Setting Intentions Provides a ‘Why’ for the ‘What’

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In the beginning of any new year, we hear a lot about resolutions and goal setting. But what is the purpose of these resolutions and promises we make to ourselves? That’s where intention setting comes in.

Why Set An Intention?

Studies show that thinking about the future makes life feel more meaningful for people. As we continue to live with the necessary restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic planning for a more positive time ahead sounds like a good thing.

But how many of us have set goals and made resolutions only to fall short? 

Setting an intention is a way to identify how you want to feel rather than what you want to do. An intention can help you more closely align your goals with purpose. Finding meaning and purpose during uncertain times is one way to support emotional well-being.

How Is An Intention Different Than a Goal or Resolution?

Resolutions often live somewhere in the future, and often include things we should not be doing or won’t do. Setting goals can be helpful and motivating, but what happens when we don’t achieve them? 

On the other hand, intentions are meant to be positive, are anchored in the present moment and bring us into the now. When thinking about intention, it helps to: 

  • Refrain from getting too attached to a certain outcome
  • Don’t create an intention from a place of judgement 
  • Think of an intention as a value you want to align your life with, an aim, purpose or attitude 
  • Stay heart driven, value oriented, and focus on purpose

How Do I Set An Intention?

You might want to journal your thoughts, draw them or try our Intention Setting Meditation to ready your body and mind for reflection. Move away from thinking and more into feeling. Move out of your mind and into your heart. Ask yourself: 

  • What would I like to create or nurture in my life?
  • What words would l like to align myself with?
  • What would I like to release?
  • What brings me joy, purpose?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What do I want my life to feel like, sound like, taste like, smell like and look like?

Helping Kids Set Intentions

Setting an intention is great for kids as well as grown-ups. One way to explain “intention” to children is to ask them why they want to achieve a certain goal. Just like adults, kids can connect to the ways they want to feel at the end of a day, week or even year.

Intention setting can help kids stay focused, highlight smaller day-to-day achievements, build confidence and create opportunities to celebrate.

To guide your child in setting an intention, try one of these activities:

  • Visualize it. Draw what you want to accomplish this week. How does that make you feel?
  • Write it. Write three sentences describing what you want to do. Prompts can include:
    • What makes you proud?
    • Who do you want to help?
    • What are you grateful for?
  • Repeat it. Consistency is a good thing when it comes to intention. Ask your child to tell you about their intention each morning or before bed or set up a weekly check-in. Encouraging your child helps them keep their intention in mind.

Share your intention with us for this year. We’d love to hear from you!

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