you have good intentions and nothing else, you end up full of negative emotions, negative thoughts and lots of disappointment.


Most people with good intentions are great at hiding that disappointment. So great, in fact, that they convince themselves that everything is okay. But you know deep down that you’re lying to yourself.


You’re not okay. You’re disappointed that you let yourself down. That you’re in the place you are right now because you didn’t try. You’ve sadly realized that you can’t be trusted to even keep promises to yourself.


Good intentions can be a life wrecker. You might already sense that if you’re feeling stuck. If that sounds like you and your heart is crying out that there’s more to life, but you still do nothing to change that, there’s some advice tailor made for you.


Life is going to get a whole lot easier for you when you quit wanting what you’re obviously never going to have because you’re not willing to get up and make it happen.


So, for you, make peace with your good intentions.


Face the hard facts. This is where you are in life. It’s your lot. Nothing is ever going to change because you won’t change from inaction to action. Your promises are empty. They’re never going to become reality.


That doesn’t sound very encouraging, does it? That’s because all the motivation and encouraging talks in the world won’t help you if you don’t help yourself. It’s time to put up or shut up.


You need to make a choice. Either accept that your life is just going to be one of good intentions and nothing more - or it’s going to be one that you change by taking action instead.


So what do you need to do in order to let go of good intentions? There’s no magic wand, no program that’s going to make it easy for you. It’s all going to be on your shoulders.


You have to quit planning whatever it is you’re going to do “someday” and just do it. You have to stop with the promises that you’re not fulfilling. Follow through or don’t promise anything at all.


Stop focusing on only learning and nothing else, Stop strategizing. Stop waiting. Good intentions without follow through never allowed you to reach your potential - never let you have the life you want.

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