One of the core parts of the Intend workflow is submitting your outcomes at the end of the day (or the next morning, for some people). Where your intentions capture what you intend to do each day, your outcomes are a chance to reflect on what you ultimately accomplished, and how that looks in relation to your overall goal.
The inspiration for this comes from the Pick Four, a workbook compiled by Seth Godin based on Zig Ziglar’s legendary goals program. That workbook was a lot like Intend, except without the intentions part, and—oh yeah, on paper.
The workflow is pretty simple. Having set your goals at the start of the program, you get a new page every day, on which you write down what you did towards each goal that day, and indicate by circling “YES” or “NO” whether that’s enough.
The Intend UI looks really similar:
This “enough” question isn’t actually a common one though, so new Intend users often ask: “What does it mean for a day to be “enough”?”
Here’s how I think about it:
When thinking about whether or not a day is enough, I consider what kind of day it is. If it’s a day spent with my family or at a workshop, then it may be that responding to Intend’s support mail may be totally enough for my Intend goal. However, if it was a day that I intended to get up first thing and hustle hard on coding a new feature or launching a promotion, then the bar is a lot higher. I might consider it a “not enough” day even if I got in 3-4 solid hours of work—because I only have so many days like that, and I need to make them count in order to make the progress I want to.
More precisely, I think about my goal, and I think about how many days are likely to be today-like. I imagine that on those future days, I perform at the level I did today (or that I make similar decisions, or follow similar heuristics, etc). If so, am I going to reach my goal on time? Or ever?
This is a way for me to account for life’s emergent complexities while also not becoming totally disconnected from the specifics of what I’ve set out to do. It can accommodate extenuating circumstances as well as opportunistic midday pivots.
If this is too complex, or if your goals don’t have clear dates or quantifiable milestones, you can totally just do it based on feel: do I feel satisfied with today’s progress?
In any case, you may also want to make sure that when you do your weekly review, you have a look at your “enoughs” and “not enoughs” and reflect on how calibrated those seem to be with your overarching vision.
In essence: it’s not like a single day will get you off-track or on-track towards your goals. But the days add up. What would your life be like after hundreds of days like today? Is that where you want to go? Where do you want to go? What kind of days will get you there?