If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you’ve probably been directed to take a moment to set your intention for the class. Your intention may be to honor your body, or gain strength or flexibility, or release tension from the day.
But we don’t seem to do that elsewhere in our lives. Why is that? Intention focuses the mind and the energy, and when we do that with, well, intention, we tap into a deeper level of engagement with our experience, and a greater opportunity for success.
Intention With Our Relationships
Very often, we are completely unintentional with our relationships. We make friends with the people around us, accept the drama in our families as a foregone conclusion, and let people drift in and out of our lives. What would happen if you set clear intentions for your relationships?
I set the intention that all of my relationships will be with people that support my highest good.
I set the intention that my romantic relationship with be with someone who accepts me for who I am.
I set the intention that I have clear boundaries for how people will treat me, and I set the intention that I will respect my own boundaries so that others will, too.
Intention With Our Bodies
Just like with relationships, we are very unclear in our intentions around our bodies, from the foods we eat to the level of stress we accept, to the ways we support our health (or don’t). Rather than buying whatever suits your fancy at the store, what if you made a shopping list with intention, so that you have what you need to make healthy meals at home? Your intention could be to enjoy treats at a reasonable pace – every other day, rather than whenever the urge strikes you.
I set the intention that I will choose foods that support my health goals at least 80% of the time.
I set the intention that I will have at least twenty minutes of physical activity every day, with one rest day a week.
I set the intention that I will be aware of my posture at the computer, and I will adjust myself to reduce neck pain.
Intention in Meditation
I’ve meditated daily (ok, mostly daily) for years now, and I have listened to hundreds of guided meditations. I can only remember one that directed me to set my intention for the meditation itself. The benefits of meditation are well-documented, but the benefits can be supercharged if you use the power of intention before, during, and after your practice.
I set the intention that this meditation will bring my energy into balance so that I can rock my day today.
I set the intention that this meditation will ease me into a deep, restful sleep.
I set the intention that my chakras are opening, activating, and releasing anything that is not in my highest good through the process of this meditation.
I set the intention that I will carry the benefits of this meditation forward with me into my day.
Intention at Work
You may be doing just fine going to work, doing your tasks, trying your best, and then going home. But what if you set the intention while you’re walking in from your car to ROCK this day? What if you set the intention to be open to the ideas, insights, and reactions of others? What if you set the intention to stay focused and engaged for the entire day? How might that change your experience?
I set the intention to notice and acknowledge the strengths and good ideas of my teammates.
I set the intention to see criticism as feedback that contains the potential to make me better at what I do.
I set the intention that I will be at my best today.
Intention with Intention
Try it out! Set some intentions for today, for right now. Write them down to remind yourself. If you fall off your intention – have grace with yourself and get back on! Comment below and let us know – how will you or are you using intention to shape the experience you want?