Everyone has busy, stress-filled, or hectic days. You rush through the morning to get to work and hurry through lunch to knock out your to-do list before running all over town to finish those errands from yesterday. Then, before you know it, the day is over!
You can probably name the last time you had a day like this off the top of your head, but when was the last time you started your day by checking in with yourself?
It's easy for us to put the needs of others above our own. Waking up and getting straight to work on the day's to-do list can make us feel productive, but focusing too much on what we do for others builds up to us feeling disconnected from our goals and ourselves. The more you avoid your own needs, the more overwhelmed you become.
A helpful way to combat these feelings and incorporate more time to focus on yourself is to set a daily intention. Setting a daily intention takes less than 5 minutes, and it's a powerful way to keep you connected with your goals, needs, and pursuing your desires. Keep reading to see how to set a daily intention and see some examples to get you started (and yes, there are more than just fitness-based intentions on the list!)
How to Set an Intention
Focus on yourself in this moment. Our mind is caught up in thoughts, memories, and emotions that distract and overwhelm us. Take a minute to focus on your breath, relax all the major and little muscles in your body, and escape your noisy internal dialogue.
Ask yourself what you want for today and why? It's important to know what you want to achieve and to think about the results you'll get from it. Being conscious about where you place your attention is the only way to think what we want into reality. If we know what we want, it's easier to focus and put our energy into it.
Shift away from self-doubt and judgment. Negative things that you believe to be true will continue to hold you back in some way. (Just think: If you truly believe you're scared of heights, you won't climb that mountain and see the waterfall.) These negative thoughts will block you from achieving what you intend to achieve.
State your intention in a clear, positive phrase. Anything can be an intention! The purpose of an intention is to give you a point to focus your energy on when it's inevitably pushed and pulled in different directions during each day. Negative emotions quickly overpower positive ones, so it's important to phrase your intention as an "I will" instead of an "I won't" phrase. So instead of saying, "I won't lose my temper," try replacing it with its positive counterpart "Today, I will be patient."
Now, you may be asking, "Why can I not just set a goal?" Goals are still important. Goals get us out of our comfort zone. Goals are the big picture. But, intentions keep us focused on following the steps that get us from where we are now to our goal. Our intentions will provide gentle guidance to carry us through the process as we work towards what we want to have, feel, and experience.
If you've made it this far down, congrats! Now it's time for you to start setting your own intentions. If you need some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, we wrote down a few examples of intentions for you!
Here are some daily intention examples:
Today, I will...
- Be intentional and organized with my work.
- Be kind to others, even when under pressure.
- Be brave enough to try something new or difficult.
- Do something fun.
- Take time to move my body.
- Find an opportunity to make a healthy choice.