Intention Setting

The New Year has arrived! For many, this is a time of resolutions, new beginnings, and intention-setting. Having a resolution and sticking with it is difficult for many people. If you have ever had a New Year resolution and not followed through with it over time, you are not alone. In fact, recent data suggests that only 9% of people see their resolutions through success. As we flow into the New Year, consider the notion of setting an intention. Setting intentions is the act of stating what you intend to accomplish through your actions ( i.e.; I will speak up when I am uncomfortable, I will ask for help when I need it). When you are intentional about something, your focus is in the moment: who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Hence, there is a mindfulness component to intention setting that makes it different from having a resolution or setting a goal.  Intentions incorporate a quality of focus, attention, and self-awareness. They act as a potent reminder of a bigger perspective and introspection. Below are some tips to help with intention setting for the New Year or at any point in time. Give it a try! 

  1. What is your “Why?”: Why do you want to set an intention, to begin with? Is there something in your life that you are hoping to change, embrace, or work on? Your “why” oftentimes brings awareness to your true values in life. If you have a “why” you are more focused on the intrinsic motivation of the intention vs the extrinsic motivation of the intention. 
  2. Choose one word: The idea of choosing one word as your intention brings simplicity and focus to the intervention. Distractions are minimized and all aspects of your life can contribute to your word. One word is also a simple way to bring awareness back to the intention if you lose focus at any point ( which is normal and to be expected!). A one-word manta is a fanatic way to refocus energy on what you are hoping to accomplish. 
  3. Write your intention down: This subconsciously holds you to a high level of accountability. It might be helpful to write your intention on a sticky note and place it on your bathroom mirror. Every morning when you wake up, you will be reminded of your intention to start the day of right!
  4. Revisit: Referring back to your intentions is helpful in many ways. Doing daily, weekly or mothy check-ins allow you to review the intentions you have set and change the ones that no longer align with your potential path. Changing intentions is a normal and natural thing to do, given that over time you grow and evolve. 
  5. Detach from an outcome: Rather than focusing on the outcome of an intention, try to shift your focus to the present and process of the intention. Remember that most everything will happen as it should and be flexible with opportunities or challenges that might come your way. 

Welcome to the New Year, a time of new energy! Mountain Vista Psychology is here to help you along the way!

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