Hi friends! Ready for something a little different? Let’s do it!
The majority of what I currently share is fashion, because I love love love it & it’s fairly easy to write about. BUT what is so much more life-giving and fulfilling to me is overall health and mindfulness. This is why the tagline of my blog is ‘living mindfully‘. Put simply, mindfulness is being fully present in the moment and staying aware of what’s happening around you without judgment. To me, it’s all about just truly being here now. When we strive to live this way we can more easily appreciate the little things and learn more about ourself + the world around us. This is extremely important in the technology-crazed world we live in today. If you’re interested, I wrote a post awhile back titled 3 Reasons why ‘Live Mindfully’ is My Life Mantra. It’s a good preface to this post!
These types of blog posts take a little more thought, hence why they’re few and far between. Today I’m covering something that can be really powerful – setting intentions. Being thoughtful and intentional in the way we go about life is a huge part of mindfulness. A lot of times setting intentions is associated with yoga, but this topic is relevant to everyone… you’ll see why!
Intentions are similar to goals, but without the pressure of reaching a certain destination. They’re like guiding principles for the way you want to live your life and the kind of person you want to be. Instead of saying ‘I’m going to lose 5 pounds’, it’s saying ‘I intend to treat my body well and remain healthy and balanced’. Intentions are meant to be encouraging reminders. Here are a few I chose, just to give you a bit of an idea of what they can look like.
Why We Should Set Intentions
1. They provide clarity.
I see setting intentions as a way of discovering who we really are at the core… our priorities, passions, etc. They help us decide what’s important and what isn’t; what we want to focus on in life and what we need to push away. In a time where a lot of us are wrapped up in other people’s lives (thanks to social media), setting intentions helps keep our mind clear and on track.
2. They provide purpose.
Setting intentions, as small as they are, reminds us that there is importance in even the most mundane things. Intending to start your day on the right foot by sticking to a morning routine may seem insignificant or unnecessary but tiny changes can make the biggest difference. Setting intentions makes you an active participant in your life, making choices out of your best self instead of just letting life happen to you. You get to take control and be in charge instead of living passively.
3. They help us determine how we want to live.
Although our personality/character is pretty much developed by the time we grow up, there is always room to grow and change. It may be hard, but it IS possible to rewire our brain patterns and create new habits. For example: maybe you’re someone who has never prioritized exercise, but you’re feeling like you want to start. It’ll be difficult at first to add working out into your routine since it’s new and unfamiliar, but setting the intention makes it more real and tangible. It reminds you that it’s something you want for yourself.
How To Create Your Intentions
Intentions can be anything, related to any area of your life: health, relationships, hobbies, passions, school, work, etc… you get to decide. If you’re like me, things like this can be intimidating. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like you need to choose the perfect things. YOU DON’T. Don’t take it too seriously and start small!
1. Observe + brainstorm.
Take a week to be ultra aware of what goes on in your life and your routine so you can be mindful about what you want to focus on. Observe what you wish you did more often. Observe what other people do that you admire, and what other people do that you don’t. What makes you feel happy? You could intend to incorporate more of that in your life. What leaves you feeling uneasy or upset? You can intend to avoid or get rid of it. Try your hardest to be fully present with all of your senses during this week whenever possible! You’ll notice more as a result.
2. Take notes.
Keep a note going in your phone, or grab some scratch paper or your journal and jot down thoughts whenever you notice them. Like I said – it can be the LITTLEST thing. Like ‘wow that felt really good to talk to my grandma on the phone. I’m going to try to reach out to family and friends more often’. Don’t overcomplicate it!
3. Pick 5-10 intentions.
After you have an array of ideas and thoughts, narrow it down. Start by focusing on several intentions, then re-evaluate after a few months and change/add/take away based on how it’s been going. Pick 5-10 that you want to give your attention to this season and write them down. Get creative, but it doesn’t have to be pretty or fancy. Do what works for you!
How to Implement Your Intentions
1. Put them somewhere visible.
Stick the piece of paper or whatever you created in a place where you’ll see it everyday, multiple times a day. We all need reminders in order to thoughtfully change a habit.
2. Take them seriously, but not too seriously.
You want these intentions to bring joy and positivity into your world, not frustration and discouragement. Work hard to implement them and follow through, but don’t be upset if you fail repeatedly. You might completely drop the ball for a week and neglect all of them (I’m definitely guilty of this…). THAT’S OKAY! Just pick yourself right up and get back on track. Keep in mind that intentions don’t have to be all or nothing. Don’t expect yourself to make a 180 degree turn at the snap of your fingers. Little by little these intentions will become another part of your routine and who you are.
3. Spend 5 minutes a day strategizing.
I recommend looking at your list every morning and taking 5 minutes or so to think about what you’re going to do that day specifically. For me, it’s things like telling myself things like “I’m gonna go to the gym today” or “tonight I’m going to make a healthy spaghetti squash for dinner” or “I’m gonna text a few friends and see how they’re doing”.
4. Have an accountability partner.
Last but not least, choose someone to go through this process with you. You don’t necessarily have to share what your intentions are, but having someone to check in with to see how it’s going for the both of you can be helpful. My mom and I have been doing this together and it is so great!
Setting intentions can be incredibly clarifying, calming, satisfying, inspiring, and more. It really makes a difference. Like I said, just start by taking some time to observe. I encourage you to at least try this out and see how it goes. You might be surprised by the results.
If you do join me in setting intentions, I WANNA KNOW! Tell me! Either in a comment below, on my latest Instagram, or a direct message/email. We can support each other! Thank you so so much for reading & I hope you have an amazing day.