Hello, friends! I’m very excited about today’s topic, because it it a simple but impactful habit – setting daily intentions!
This is something that I started doing in 2020, and I noticed almost immediately that it was beneficial for my mental health. Today we will talk about what exactly intentions are, what I personally do to set my intentions, and other ideas on what might work for you!
No dilly-dally today. Let’s jump on in.
What are Intentions?
I talked about this in a recent instagram post, but today we are going to dive in deeper!
According to Webster’s Dictionary, an intention is “what one intends to do or bring about… a determination to act in a certain way“. Basically, this is something that you INTEND to do. Something that you carry with you throughout your day and remind yourself of as you make choices and actions. Something that is a part of who you want to be and allows you to show up as your best self.
Maybe you intend to “lead by example”, “radiate kindness”, or “love yourself unconditionally”. Whatever your intentions are, they should be things that are important to you and that you want to bring with you into your day!
Intentions vs Goals
Before we dive too deep, let’s back up for just a second. Sometimes intentions and goals may seem similar, so let’s also talk about the differences just to clear things up. A goal, by definition, is “the end toward which effort is directed“.
There are definitely some similarities between the two terms – they both are things that we are reaching for, and they both can be extremely helpful in our daily lives!
The big difference to me is that an intention is something that I am constantly working toward. I’m always carrying an intention around with me. And while this intention does have a “result” in a way, it isn’t a concrete thing or end that I will eventually check off of my to-do list. For example, an intention may result in me feeling happier, more confident, or less stressed. But even when those things happen, I can still work on improving them even more! I don’t cross them off my list and move on.
A goal, on the other hand, typically has a concrete result at the end of it. Maybe your goal is to do a 30 minute workout during today’s lunch break, wash the dishes before bed, or turn in that nagging assignment for school. It’s a thing that you do and then can cross off of your list.
Both of these have their place, but it’s important to realize the difference between them so you can use them both as effectively as possible! And, in a way, they can work together if you want them to. Intentions help us to become the best versions of ourselves – and when we do that, we likely will be more successful at meeting the goals that are important to us too!
Why Setting Intentions is Beneficial
Setting a daily intention may seem like a small task – and really, it is! But if you do it mindfully and pick intentions that really do speak to you, it can be incredibly helpful.
Setting intentions allows you to recognize what your values are and strive to live by them. They provide a reminder of HOW you want to live your life and exist in the world. You intentions serve as tools to help you throughout your day so that you can stay present. They will keep you focused on the things that are important to you!
How I Set Daily Intentions
First I’ll tell you how I do this and what works for me, but if this doesn’t sound like your thing stick with me! I’ll also throw other ideas at you in a minute so that you can find what works best for you. But within this section I will be speaking from my own personal experience.
I am a big believer in writing EVERYTHING down. For me personally, I am much more likely to do something if it is written down somewhere. This is why I love writing down daily intentions each morning! I like to sit down first thing in the morning (okay, maybe after a little bit of tea or breakfast first) and write down my intention for that day in my Passion Planner. I think about what is most important to me that day, what could benefit me the most, and choose something based on that. Usually it just takes a minute or two to mindfully choose my intention. Just by taking the time to mindfully write it down, I then come back to it mentally throughout my day. A few times throughout the day I will think to myself; “are my current actions in line with today’s intention?”. This helps me to stay on track with what I want to bring into the world that day.
Usually my intentions start with the word “today”. This just works for my brain for some reason and makes me feel more focused. For example, I might write down “today I will be present” or “today I will celebrate small victories”. I try to always pick something that is truly important and relevant to me that day. Meaning that one day my intention might be focused on rest, while on another day it might be more focused on productivity! It just depends on what season I’m in and what I need each day.
How You Can Set Intentions
If you like the idea of writing down intentions in the morning and want to follow in my footsteps, then great! Grab a journal or a planner and go for it. Any journal or planner will do the trick – but if you want a Passion Planner like I use, you can get 10% off on the passion planner website with the code DELANEYR10! (You’re welcome).
If that method doesn’t sound like your thing, here are some other ideas for you. The most important thing is that no matter what method you choose, you do it mindfully and don’t try to just speed through it!
- write your intention in a note on your phone
- mentally set an intention when you first wake up, shortly after a meditation, or after your morning workout
- verbally share your intention with a significant other or a close friend
- write your intention in dry erase marker on a big white board or a mirror
- write your intention on a sticky note and put it somewhere that you’ll see it throughout the day – such as on the fridge, on a laptop, or by the door.
- get creative and come up with another way that makes sense for you!
Also keep in mind that you don’t have to start your intentions with the word “today” like I do, find what works for you! You can word your intentions in whatever way works well for your brain. If you don’t have a specific idea, then start with using the “today” method and see how it feels!
Examples of Intentions to get started
It can be overwhelming to start a new habit, so if you aren’t quite sure where to start I have put together a short list of some of my favorite intentions that I think many of us could benefit from! If you feel up for coming up with your own that is always best since they will be tailored specifically to you. But if you need a little boost feel free to use these or put your own twist on them as you get started!
Today I will…
- be present
- love myself unconditionally
- find a balance between productivity and rest
- radiate positivity and kindness
- be proud of myself for small victories
- find joy in the world
- practice forgiving myself and others
- trust the process of life
- allow myself to feel my feelings
It can sometimes be hard to pick just one intention, which is another reason that setting them daily is so helpful! Each day you can choose one that really speaks to you in that moment! Of course you can constantly work on any and all of these if you want to. But pick one each morning that you want to focus on the most that day. If these little ideas are helpful, be sure to follow me on instagram where I occasionally share my own intentions!
That does it for today! I hope that you see the benefits behind setting daily intentions and give them a try. Even if you don’t do it every day at first, that’s okay! Just try it a few times this week and see where it leads.
Until next time, stay well!
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