Intention setting is a hugely powerful mindset tool. Instead of letting life happen to us, intention setting allows us to grab hold and shape it, becoming more purposeful and less overwhelmed. Intentions differ from goals in that they are present in the here and now, rather than static and in the future. They are not only about what you want to achieve but also how you want to be as a person.
You can set intentions as often as you like but weekly, on a Sunday night or Monday morning, can feel like a positive way to start the week mindfully and with purpose. The start of a new month can also be a great time BUT, you don’t ever need to wait for the start of a new week/month/year to start something new, just start!
Intention setting should always start from a place of gratitude – not just wanting, but finding peace in where we are right now, before we dive into what next. You might then choose to focus on one area of your life, say health, relationships, your work, finances, mental, spiritual, or it might be something broader that impacts each of these. It’s about what you need in that moment, and that will look different week to week.
When you’re ready to try this practice, find yourself a quiet, comfortable space and ground yourself with some long, deep breaths, letting your body and mind find stillness. Become aware of any feelings, thoughts or emotions and see if you can let them go to create space for this practice. Have a notebook or journal and pen ready.
Begin by asking yourself, what am I grateful for today? Sit with that for a moment before asking yourself the following questions:
What do I want to achieve this week?
Who do I want to be this week?
What do I want to feel when I wake up in the morning?
What do I want to feel when I go to bed at night?
What makes me feel alive?
When am I at my happiest?
What do I see in others that I would like to be more of?
What’s holding me back?
You might feel ready to start forming an intention statement. It should be present and positive. It might start with ‘I am’.
As you create your intention statement consider:
Will this have a positive impact on my life?
Is it attainable?
What steps do I need to take to get there?
What am I willing to drop to achieve this?
See what comes up for you. Be curious. It might be what you expected, it might not. Either way, it’s completely valid and most likely what you need in this moment.
Make it stick and hold yourself accountable by writing it down. If you feel comfortable doing so, maybe share it with a trusted friend or colleague. Remind yourself of your intention each morning. How we begin our day sets the tone for the whole rest of our day.
Be curious. It might be what you expected, it might not. Either way, it’s completely valid and most likely what you need in this moment.
And finally, remember this is called a practice. Practice takes commitment and repetition before it starts to stick. It might not all fall into place the first time you try but in time, it might just change your life!
Sarah is a certified Wellbeing Life Coach, experienced mediation and mindfulness facilitator. Sarah runs The Nest, a wellbeing studio in Balfron, Stirlingshire, offering all of the above via group classes and 1:1 programmes. Coaching is also available online/phone for those further afield. Discover more at www.thenestwellbeing.com
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