Setting Daily Intentions for Overall Wellness
Day 2 of the Reclamation Wellness Challenge invited you to complete a Value Intentions Chart for your core values. Day 3 encourages you to align those core values with intentional living.
*Still need to determine your core values? Head over to our blog for Day 2: "Designing a Life of Value."
Image from Wix
The Reclamation Sisters are shaking things up for 2021! We’re not setting specific resolutions that we usually fail to accomplish, and we’re not setting goals for want we want to happen in the future. Instead, we’re focusing on intentions designed to shift our attitude and mindset toward how—rather than what or where—we want to be.
In a world pulling our attention, time, and energy in so many different directions, intentional living can be a challenge. It requires daily focus to live on purpose, in alignment with your life’s purpose and grounded in your values.
Today’s step in the Reclamation Wellness Challenge is not about creating a daily To Do list that you can check off throughout the day. Life will always include To Do lists, and I’ll always end each day with things I didn’t get to cross off. Step 3 is not about micromanaging everything that happens in your day, and it’s not about putting a check mark next to a one-time task. It’s about working to develop a habit of living with purpose and on purpose. This step is designed to encourage focus on internal factors like motivation and inspiration; it’s about reminding yourself each day how you want to live your life and the kind of person you want to be.
Simple, right?! Well, it can be, if we take it one day at a time.
*If you are in recovery or if you love someone who is in recovery, you likely understand the power of taking things one day at a time. Related blog: "One Day at a Time with Mindfulness."
How to Choose a Daily Intention
Ask yourself what you want to cultivate in your life. How you can work on that cultivation today? Just for today. Choosing an intention is not a way of limiting yourself. An intention is not the only thing you will accomplish for the day, but it might be one of the most important things you accomplish in your daily journey toward total wellness.
Maybe you’ve been a grump lately and you know it’s been affecting your relationships. So you could choose an intention that would ultimately improve your social or emotional wellness. Or maybe you have something significant happening at work, so you choose an intention that will improve your occupational or financial wellness. Stuck at home and feeling bored during the pandemic? Try an intention focused on spiritual or intellectual wellness.
Whatever intention you choose, make it authentic. Intention can’t be forced. It simply won’t work to set an intention that you don't believe in. Living with intention must align with your values and your purpose.
You can use the same intention each day, or you can switch it up whenever you feel the need. Find what works best for you.
How to Word a Daily Intention
Remember, we’re setting intentions rather than goals. Focus on attitude and mindset, motivation and inspiration.
Goal: Lose weight. Intention: I intend to move my body today so I feel stronger and more flexible.
Goal: Eat better. Intention: I intend to eat for nutrition rather than reward today.
When formulating your intention, keep it positive. How you talk to yourself matters!
Negative: Don’t yell at the kids. Positive: I intend to practice patience and grace with my kids today.
Negative: Stop criticizing my co-workers. Positive: I intend to focus on empathy and understanding today.
I like the idea of simplicity when phrasing intentions, so I suggest using a sentence template that you can complete. Something like this: “Today, I intend to _________.” Plug in a verb—such as be, feel, do, attract, express, practice, focus on, or discover—and see how your heart or mind leads you to complete it.
Today, I intend to show appreciation to those around me.
Today, I intend to be mindful of my reactions.
Today, I intend to show patience at work as we continue to chart new waters.
How to Create a Routine around Setting an Intention
As you begin to form the habit of setting a daily intention, keep the following tips in mind.
Set your intention early in the day, before distraction and responsibilities take over. Early in the habit-forming process, you might forget to do it. No problem. Just set an intention as soon as you remember!
Combine your intention setting with a trigger action to help make an association that will become part of your regular routine. Maybe set your intention each morning when stretching, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, making your morning coffee, or driving to work. Consider making it a family affair: talk with your kids in the morning—during breakfast or on the ride to school—and you can help one another set meaningful intentions.
Say your intention aloud. Say it again, and then again. Maybe even again. You can whisper it; it doesn’t have to be a proclamation to your whole household. But speak it. Say the words. And try to say it with gratitude for the opportunity to focus on it, rather than frustration for needing to focus on it.
Write it down. The practice of writing can be quite powerful. It might take an extra minute, but it can be helpful to keep a log of your daily intentions for later reflection. Documenting your daily intention can also serve as a reminder throughout the day; this can be especially helpful when trying to establish new habits. Write it down in a way that suits your lifestyle and your memory needs: on a sticky note on the bathroom mirror, in a journal, on your calendar or agenda, in the Notes tool in your phone, or on the back of your hand with a marker.
Daily Intention Examples
Need some help brainstorming possible daily intentions? Here’s a list to get you started. Remember to choose an intention that you believe in, something that matters to you and supports your core values.
“Today, I intend to _________.”
believe that I am capable.
share my abilities with others.
focus on gratitude.
find joy in common tasks and activities.
bring joy or positivity into another person’s day.
express my thanks to those around me.
demonstrate acceptance by being my authentic self.
hustle because I enjoy the challenge.
express my creativity.
be open to new ideas and perspectives.
pause before responding.
answer a call for service.
be afraid but do it anyway.
let go and let God.
lead by example.
find beauty in the mundane.
be a loyal and reliable friend.
make someone else smile.
respect my own time.
put God first.
Intentional living is important to your own wellness and it is a gift to those around you. Please join us in working to set daily intentions.
Join the 2021 Reclamation Wellness Challenge! Check out this blog each day for details on one new step each day in our 100 day challenge.
Written by Laura B. Demers, © 2020 Reclamation Sisters