how to set intentions

How to set Intentions

As I write this it is mid-January and the internet and social media are awash with pressure to set resolutions, transform yourself and achieve everything right now!  Here at Just 15 for Me we are not ok with this.  Being the best you is not just about succumbing to January social pressures and we think setting intentions is a great way to realistically get where you want to be.

So this article is going to help you learn how to set intentions for your life that enable you to achieve your goals.  We will look at what intentions are, why you need intentions and what the difference is between intentions and resolutions.  By the end of reading this article you will be ready to set your intentions for the year and to get going on reaching your aspirations.

What are intentions?

The dictionary definition of an intention is

An intention is a thing intended; an aim or plan

So when you are thinking about how to set intentions you should be thinking quite literally about something you want to do or plan to do.  You can think of an intention for your life or your year as a vision of the outcome you desire.  The concept is that the broad goal that you define when setting intentions shapes the choices and decisions you make; so changing your mindset and helping you to actually realise that desire.

Intentions shouldn’t be confused with goals; they are more about defining something you want to align your life with.  The Blissful Mind describes it as a commitment to yourself about something you want to BE rather than achieve.  This isn’t to say that setting intentions doesn’t also lead to achieving your specific goals because it can and it does.

how to set intentions

intentions vs resolutions

I know that you may have set resolutions in the past and have abandoned them by February.  I think we all have!  So you could be thinking that setting intentions is much the same, but it isn’t!

So looking at resolutions vs intentions; resolutions are specific goals that typically have a binary outcome possibility.  Either you stick to your resolution and are successful or you don’t and you fail. 

The definite success or failure that is offered by resolutions such as:  I am going to lose 10kgs in 2022 means that the potential for your resolution to actually make you feel bad about yourself is high!  An alternative phrased as an intention would focus on how you would feel at that point or the actions you would need to take to get you there.  For example:

I eat well and exercise daily so I feel confident about my body

Resolutions tend to be worded in a way that suggests there is something you need to fix; something that is wrong with you for example I will lose weight, I will be more organised both imply that the way you are right now isn’t ok…  Resolutions are starting off in a negative thinking space.  They are putting you in a position of thinking badly about yourself and this is not motivational or inspirational.  Intentions on the other hand are focused on the positive and how you can improve even more.

Why are intentions important

Ok so now we now what intentions are and how they compare with resolutions lets think about why intentions are important and how they can help you.

The crux of intentions are that they help you to raise your emotional energy and are a positive commitment to yourself to be intentional about where you are and where you want to be.  The fact that intentions are all about the positive means that help you to feel positive about moving forward and about your ability to achieve.  That makes it more likely that you will succeed and get to where you want to go.

How to set intentions – where to start

Firstly look at your life and think about what you would really want for yourself.  Think about key areas of your life and where you could enhance things for example you might want to consider areas such as finances, love, personal fulfilment, relationships, career.

how to set intentions

Once you have the areas that you want to focus on then concentrate on what you want and not what you don’t; keep it positive.  For example, if you are focusing on developing your finances you want to be saying I have the funds I need rather than I am no longer in debt so you focus on the positive that you want rather than the current negative.

You also want to try to avoid words such as don’t and can’t – stick to positive words.  Using the example above even if you say I don’t have debt your brain is likely to skip over that don’t so you start to internalise I have debt…  In the same vein the word ‘try’ can be unhelpful in intention setting as if you are trying to do something then you haven’t achieved it…

So when you are sitting down to set intentions think about writing in the present tense.  Using phrases like ‘I am’ and ‘I feel’ are important to making your intention real to you.

Examples of intentions

To get you started here are a few examples of intentions that you may want to use or adapt to make them more relevant to you.

I am in my ideal role and recognised as successful in my career

I feel settled and comfortable in my home life and secure in my relationship

Positive Intention Examples

I live with compassion for myself each day

I live in the moment and am grateful for my present

I treat my body with respect because I am worth taking care of

I support my body and mind with physical exercise that makes me feel great

intention example

I make time for self-care because I am important

You might then want to support your setting intentions with affirmation statements that you can repeat everyday for example if you set an intention that you make time for self care because you are important you may choose to say the following affirmations:

I matter

I am worthy of my time

Today I prioritise me

Final thought

Whether you choose to write intentions or resolutions or neither we hope that this year you will make time for yourself and that it is all you hope for it to be.

1 thought on “How to set Intentions”

  1. This was so useful! I set resolutions each year and they rarely make it as far as February. This year I’m going to try intentions, rather than resolutions. Thank you so much

Leave a Reply

Shopping Cart