Guidelines for creating your own intentions
Individual and Group
We recommend to practice this activity daily for at least twice a day.
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The practice of setting daily intentions can change your life in so many amazing ways! An intention is an idea or action that you plan (or intend) to carry out for the day. It’s something you mean to do, whether you pull it off or not. They’re often related and associated with characteristics you display toward yourself or others. For instance, you may set intentions to be productive for the day, to be more open, to use kinder words towards yourself for the day, or to be more focused in your class for the day, or to practice being empathetic towards others for the day. Setting and living your intentions allows you to happily and willingly focus on who you are in the moment, to learn and live your values, to empower you to stick to your shorter goals, and to raise your positive emotional energy! Daily intentions provide you direction, a path, and a reminder for how to live each day! They give you purpose and inspiration to pursue your desires, goals, your potential.
You are probably wondering what the difference is between affirmations and intentions since they both seem significantly similar. Intentions are geared towards the experiences you would like to have in the near future, while affirmations are definitely used in the present tense. Below are examples of intentions and affirmations.
Intention: I want to enjoy my life to the fullest.
Affirmation: I fully accept and enjoy the beauty in all things in my life.
Intention: I want to experience the peace that happiness brings.
Affirmation: I am welcome happiness in this present moment.
Intention: May I be humble enough to surrender the things I cannot control.
Affirmation: I let go of what I think should be different, and let it be what it is and what it will be.
There are many ways to create powerful intentions that will keep you excited, energized, and empowered to pursue your highest potential! Setting intentions and following through with them, takes time. With practice, setting intentions will become a natural habit. The best time to set your intentions is before going to bed or first thing in the morning after doing your affirmations. The following activity teaches you how to set and create intentions of your own should you wish to create your own.
Guidelines for creating your own powerful intentions
Setting intentions are the most powerful way to practice staying focused, motivated, and committed to self-care, self-compassion, self-love! Use intentions to achieve the smaller steps that eventually lead to achieving your bigger goals. It is the smaller steps that lead you to succeed your bigger dreams! Below are simple guidelines on how to create your own super-powered intentions!
- Meaningful to You
Intentions are what you want to manifest and create in your own life. Original and powerful intentions do not try to manipulate or control others or their behavior. Nor do they wish for something to be different than the way it is. You accept things as they are in your life right now and step into the opportunity to create what you want! Your intention is YOUR call to action- “I am…”, “My intention is…”, “I now want…”, “I intend to…”, etc. A meaningful intention is sincere and promotes well-being for yourself and others.
- Silence your mind.
Set aside a time in the morning or before bed. Your mind and body are usually filled with thousands of thoughts and a mix of emotions that are attached to the ideas you give attention to. And so, pick a quiet and peaceful place. Before beginning to write and set your intentions in your journal or notecards, take 3 deep breaths: (A) sit on a chair with legs and arms uncrossed. (B) Close your eyes, positive the palms of your hands facing up. (C) Inhale through your nose with belly extending and exhale through your mouth with belly relaxing. Repeat this cycle three times.
- Be clear and specific.
Give up the need to be perfect. These intentions are for you. Think of one or a few intentions for that day. Think about the way you want to feel for the rest of the day and how you want to be as a person to get closer to achieving your bigger goals. When you get clear on how you want to feel, you can make clear decisions that create the life you truly desire to live. The moment you tap into the feeling, you get your power back in creating the life you desire now and in the future.
Also, think about how you could give back to others for the day, how you could be more empathetic or compassionate towards others. Setting an intention to make a difference can open your mind to ideas and opportunities to do so. It may shift your perspective on the impact of even the smallest contribution to your cause. Just saying out loud that you intend to be a part of the change is empowering. And lastly, keep your intentions short and straightforward.
- Know your ‘WHY’
Next to each intention you set, write a small paragraph or short sentences about all the reasons why you have these intentions. Knowing why you intend to do something helps you stay focused and committed to your well-being as well as goals.
