It is a very common practice at the beginning of each year for individuals to create a To Do list to be accomplished within the course of that particular year.

And what is most interesting is at the time, these lists are well-intentioned. I have arrived at a place in my own life where I realize there is a big difference between intentions and being intentional. Why is it that so many people write down a list and yet give up on these intentions in only a few weeks?

To me, intentions are based on the externals of life—the unexpected, the change which wasn’t planned, the weather, or a change in finances or relationships. You can hear a person clearly state, “Well, I meant well. However, now I must wait until ‘this situation’ clears up before I move forward.” People who create such an intention are stopped and stuck in the illusion of waiting. An intentional person—as opposed to someone who just creates a list of intentions—draws energetically from an internal and not an external source. An intentionally spirited person draws from an internal wellspring and listens to inner guidance with the ability to focus on the commitment made and prioritize the demands involved in completing a task or promise made to oneself.

Years ago, when I taught stress management, I often pointed out that if you make a promise to children and do not fulfill it, they are very disappointed. We are no different as adults. An Intentional Spirit understands the value of fulfilling promises to oneself and knowing that the failure to fulfill the intention will lead to self-disappointment, zap our self-esteem, lessen our own energies, and negatively impact how we show up energetically in the world. Be careful with what you promise to yourself, as your inner child is always listening and will be disappointed if you do not fulfill your promises.

One of the most significant cries I hear all around me today is the following: “I am so busy.” No matter how you say it or in what way you mean it, beware this statement is an expression of victim consciousness. Intentionally change your pattern to say, “I am creative.” This statement now sounds so much more uplifting and empowering. As my friend, Michel Pascal, says, “I am not busy, my schedule is.”

There will always be easy excuses to say, “I am so busy,” which you can use to delay your magical life. Instead, be bold and be intentional and allow the movement of life to be everywhere present. Enthusiastically say, “I am so creative and full of life and energy that my schedule is overflowing.” Taking ownership is owning you are in charge of your calendar.

This article is an excerpt from my new book: Being A Difference Maker: A Guide For Living Life Out Loud.

Loving Life,


In her latest offering of spiritual treasures, Rev. Dr. Temple Hayes sets out to energize readers in coming alive with passion in "Being a Difference Maker: A Guide for Living Life Out Loud."

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