Do you believe in your personal power and how you can use it to shape your experience of life?

How do you feel about holding yourself 100% accountable for how you show up and react to life?

Seeing ourselves as co-creating our reality isn’t always easy, but it’s an important truth that will help set us free.

Making the decision to move into the driver’s seat of my life years ago, was the best gift I could have ever given myself.

Now, this isn’t to say I don’t still at times fall asleep at the wheel. Sure, I can get irritated with the way others show up around me. I can find myself lamenting over what exactly that person meant when they said that certain thing. I can feel hurt by those close to me, or triggered when my children don’t listen to me for the eight hundredth time in a row.

I can sometimes wonder: How the F* did I end up here?

I admit it, I’ve thought (more than once): Life would be easy if I didn’t have to witness all the mean-spirited, ignorant, insecure or judgmental people spreading their stinking thinking. You know, the ones who blame the world’s problems, including their own on everyone but themselves.

But, carrying around those kinds of thoughts and stories only causes more harm to the person thinking them. And let’s face it, there are always going to be people asleep at the wheel out there in life. There is no sense in letting others ruin all the fun or darken the day.

All any of us can truly do, is be accountable for our own happiness and for how we choose to show up in our lives.

Now, that may sound like a real buzz kill. Like shit, you mean it’s up to me? Well, it is. If that feels like a hard truth to swallow, I get it. But, the upside is when we choose to empower our lives from within ourselves, the fog starts to clear. With clarity, we begin to experience life, including all the people in it, with more lightness, compassion and sometimes even humour.

The trick is to regularly remind yourself of your power and position as co-creator – so YOU don’t fall asleep at the wheel.

I’ve found the best way to remind myself to stay awake at the wheel and be 100% accountable, is to set a powerful weekly intention.

Here’s how I do it:

Step 1: Every Sunday I carve out 10-15 minutes to map out the upcoming week.

Optional Step: I like to fancy up the process by looking at what’s unfolding in my natural environment, i.e. the weather, sun, moon and stars. I don’t go too in depth, I simply take a snapshot. I then look at my own system, cycle and energy levels and take it all into consideration. I find this information is helpful when mapping out my tasks, weekly projects and responsibilities that keep my business and household running smoothly. This step isn’t necessary in setting your weekly intention, it’s simply a part of my wacky process. But do give it a try if it speaks to you, or personalize your process in a way that makes it fun for you.

Step 2: This next part is important, and that’s to set your intention for how you want to feel over the course of the next week. Get to the core of how it is you truly want to feel. What do you want the essence of your experience to be this week? Why is that important to you right now?

Step 3: Once you’ve nailed the part about how you want to feel, pick a word or phrase that’s personally meaningful to you. Make sure it’s emotionally charged and one that matches the core feeling you desire.

For my weekly intention, I like to choose words that are direct and easy to bring to mind. This way, when I feel myself falling asleep or reacting in a way that feels messier than necessary, I bring my word to mind and voilà, it slaps me awake.

Your weekly word, and intention behind the word, serves as a reminder to “be” what it is you desire.

For example, my weekly intention and word might be calm. When I find myself overwhelmed throughout the week, I will use my intention to ask myself: how can I be calm in this moment? Then instead of beating myself up or feeling powerless, I empower myself through calming techniques. They might include things like: deep breathing, walking away from a heated discussion. It might mean holding a calm space for someone, instead of being reactive or judgmental.

If my weekly intention was to experience connection, I can bring up this word and feeling to fuel my interactions with others. I can also use it as inspiration for how I care for myself. If connection is important to me, I will show up with more consciousness and accountability in my daily life. My shift in perspective isn’t merely from the Sunday intention setting ritual. I shift and show up differently because all throughout the week I’m checking in with myself and adjusting my thoughts and actions based on my “connection intention”.

The idea here is to use your intention to have a different conversation with yourself. Our intentions help us empower our lives because we use them to take directive from ourselves based on what we truly want.

Moving through life on autopilot, or expecting other people and circumstances to change around us, isn’t empowering. When we spend our time wishing things were different than they are or blaming others for how we feel, we disempower ourselves and risk becoming victims. Neither will put us on our highest path – the path we all deserve to be on that’s joyful. When we are 100% accountable for our happiness, we can’t help but spread more joy and love out in the world.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to set your intention. It’s a gift you create, to be used in a way that works best in your life. How you give and follow your directive is yours by design. The point is to use your intention as a resource that will help you feel empowered and in charge of your own happiness.

What will life feel like through your weekly intention?


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  • Emily Madill is an author and certified professional coach, ACC with a BA in business and psychology. Emily is one of Thrive Global's Editors-at-large and a coach at BetterUp. She has published 11 titles in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. You can find her writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Think Positive for Kids; Thrive Global; The Huffington Post; TUT. com; Best Self Magazine; MindBodyGreen; The Muse;; TinyBuddha; Aspire Magazine and others. Emily has a private coaching practice and an online program offering courses that support others to create lasting habits around self-love, well-being and all things related to time and weekly planning. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband, two sons and their sweet rescue dog Annie. Learn more at: