Imagine being the cause of your life and the opportunity maker within it. We often put off designing the lives and careers we love until it is too late. We tend to believe that we have all the time in the world. The time to begin authoring the design of your life is now. You have the opportunity to rise and be an intentional leader of your own life.

When you are intentional in setting out after what you desire, your attention focuses on achieving it. We can wait to see what happens as we go through the motions of the day or show up with very deliberate intentions. It’s the old adage “You could do what you’ve always done and get what you’ve always got”, and 365 days from now be having the same conversation with yourself.

The first question to ask is – what role will you play in your life and career that will make you content with it? In order to determine where you want to go with your life or career you have to check in with where you are:

  • Is your life going in the direction you imagined it would?
  • Are your goals in motion?
  • Have you taken inventory of what you have and have not achieved?
  • Do you have a deliberate plan?

To be the cause or author of your life, you must define where you want to be and set on the path. Be clear on why you want to do or be what you are setting out to do or be. This will provide leverage during the inevitable challenging times. You may need to take on different, unfamiliar responsibilities. You may need to sort out balancing home “work” and work. Sometimes it takes moving into the unknown.

Being the author of your possibilities means you get to create and tell the stories of your life. The story you tell yourself can be one of “I can do it” or one of “I can’t.” It is your choice. J.K. Rowling says, “It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

To begin, ask a few questions:

  • What are my aspirations?
  • What will be my contribution to my family, community or culture?
  • What do I want to be known or remembered for?
  • What is my definition of success?
  • What do I want?

Declaring your intention is much like a declaration of independence from the thoughts holding you back. You need to create the statement of your intentions so that you are able to clearly describe your possibility in them. Simple examples include, “I Intend to:

  • Moderate at the World Economic Forum by year 2020.
  • Sell three new engagements each month.
  • Publish my book and sell a million copies by no later than age 50.

Your intentions are exactly that – Yours. When you assess them, you will realize what resonates with you. Write intentions. Keep them clear, concise and compelling. Consider how important they are and why you want to achieve them. Answer this question: “On this date _______ one year from today, what will my world look like?”

The person who ultimately decided whether you make progress is you. Every day you get to begin a new chapter in the book of your life and career.