Intention is the start of many dreams. It is the starting point to reach many of our goals related to all aspects of life, health, wealth, relationships, mind, spirit and community. Whether it is finding the perfect gift for someone, saving money towards your dream holiday or just getting ready for work in the morning, all of these things start with setting an intention.
Definition ‘intention’- a thing intended; a deliberate aim or plan
Many people palm off setting intentions as hocus pocus, however research on how our mind works and affects our reality is always growing. The placebo effect is well-documented in many areas such as taking sugar pills to reduce depression, or fake surgery patients reporting pain relief.
Setting intentions helps you to create your life by design rather than making choices by default or with no clear outcome. You are taking responsibility for your own happiness and taking action steps that lead towards your desired outcome.
When you set intentions you will find you are more focused and it will help guide you throughout your day.
When to set an intention?
An intention is more than just a goal; it is about deciding how you will ‘be’ in a given moment. It is like an inner guide sitting silently in the background, directing you down the path you have chosen, even when you aren’t consciously focussing on it.
Intention can be used for yourself, your community, or globally at any time of the day. Some examples of daily intentions;
- Before you get out of bed you can set the intention to have a positive and productive day
- Before you enter work or school you can set the intention to learn something new today
- Before giving someone feedback you can set the intention to be helpful not harmful
- Before a conference begins, you set the intention to be open to new ideas
I find I am often calmer and more open to opportunities and new ideas when I set the intention to be that way. This works especially well for me when I am going into a meeting where I know there will be a lot of finger pointing, or when I am driving home from work and just know that there will be a line of people being inconsiderate and cutting in a line of traffic. With my intention set to drive calmly and arrive safely, I am much less likely to let the road rage monster within emerge.
How to set your intentions
1. Block out the noise
Most of the time our minds are thinking of too many things at once (I know mine is!) and we get caught up in all the noise and multitasking that is everyday life. Stop worrying about what you’ll cook for dinner, or how you’ll hit your deadlines at work and block out some time to focus on setting your intentions.
2. Focus on the outcome
Don’t get too caught up in exactly how you will get the result you want, but rather focus on how it will look and feel when you get there. Uncertainty is hard for people to accept as it fuels our fears and insecurities; however you need believe that it will all work out as it should.
3. Be committed
Once you have made a decision on what you want, and what you are willing to do to ensure it becomes your reality it should make choices that come your way easier to deal with. If you intention is to make healthy choices, choosing something off the lunch menu should be a breeze. Or if your intention is to arrive safely at your destination, fear of being late will not spiral into drive erratically and putting yourself and others into harm’s way.
4. Know you aren’t perfect
Even with the best intentions sometimes life just happens, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply accept that it hasn’t worked out this time, and try again tomorrow.
What are you waiting for?
Go ahead, start now. Set an intention for the rest of today. How will you feel at the end of today; accomplished, content, happy? How will you tackle the next task you have ahead of you? Or how will you move towards the goals you’ve set for yourself in health, wealth and happiness?
Do you believe in the power of your mind to affect your reality? Have you set your intentions for today?