Do you ever start your day by first, and foremost. checking in with yourself? Or does your day automatically start in response mode?
I remember when I first became a mom, it felt like it was impossible to focus on my own needs in the morning, because my days started out responding to my babies. As they got older and more self-sufficient, I continued to fall out of habit with checking in with myself before the day started.
The result of developing this habit is a sense of disconnection from yourself and your goals. The more you avoid your own needs, the more overwhelmed you become.
This is why daily intentions are critical. It’s taking time to pause before the day begins so that I run my day, instead of it (and everything else) running me, leaving me more mindful, focused, and intentional about the energy I want to give and attract in our world.
This five minute act of setting intentions will help keep you connected to your goals, desires, and needs. In this post, I’ll explain more about what daily intentions are, why they’re important, along with giving you intentions so you can get started on this small, but powerful practice.
What Does It Mean To Set An Intention?
An intention is a commitment to yourself.
An intention isn’t necessarily a goal or something that you measure. With goals, we’re often taught to set them using the SMART framework, but an intention isn’t as formal as that.
An intention is a feeling. A vibe, if you will.
Rather than something to achieve, it’s something to BE.
An intention can be:
A tool to guide you as you make various decisions.
A reminder of what you want to focus on (because we all know how hard it can be to focus)
Identifying the type of energy you want to bring into the day
A practice to stay mindful and present.
Intentions align with your values and goals, enabling you to become the type of person you want to be. For example, if you value productivity, your intention would relate to tools to stay focused and present, as well as identify and avoid distractions - setting you up for success to become that productive person (more on this later).
Why Set Daily Intentions?
The way we change our lives is awareness and bring that awareness to fruition through intentional action. Awareness starts by being present with your own thoughts and actions (because let’s face it, most of the time we operate on autopilot).
So how is setting intentions different from setting a goal? Of course, goals are important because they get us out of our comfort zone and onto bigger and better things. But the act of setting a goal doesn’t mean you’re going to achieve it.
To achieve your goals, you need steps that will get you from point A to point B. To stay committed to those steps, you need the right focus and mindset to get you there.
This is where intentions come in. Intentions help retrain your mindset so you can take aligned action to reach those goals. It’s a reminder of what you are capable of when you start to feel swayed by limiting thoughts or self-sabotage of convincing yourself that other things are more important.
“When you have clarity of intention, the universe conspires with you to make it happen.”
– Fabienne Fredrickson
How To Set Daily Intentions
Technology is a gift in so many ways, but I highly recommend using the old school paper & pen method for your daily intention. You can do this in your journal, daily planner, or a yellow legal pad (my favorite). Set it by your bed so it is the first thing you do when you wake up.
To set daily intentions, I write the following in my journal:
Today, I intend to [fill in the blank].
Take a minute to think about what you want for the day. Think about what you want to get out of it. Think about the energy, results, and people you want to attract.
Here are some other things to think about:
What kind of person do you want to be today?
What attitude do you want to have towards other people?
What do you need to commit to in order to live a meaningful life?
What do you need to focus on to achieve your goals?
Your intentions might change from day to day, or you might stick to one intention that you use all the time. Once you’ve set an intention, ask yourself why this intention is important. What bigger goal, value, or desire does this relate to? This helps connect the intention to a greater purpose and better engrain it into your head. Remember that these are commitments to yourself. Treat them as gentle reminders, not harsh rules.
Daily Intention Examples
Here are some daily intention examples that I’ve used in the past:
Today, I intend to:
Stay focused on my to-do list
Be present with my children
Prioritize my health and wellness
Listen to my intuition and let it guide me
Enjoy my creativity
Be intentional and organized with my work
Open myself to new possibilities
Be radically curious, not judgemental
Prioritize what matters first
Embrace change in all forms
How To Fulfill Your Intentions During The Day
Know that you’re probably going to get distracted from your intentions, especially in the beginning. Our brains respond to whatever gets thrown at us in the moment, so it will take conscious effort to remind yourself of the intention you set for the day but it becomes easier as you start to re-wire your unconscious mind to become more aware.
Here are a few tips to help remember the intention you set throughout the day:
If you keep a planner or notebook at your desk where you can always see it, write your intention there so you’ll be reminded of it.
Write your intention on a sticky note and stick it to your computer screen or fridge
Set a reminder alarm on your phone with your intention as the alarm name. You could do this at times during the day when you most lose focus (for me, that’s around 2-3 pm).
Meditate on the intention before you start your day. Take deep belly breats and repeat your intention as you embrace the stillness and present moment.
At the end of the day, reflect on whether you upheld your intention focusing the areas you did, rather than the areas you didn’t.
Try it out for yourself and set an intention for the day!
I hope this post has inspired you to start setting intentions in your daily life to help you stay connected to yourself and your goals. What intention will you set for yourself today?
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