An intention is an idea, which you plan to bring into action. Unlike a dream, which is the peak of the mountain, intentions are small manageable steps in the direction towards living well and achieving your goals.
Dream (or in this case intend), believe, achieve!
The new year is a popular time to set intentions, as we have often had time to reflect on where we are at, and what we would like to achieve or do differently in the year ahead. We are feeling fresh and inspired to create change, and if we allow it, this momentum can carry us in a postive direction to creating healthier habits.
When setting intentions, it is best to align your intentions with your values. Values are the guiding principles you choose to live by, concepts that are of great importance to you. If your intentions are deeply connected to your values, you will be more likely to follow through with your intentions, and bring them into action.
Your intentions may be broad in nature or very specific. For example you may intend to do some form of physical activity every day, or you may intend to walk every morning, and practice yoga most evenings. I feel there is a place for setting both broad and specific intentions.
I prefer to keep my intentions broad for actions which enable me to live a lifestyle which reflects my values. For example, I intend to practice the yogic principle of ahimsa. This reminds me to always act from a place of love and kindness towards myself and others. I will discuss this in my next post, so stay tuned to learn more about ahimsa.
However, when I am working towards a particular goal, I tend to be specific with my intentions. In the case of writing this blog, I have set my intentions to post once each month, and have planned ahead each topic I would like to share with you.
Why is it valuable to set intentions?
Intentions give us a sense of purpose. They inspire us to take action, and we feel content when we bring our intentions to life.
I believe that setting intentions are preferrable to setting goals. For me, goals tend to be the outcome, the big finale. Often goals can be unattainable or feel too far off in the distance. Intentions can be actioned now, and often we can see or feel our progress shortly after.
I would love to encourage you to reflect on the year that has been, 2023, and then feel inspired to set some intentions for 2024.
If you are unsure how to set intentions, see my guide below to assist you in living well in 2024. Be sure to write everything down in a journal or create a digital document, so you can return to your intentions, and reflect on whether you have been living in alignment with your values and your intentions.
Step 1 - Make a list of your top 5-10 values
What do you consider to be most important in your life?
Family, friends, health, work-life balance...
Step 2 - Reflect on what made you feel great in 2023, and what didn't bring you joy.
Consider how you can make time for everything that aligns with your values and intentions, and learn to say no, to anything that doesnt feel important to you.
Get up 30 minutes earlier to exercise, journal or read a book, do a weekly meal plan and food shop to save time shopping every day after work...
You don't have to please everyone, but you definitely need to prioritise your health and wellbeing!
"Intention meets opportunity, to create action." – Jonah Kest
Step 3 - Intention Power Words
Select 3-4 words that will guide and inspire you for 2024.
Consider... How do you want to feel? What do you want to welcome into your world?
Abundance, Gratitude, Balance, Mindfullness, Growth, Possibility, Clarity...
Step 4 - Set Your Intentions
Use the words above to set your intentions for January. Remember intentions are small steps to guide you towards living well.
I intend to reflect on 3 things I am grateful for at the end of every day.
I intend to take a breath before responding, so I don't over react.
Step 5 - Reflect Regularly
The greatest part of setting intentions is that they can change and evolve as they need to.
Regularly reflecting on your intentions and actions is an incredible step towards personal growth and living your best life.
The first weekend of each month is a great time to check in.
Shout out for Support
Setting intentions is one thing, bringing them into action is another. Shout out for support from friends and family, or make contact with me and I would love to guide you towards living well.
Intention meets opportunity, to create action.