We are a goal-driven society. We make goals at work and at home. We set out to get a promotion, run a marathon, or lose 10 pounds. But rarely do we hear people talking about “intentions.” It’s important to set an intention before setting a goal. For instance, your goal could be to make more friends, but the intention that you set for a specific day could be to talk to somebody new at your yoga class. Intentions help us to take small steps towards truly creating the life that we really envision for ourselves. It’s a way to anchor ourselves in the day, creating more mindfulness which in turn can lead to decreased anxiety and greater feelings of joy.
I recently began setting intentions for the day by setting my alarm just 5 minutes earlier in the mornings. I know, I know, sleep is so precious. I totally get it! I used to be that person who would roll out of bed with just minutes to spare, racing to work, always on time, but feeling rushed and harried. Then I decided to give myself a few minutes in the mornings to do some deep breathing and stretching. Not only do I still get to work on time, but I feel more centered and calm during the day, and these feelings carry me through to 5:00pm. If meditation or yoga isn’t your thing, consider just setting your alarm 5 minutes early and lying in bed with your eyes closed; take a few deep breaths and set your positive intention for the day ahead.
An intention can be anything from being more forgiving to empowering your co-workers to becoming more creative.
Try not to be too attached to the outcome, or listen to that voice that says that you must be in charge. Deepak Chopra writes, “The outcome that you try so hard to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. You have released your intentions into the fertile ground of pure potentiality, and they will bloom when the season is right.”
Much of this is about practice. Become clear with what your intentions for the day are, then release and let it go. Trust that the universe has your back.