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  • Writer's pictureTanya Hilts

Setting Intentions

What are intentions? The thing that you plan to do or achieve: an aim or purpose.

Recently my yoga class was my first experience with intention setting. It’s very common to set an intention at the beginning of class. The intention is unique to every individual. It could be a feeling, a desire for what they want to achieve during the class, a phrase or mantra to empower them, or a reminder of what brought them to the mat that day.

Of course, intention-setting can be, and is, done outside of yoga as well, but sometimes can be easily confused with setting goals. Even though they are similar, let’s look at why they are different.

At a high level let’s agree that an intention is something that embodies an aim or purpose you have or want to explore. It can guide you in how you want to show up in your life. Whereas a goal is attached to something specific to achieve or attain.

Try to keep the intention positive, so instead of saying “stop being a coward,” or “spend less time all,” choose the intentions, “be courageous” or simply, “community” ~ Melissa Eisler.

Intention setting can help reduce stress in many ways. First, understanding that setting an intention does not come with expectations or judgments. This helps to reduce the pressure we put on ourselves to tick every box every day.

Second, I think setting a daily intention can provide an overall framework or focus for our mind and can affect our approach to the day. It can help to clear mental clutter and allow us to not be as easily distracted.

Finally, setting a daily intention gives us an anchor or touchstone that we can come back to when we start feeling stressed. A safe place to reset.

How to start setting daily intentions: Here’s a quick how-to to get you started. Don’t spend too much time on this. Take a few minutes each morning.

Start by asking yourself some questions

  1. What’s important to you today, this week?

  2. How do you want to show up in your life today?

  3. What are you feeling, what do you need?

  4. What is currently causing you stress?

Set your intention for the day. Imprint it in some way that works for you. You can journal it, write it on a post-it, type it into your notepad on your phone or computer or repeat it to yourself like in a mantra.

What if the idea of doing this daily is too much for you right now? My thought is when it comes to reducing stress, we need to build consistent habits that help us to do that. It’s easier to build a habit if we practice it daily and it’s easier to forget to do something if we space it out too far.

Today you are you, 

That is truer than true. 

There is no one alive 

That is youer than you! 

~Dr. Seuss 

Until next time,

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