How to Set Intentions + Stick To Them The Whole Year
New year, new you - right?! Well, that’s easier said than done. I know that many people will read this post because they are looking for a change. The things they are doing on a daily basis aren’t getting them to where they want to go in life. Or maybe you have gotten yourself into a rut and you just need a way out. Intentions, in my humble opinion, are the answer and I’m going to share with you how I set intentions, how to stick to them, and my own personal ones for 2019 and many years to come.
I honestly used to be a very negative person. Ten years ago I would look at things through the lens of jealousy, envy, and irritation if I saw someone who had something that I wanted. It seemed impossible to get there and I didn’t know where to start. But over the years I have truly changed my life for the better and have manifested so many different things from my dream career to the man of my dreams in the past 5 years that I can tell you that the following tips & tricks truly do work - so take note.
WHAT IS AN INTENTION
intention noun in·ten·tion | \ in-ˈten(t)-shən \
Definition of intention from Merriam Webster Dictionary:
1: a determination to act in a certain way : RESOLVE
3 a: what one intends to do or bring about b: the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
4: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
5: CONCEPTespecially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge
If you ask me what specifically an intention is, I would tell you it’s a significant thought you want to truly put your energy into to accomplish an overall goal. I always tie my intentions to long-term goals. They go hand in hand, but to me, it’s truly just a way to put your future actions through your thoughts into the universe on who you want to be as a person.
WHY INTENTIONS ARE IMPORTANT
Without intentions we are running around with endless goals not tied to important actions for us to get there. What you think, say, and do becomes your reality in every sense of the word. Actions come from our thought process and our thought process ideally comes from where we want to be in the future. These are led by our desires, wants, needs - and overall how are we going to get there just by setting goals? That’s why setting intentions are even more important than goals; intentions are the actionables tied to goals to help us get to who we want to be as people.
HOW TO DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON
This is the hardest of them all. What in the world do you want? Well, that is something only you can answer for yourself. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to finally find your dream job? Do you want to find the love of your life? Do you want to be at peace with something from your past? Ask yourself deep down what you want to accomplish with your intentions. Take a few day to think this through - after all, these are your goals, thoughts, wants, needs… nobody else will be able to manifest these things for you so just as we are about to set these intentions truly narrow down your thought process so you are able to actually go after them.
HOW TO SET YOUR INTENTIONS
Literally just do it. I can’t tell people this enough… you think it, you formulate a plan, and then you just do it. Intentions don’t ever work out if you don’t put the action behind them - that’s why they aren’t goals. Goals is an end result, intentions is the idea behind the result that leads to the action. To keep track of them and solidify your intentions, I ALWAYS recommend writing them down so you have a reference point. And then repeat them in your head for a solid few minutes a day… that’s right - it only takes a few minutes to solidify them. I do this everyday during the morning as I am getting ready and at night before I go to bed so that I can re-set and solidify with the universe what my intentions are for the days to come.
WHY YOU ONLY WANT TO SHOOT FOR THE STARS
So to put this bluntly: don’t bullshit yourself. This is why I recommend truly taking the weeks prior to setting your intentions to think about what you want to do - truly, honestly, deeply. The last thing you want to do to yourself is be something or someone you aren’t. If you’ve taken the time to think through your intentions and what you want the end result to be, then go for it. But if there is any sort of hesitation, then listen to yourself. And I’m not talking about the type of hesitation that makes you push yourself outside of your comfort zones & makes you nervous - that is the good kind that you need to embrace when you are about to make big life changes. I’m talking about the voice in your head that you need to think about. Don’t be someone or something you aren’t and therefore, don’t set intentions for the wrong reasons. Reach for the stars - your stars - not someone else’s.
SOLIDIFYING YOUR INTENTIONS
Sometimes this seems like it’s the easy part, but it’s not. To solidify your intentions just make it permanent. It’s going to feel unnatural, and even uncomfortable, but do it anyway. Repeat the mantra, have your intentions be on the forefront of your mind, and the actions will come from that. If you get off course, hop right back on. You are the only person that can get you to that end goal behind your intentions, so make the most of every single day in order to do so and eventually within the first few months, these intentions that were originally just a tiny thought in the back of your mind will be coming to life before your very eyes on a daily basis. Stay consistent and stay true to yourself and it will happen!
HOW TO STICK TO THEM THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
There are so many different tools, books, and ideas on how to stick to intentions throughout the year. I will share with you some of my favorites that have worked for me:
Think about your intentions every single day. Wether it be for a minute (I am a big fan of 11:11) or writing them down in a daily journal, whatever works best for you. Out of sight, out of mind is the same for intentions. Out of your thought process, out are the actions tied to your intentions.
Continue to visualize the end results. Why did you want to set this intention in the first place? Visualize your end goal tied to the intention often to remind yourself as to why you are setting this behavior in the first place. It’s a lot easier to remind yourself once you tie it to an end result.
Measure your results in weeks, not days or months. I do this for many things, but this is the best way to get the most out of yourself. When you take actionable measures on daily basis you can’t see if there really is a long-term effect on your life and if you wait too long, say, a month or two to asses, then you’ve already wasted time. Choose a day and reflect on the previous week’s successes and failures and re-evaluate the next week from there. I promise you will have better results this way; you only have 52 weeks in a year so make them count.
Write your intentions down somewhere and look at them often. I know this is partially in the first tip, but I’m just saying write them anywhere! I keep mine on a note tab on my phone, not a journal! But again, do what works best for you - this way you can’t forget them and you have a reference point.
Celebrate yourself with milestones. If you’ve realized you’ve surpassed a goal that you originally had for yourself because you followed through with your intentions then celebrate! I recommend celebrating in ways that show self care - a spa day, nice long bath, a moment to yourself - whatever is best for you. But truly don’t forget to celebrate. Especially along the way - every little accomplishment is another step in the right direction to reaching your goals.
REFLECTION & PERCEPTION
I cannot stress enough how important reflection is for the success of your life. You have to reflect in order to grow. If you take away anything from this blog post, please utilize self reflection on a daily basis to ensure that your intentions are being followed through with actions. If you find yourself in a position that they aren’t then remember: it’s never too late to start the rest of your life. Also: don’t reflect on someone else’s success. Perception of how someone else’s life is going isn’t always necessarily the truth. Comparison truly is the thief of joy and I know this is easier said than done, but don’t measure your success by the success of someone else. You are on your own journey, so reflect on your own actions and control the controllables.
MY 2019 INTENTIONS
There are no limits to the intentions you can have, but remember you want these to be something you can focus on every single day and a way of life. Mine are exactly that that I have purposefully thought about for months leading up to the start of this year.
Choose things I truly love
Stay in the moment
Take care of my body
Save more money
Experiences > Things
Know my worth
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Photos taken by Jenna from StyledOutWest.com