Set Intentions for The New Year & Life
The following are three ways to plant the seeds of Intention for Success. I recommend practicing all three for best results.
No. 1: Create a free-writing journal of what you want, why, and what you intend to do to live it. The journey from the mind down the path through your heart and onto the page is an important one. Save you writings digitally in a folder on your desktop, in the notepad of your smart phone, or in a paper journal, and revisit weekly or monthly to be reminded of your intentions.
No. 2: Write one or two short sentences for each Intention -as if they are happening now- and place them where you will see them daily. Some ideas include on the desk, refrigerator, computer desktop screen, the mobile phone home screen. There may be days you are too busy to notice them, but they are still there, and soon enough you will see your intentions and be reminded.
Here are two Intentions I set for myself this week
- I read lots of library books, my vocabulary is expansive, and conversations with friends, colleagues, and strangers are fun and exciting!
- I wear my best and most comfortable shoes. I only need a minimal amount of shoes, and am donating the rest to people in need.
(Read Week #1 What and Why to learn the juicy details of why I set these intentions.)
No. 3: Create a vision board of your Intentions and what it looks like to live the life you want. This can be a sketch, painting, or collage of pictures and written intentions on a 8.5×11 piece of paper or large poster board. Place it where you will see and be reminded of your vision daily. See #3 in this link for a sample vision board.
Next Step: Live life. Once you plant the seeds of intention, and place reminders for yourself around your home, it’s time to let the life you want miraculously unfold.
What Is Intention?
Intention is like a seed. You grow it like a plant. It thrives when cultivated and cared for, and wilts when neglected, but never truly dies.
Intention lives in the heart. Once you set an intention from the heart, it is always there. You plant the seed. There may be days, weeks, and months you forget your intentions, and it may seem as if they are disappearing from your life, but they are still there.
Memory allows us to reflect on the past, and to remember our intentions planted from the heart. Once you recall your intentions, the heart begins to stir. When you begin to act on your intentions, they start to grow and thrive. The more you exercise your intentions, the stronger the heart grows. Soon you will live them out every day, without thinking much about them, because your heart’s intentions are strong and become a way of life. The more you feed your intentions, the more they will feed you. It is a strong, symbiotic relationship that gives you nourishment and strength to be true to your intentions every day. It becomes an unconscious way of life.
Goals focus on achievement. Intentions provide integrity and unity that build a foundation for a way of life.
Setting intentions is different from goal setting, as it’s not oriented toward a future outcome. You set intentions based on the understanding of what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your present actions with them. It is a practice that focuses on the relationship between you and the seeds you plant. Through cultivating your intentions, you learn to make decisions about ways to grow your seeds without getting caught up in the idea of reaching a destination. You are not expecting yourself or the seeds to be perfect, but rather allowing the flexibility of learning the beautifully diverse ways of being and doing, while working toward the healthy growth and development of your heart’s intentions.
My Personal Intention for Happiness
“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” -Margaret Lee Runbeck
This popular quote has served me in life for decades. When I first read it, I connected with it deeply. It soon became the signature quote in my personal email, and is the quote I use to this day in my personal Facebook bio. I place it where I see it often so I can always recall what matters to me most and share with others the idea that happiness is not an end goal, but rather a way of living.
Seeing this quote reminds me to let go of negativity and move on. I do what I need to be happy in life, and at times it means passing up, or re-directing myself, out of the path of toxic people and situations that build up along the way.
I am no longer on an endless search for happiness. I own it.
I set the intention for happiness in life, and exercise it regularly through positive thoughts of gratitude for all good things that have happened in the past, or are yet to come. Life is not perfect and there are occasional bumps along the road, but if there were not bad days I would take for granted all the good. This contrast is a blessing and reminder for me to appreciate the beauty of happy times in the past and present, and what I have to look forward to on the journey to come.
I know what happiness is.
When a day is bad or things go wrong, I recall the happiest times in my life, and through that, know what needs to be done to lift myself out of the ditch I’ve fallen into. Perhaps the mud in the ditch is a skin-nourishing mud bath blessing in disguise. Lifting yourself out of the ditch starts with perspective and attitude, is sugared by reflection and appreciation, and expands from there. I need only to remind myself to keep moving.
Isabella Guajardo, founder and owner of Bella Organizing, is a San Francisco Bay Area professional organizer offering home organizing, interior redesign, and residential move management services throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Call (510) 229-7321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Gift certificates are available.
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