Our intention creates reality.– Wayne Dyer
Studies have proven that happy, successful individuals have a set routine and habits that keep them focused. One of these practices is taking time each morning to set a daily intention.
Harvard Business School Professor and author Francesca Gino, has conducted considerable research on the science of intentions. She says that setting daily intentions creates a ritual that moves people toward accomplishing their goals. by increasing self-discipline and self-control. And, when we commit those intentions to paper, not only do we remember them, we set ourselves up for action.
Practicing intentionality helps alleviate stress, creating a feeling of inner peace and assuredness that provides a fresh perspective. An intention is simply a promise we make to ourself. Setting aside time to contemplate our purpose for the day ahead allows for the opportunity to collect our thoughts and make a commitment regarding what we want to achieve. It is also about thoughtfully stepping into our attitude and behavior. This positive intention can involve our health and wellbeing, self-care, our career, education, hobbies, social activities, family time.
An intention is a simple statement and should focus on one thing each day. Setting a daily intention starts with the statement, “Today I will…”
Today I will begin a habit of setting daily intentions.
Today I will inquire about enrolling in XYZ class.
Today I will cook and eat healthy meals.
Today I will focus on the positive.
Today I will reach out to three important people to let them know I’m thinking of them.
Today I will complete the outline for my paper.
Today I will practice letting go of things that don’t serve me.
Today I will develop a draft for next year’s marketing plan.
Steps to setting a daily intention practice
- Dedicate time every morning to set your daily intention. A good time might be as soon as you get up, before your workout, while you sip your coffee.
- Keep track of these intentions by writing them in your day planner, noting it on your phone or calendar, or jotting it in a notebook.
- Welcome any discomfort or unmet expectations you may feel. Be gentle with yourself. Rather than turning away, face the discomfort head-on. Give it a name: frustration, fear, uncertainty…. By facing it and calling it out, you help mitigate its power. And, the bigger the unease, the most significant the intention surrounding it.
- Ask yourself, “What do I need most right now?”
- Write down what personal promise you will make today to bring you what you need.
- Strive to keep your feelings and intentions positive, but if what you really need today is to let something negative go, that’s okay. Express this intention: “Today, I am done with…” Worrying about the future. Dwelling on past failures. Letting others take advantage of me. Feeling like I am not good enough. Tomorrow, try to counterbalance the previous day’s negative with a positive affirmation, “Today I will ….” Express my gratitude to others. Live in the moment. Re-connect with an old friend.
Setting daily intentions is a powerful, personal way to look inward and give ourselves what we need. Intentionality can help us reach our goals, both personally and professionally. It is a rudder to steer life in the right direction – day by day.
For more information on the power of using intentions, setting goals, and embracing rituals, read this article by Thrive Global, or read Francesca Gino’s book, Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan.
May your day be filled with gratitude and good intentions.