Updated: Nov 29, 2020
What part of your day are you in presently? Which segment?
In this segment, are you fully present and intentional, or like me are you feeling a bit fragmented in your experience lately and being pulled onto social media or a stroll over to stare into your fridge every couple of minutes? The current situation is forcing us to SLOW DOWN and gives a nice opportunity to assess how we are showing up in the various "segments" of our days.
Segment Intending is a concept and daily practice taught by Ester Hicks that involves being fully in the moment within a certain block of time and/or activity (segment) that emphasizes intentionally driving towards a desired outcome within that segment.
The idea is that we can move towards what we want to experience in a certain segment of time through focused effort and awareness. What we want might be a state of mind (peace, joy, gratitude, assertiveness, etc.) or something concrete like completing a task.
Segment intending is simple to implement if we understand that our lives and days can be broken down into manageable chunks which we're calling segments. Many of us automatically go from segment to segment of each day without much awareness or intention even if we are fortunate enough to be clear about what we want.
Some examples of segments:
The first part of the day starting with waking up in the morning up to and including the process of getting ready to go to work ending with getting in our car.
The next segment could be the drive to work.
The following segment could be arriving to work and that period of getting settled and chit chatting with the team before opening your emails...
...The work day
...The ride home
...Family or self time
...Going to bed
Segments could always be micro-divided further. For instance the broad segment of "the work day" likely has various meetings slotted and blocked out into segments on your calendar. I also set times to review various categories of my job on my own.
Our intention for each segment can be broken down into concrete actions of what we are doing or accomplishing. This one people do pretty well if skilled in project management. What can be powerful that is often missed by even the best project managers is setting an intention around how we want to feel and which thoughts, narratives or attitudes we are giving power to while "doing" a given thing.
Segment intending is being deliberate with what you want to experience AND accomplish in each little part of your day.
How do we do it?
1) Divide your day into broad segments.
2) Write down concrete outcomes as well as how you want to feel during each segment. You could for instance want to feel confident and in your power vs. feeling unsure or like you are not leading.
3) At first don't try to change anything, just let the segment be what it is.
After the fact, do a review of what outcomes you actually got in the segment noting overall feelings or how your attitude was. Likely you will see some disconnect between what happened and what you wanted to happen. Don't worry about it.
4) Repeat steps 1 and 2 but this time for step 3 try to notice during the segment when you start to stray from your desired outcome. Are you getting distracted?
Do something small to course correct. You will get better and better the more you practice paying attention and becoming aware of yourself in your current segment while having an awareness of what is coming next.
Don't skip ahead! Be in one segment at a time. Practice presence.
If you really want to get good at this practice try it with a partner/buddy. Tell each other your segments and the outcomes you want (actions/feelings/attitude). Check in with each other and see how you did and where things started going off.
Have fun with it. As always, it's more about growth and improvement than reaching any static state of perfection.