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What would it be like if you were to spend a few moments each morning considering your intention for the day? What difference would it make?
Setting an intention is different to setting a goal. Finishing a report or going to the gym are examples of goals – they’re in the future and by taking steps to make them happen you can tick them off when they’re done.
Intentions are more related to the here and now – they’re about how we are in the present time, focussed on ‘being’ more than achieving. They’re aligned with our values and aspirations and can affect how we experience each and every day. Our intentions shape our reality and without them, we can feel ‘rudderless’, adrift, like the days just pass us by.
From the moment you set an intention you’re having a say in how you would like to be in the world that day and how you would like your day to go. You increase your awareness of your behaviour patterns and this in turn opens up choices and potentially helps create new habits.
The start of a month is a great time to focus on setting intentions. Here are a few tips:
1. Promise yourself 5 minutes in the morning. Before you get out of bed if you can, and definitely before you look at your phone or get pulled into daily tasks, find a comfortable place (that could be in bed or somewhere different) and set an intention for the day.
2. Think about how you would like to be today. What emotions would you like to experience? How would you like to behave? Then, state your intention in the positive ‘I will find joy in my day’ rather than ‘I will avoid conflict’. You may wish to write it down.
3. Stay connected with your intention throughout the day, using whatever technology (old or new!) as gentle reminders. A note to yourself or an alert in your calendar will help to keep your intention in your attention.
4. When you notice you are aware of your intention at points during the day, notice and honour that.
5. Start small and practice!