For a few months now, I’ve woken up and taken the time to set an intention for the day. I then text it to my accountability partner, and she does the same. No conversation, no judgment, sometimes a few “Oh yes’s” or “Wow, that’s a good one”.

It just is…

An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in the world — whether at work, in relationships, during your meditation or in any area of your life. When you ask yourself what matters most to you, your answer could form a powerful intention, for which you can align your thoughts and attitude for the day ahead. Having a clear intention helps me guide my actions as I move through the day.

But an intention shouldn’t be confused with a goal — it’s not something you attach an expectation or evaluation to. It’s something you want to align with in your life. It’s an aim, a purpose, or attitude you’d be proud to commit to.

Intentions must come from your heart; they’re not the tangible ‘boost sales by 25%’ or ‘get a promotion’ kind of smart goals that you set at work. They’re heart-driven and evoke feeling and purpose, like ‘practice being non-judgmental of myself and of others’, ‘send compassion out to the world’,‘open my heart’ and ‘let go of fear’…” Setting an intention is a way to bring your heart and mind into alignment.

So why do I set intentions?

Well, I have found it to be a powerful practice because it’s the first step to embodying that which I want. Wayne Dyer said, “Our intention creates our reality.” And how many times have you heard “What you think, you become,” or “Thoughts become things”?

If you’re focusing your mind on a specific intention, you’re bringing it to your focused mind, your thoughts, your heart … and in turn helping to bring it into your reality.

Your intention should be closely tied to your personal thoughts, values and perspective on life. Intentions can be a clear and specific wish, or as simple as a word or phrase you’d like to align yourself with, like ‘open your mind and heart,’ ‘love,’ ‘vulnerability,’ ‘strength,’ ‘kindness for myself and others,’ ‘peace,’ or ‘freedom.’ Try to keep the intention positive, so instead of saying ‘stop being a coward,’ or ‘spend less time alone,’ choose the intentions, ‘be courageous’ or simply ‘community’.

Here are some thought-starters to help you get started in forming an intention:

  • What matters most to you?
  • What would you like to build, create, or nurture in your life?
  • What would you like to let go of?
  • Who would you like to forgive in your life?
  • How do you feel when you are your happiest self?
  • What makes you proud?
  • What word(s) would you like to align yourself with?
  • What fears would you like to release?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What are your wildest dreams?

10 intentions you can borrow that I have recently used:

  1. Find balance
  2. Open my mind and heart
  3. Peace
  4. Stay steady, calm and focused
  5. Act with courage
  6. Embrace change
  7. Give and receive love
  8. Allow myself to be vulnerable
  9. Connect with others
  10. Acceptance

You can borrow one of these if it resonates with you, but try to create something personal for yourself.

I would love to hear what you came up with!!