The Magic of Setting Intentions

By Gail Z. Martin

My co-blogger Sheryl Eldene really woke me up when we were talking about setting intentions and she suggested setting them daily or even hourly, not just big life goals.

Wow.  That’s so simple, and so powerful—but it never occurred to me until Sheryl mentioned it.

Now, I do it all the time, and I find it makes a tremendous difference in how my days go.  I wake up and set an intention for the day, and it changes everything.  Maybe I have a challenging schedule.  Instead of thinking, “Wow, today’s going to be grueling”, I now set an intention, “Even though it’s busy, I intend to have a clam, productive day.”  It helps reduce the stress level, and makes my perception of the day much more positive.

Hourly intentions help, too.  If I have a meeting with someone who can be challenging, I don’t waste time dreading it.  Instead, I set an intention: “I intend to keep this meeting calm and stay on track, diffusing tension and achieving a win-win.”  It’s amazing how it changes everything!

I usually also try to set intentions for the week.  That’s a little harder, because so many variables can arise, but with an intention stated, it’s easier to stay on track.  An intention is not a to-do list, so it’s not just a list of what you “intend” to accomplish!  Rather, I set a weekly intention of making sure I get the most important tasks done well, refuse to stress about what doesn’t get done, and remain calm and positive to those around me.  I’m certainly not perfect and setting an intention doesn’t mean I’m never stressed or grouchy, but it’s amazing how many fewer rough patches there are when you program your mind with a positive intention.

There’s nothing wrong with setting long-term intentions, but it’s harder for us to stay out track with things that extend far into the future.  Why not break your yearly intentions down into intentions by day, week, month and see what happens?  After all, if we live out our intentions on a daily basis, the days add up!

Give it a try and see how it makes a change in your outlook!

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