- Recite and remind.
Recite these intentions in your mind and read over your notes at least twice a day. You could also:
A. Write them down for yourself on a notecard.
B. Read them with sincerity and reflect on the words, each day you read and remind yourself for the next 30 days.
C. Set an alarm with your intention on your phone during the day.
D. Write it in your planner daily or text it to yourself.
E. Put it on your wall or mirror where you see it every day.
F. Make a background for your computer or put a sticky note on your screen
- Release the pressure.
You can use one or two intention per month, or one for the entire year. Your call. Once you’ve set your intention, let expectations go. Let it be an enjoyable practice. Give your intention room to breathe as you figure out what it means to you in everyday life.
- Check in with your intentions.
The point is not to set it and forget it. You must work with your intentions and check-in to see where things are at. Maybe it’s daily or weekly or monthly for yearly intentions, but set aside time to reflect on your aims and add some notes on areas of resistance or ease.
This is my favorite piece of intention setting! Getting to look back and see how you were able to manifest or work under your intentions. I think you’ll be surprised to see how effective they can be, even just within a single day!
Below is a sample list of intentions should you wish to select from.
I intend to….
- Accept whatever happens as if I had chosen it.
- Allow myself grace.
- Answer the call of service.
- Appreciate myself.
- Ask for what I want and need with no shame.
- Avoid judging others and myself.
- Avoid peer pressure.
- Be afraid and do it anyway.
- Be courageous and ask for help when I need it.
- Be kind towards others and myself.
- Be mindful, especially when I eat, shower, brush my teeth and walk.
- Be open to success and abundance.
- Be selective with my time.
- Bring light into other people’s day.
- Create more simplicity and peacefulness in my day.
- Develop a skill and improve myself.
- Disconnect from my electronics 30 minutes before bed.
- Discover who I am and what I enjoy.
- Do my meditation before bed.
- Do some form of physical activity for at least 45 minutes.
- Encourage and inspire by being my authentic self.
- Evaluate the messages I receive from friends and family.
- Exercise for 5 extra minutes.
- Explore something I’ve never seen before.
- Forgive myself when I make a mistake.
- Forgive others, and myself.
- Gain strength.
- Give up control and let the universe handle it.
- Have at least one genuine conversation.
- Honor myself and let go of the need to people-please, even if it makes me uncomfortable.
- Identify and honor my needs.
- Lead by example.
- Listen more and understand more.
- Live authentically and unapologetically.
- Love unconditionally.
- Make a new friend.
- Make meditation a more critical part of my lifestyle.
- Make someone smile every day.
- Make time for myself, even if it’s just five minutes.
- Not cause harm to another person.
- Nourish my body and eat one warm meal.
- Open my heart and mind to learning something new today.
- Pause before responding in conversation and lead with empathy and love.
- Practice compassion towards others and myself.
- Practice forgiveness to those I am angry at or feel resentful toward.
- Practice patience.
- Read a book for leisure for at least 30 minutes.
- Recognize that I have flaws, and I will embrace them with love and forgiveness.
- Recognize the labels and judgments I have, then will release them.
- Show up for myself.
- Stand up for myself.
- Stop taking things personally.
- Take a moment and look up at the sky and just say THANK YOU.
- Take accountability and responsibility for my own actions.
- Take actions not to isolate myself.
- Take deep breaths before I react to someone’s unfair treatment.
- Talk back to my inner critic when it wants to keep me insecure and paralyzed in fear.
- Tell at least one person in my life that I love them.
- Truly listen when someone else is talking to me instead of planning what I want to say next.
- Try my best to be as thankful as I can for the job I have, even if I don’t like it.
- Try to be as transparent with others as I can.
- When I notice my mind thinking and worrying about the future, I will be aware and bring it back to the present.
- Work hard with the peace of knowing that I am loved regardless of the outcome.
If you like to focus on a single word placing your intentions, here are some great ideas: