An intention is a direction you want to head toward. A feeling you want to achieve. A desired future state. An environment other than the one you are currently in. How you want to act and/or feel. Choosing what to focus on. When deciding you want to change, or move things in a different direction, the intention is the first stop on the journey. Goals come next. Don’t jump ahead. Intentions are cornerstone. They are what you come back to when you feel your mind wandering – when you begin to engage in the dangerous and destructive practice of comparison, envy or jealousy. Bring yourself right back to what you want. Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel? Only you can answer those questions. It’s unique to you, your journey and your story.
I prefer to set my intention first thing in the morning – like a roadmap for the day, week and month ahead. I remind myself each day, right when I wake up, what my intention is, and I surround myself with people and activities that lead toward my intention (and try not to engage in anything that doesn’t, although some of that is outside of our control!). My intention is by definition, mine so I don’t care who likes it or who doesn’t because it’s not for them. It’s for me.
There is no shortage of resources out there to help you navigate intention setting but the leading expert is probably the Chopra Center. They wrote “5 Steps to Setting Powerful Intentions” and detailed the do’s and don’ts but in my personal opinion, depending on your current state of mind, you could risk overthinking your intention and it loses it’s authenticity and meaning. Don’t overthink. Simply sit still and allow the thoughts to come to you. Answer the questions listed above and write down the first things that come to your mind. Those are the thoughts you experience most often, the things that are of utmost importance to you and therefore the groundwork for your intention.
Next is applying the intention. Put it into practice. How do you go from dreaming about a different path, to walking on it, or better yet – paving it? Easy. You make it part of the fabric of your day. You wake up declaring that today is going to move you closer to that intention. That if you stray from the intention, you will do your best to return to it. That every choice you have, leads you in that direction and you leave simple reminders either on your phone or taped to your computer monitor as reinforcements. Soon, the intention will just become part of who you are, part of the new you, and present in your actions.