How often do you start your day without checking in with yourself? Maybe you roll out of bed and get straight to work, or the first thing you do is put everyone else’s needs above your own.
Ever since getting a new promotion, my mornings have been less focused on my own needs and more focused on keeping up with my new responsibilities. I soon realized that this change meant I’d fallen out of the habit of checking in with myself before the day started.
If you don’t give yourself time to check in with yourself on a regular basis, you may feel a sense of disconnection from yourself and your goals. The more you avoid your own needs, the more overwhelmed you can become.
Something I find helpful to combat this feeling is to set a daily intention. This means taking a moment to pause before the day begins and asking myself what I want to get out of it.
By doing this, I’m able to stay more mindful throughout the day and focus on the type of energy I want to attract and put out into the world.
Setting a daily intention takes no more than five minutes, and it keeps you connected to your goals, desires, and needs. In this post, I’ll explain more about what daily intentions are, why they’re important, and give you some examples to get started.
What does it mean to set an intention?
An intention is a commitment to yourself.
An intention isn’t necessarily a goal or something that you measure. With goals, we’re often taught to set them using the SMART framework, but an intention isn’t as formal as that.
An intention is a feeling. A vibe, if you will.
Rather than something to achieve, it’s something to BE.
An intention can be:
A tool to guide you through the day as you’re faced with decisions to make
A reminder of what you want to focus on (because we all know how hard it can be to focus)
The act of identifying the type of energy you want to bring into the day
A reminder to stay mindful throughout the day
Intentions can align with your values or goals. They can also relate to the type of person you want to become. For example, if you value productivity, your intention could be, “Today, I intend to stay focused and avoid distractions.”
Why set daily intentions?
The way we change our lives is through awareness and intentional action. By setting an intention, you bring presence to your own thoughts and actions (because let’s face it, most of the time we’re not truly present ).
So why not just set a goal? Of course, goals are important because they get us out of our comfort zone and onto bigger and better things. But the act of setting a goal doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to achieve it.
To achieve your goals, you need to identify the steps that will get you from point A to point B. To stay committed to those steps, you need the right focus and mindset to get you there.
Without the right mindset, it’s easy to get distracted or talk yourself out of your goals. That’s why you need an intention. It’s a reminder of what you’re capable of. It helps you not swayed by your thoughts when they try to convince you that other things are more important.
“When you have clarity of intention, the universe
conspires with you to make it happen.”
– Fabienne Fredrickson
How to set daily intentions
I recommend writing down a daily intention as part of your morning routine. You could do this in your journal, daily planner, or simply in the notes section of your phone.
To set daily intentions, I write the following in my planner:
Today, I intend to [fill in the blank].
All you have to do is take a minute to think about what you want for the day. Think about what you want to get out of it. Think about the energy you want to attract.
Here are some other things to think about:
What kind of person do you want to be today?
What attitude do you want to have towards other people?
What do you need to commit to in order to live a meaningful life?
What do you need to focus on to achieve your goals?
Your intentions might change from day to day, or you might stick to one intention that you use all the time.
Once you’ve set an intention, ask yourself why this intention is important. What bigger goal, value, or desire does this relate to? This helps connect the intention to a greater purpose and better engrain it into your head.
Remember that these are commitments to yourself. Treat them as gentle reminders, not harsh rules.
Daily intention examples
Here are some daily intention examples that I’ve used in the past:
Today, I intend to:
Stay focused on my to-do list
Be present in the moment
Stick up for my own beliefs
Listen to my intuition and let it guide me
Enjoy my creativity
Be intentional and organized with my work
Open myself to new possibilities without shutting myself down
Stay in my heart, not my head
Prioritize what matters most
Embrace change in all forms
How to fulfill your intentions during the day
You’re probably going to get distracted from your intentions. Our brains respond to whatever gets thrown at us in the moment, so it will take conscious effort to remind yourself of the intention you set for the day.
Here are a few tips to help remember your intention:
If you keep a planner or notebook at your desk where you can always see it, write your intention there so you’ll be reminded of it.
Write your intention on a sticky note and stick it to your computer screen.
Set a reminder alarm on your phone with your intention as the alarm name. You could do this at times during the day when you most lose focus (for me, that’s around 3 pm).
Meditate on the intention before you start your day. You can do this for 5 minutes a day and repeat the intention in your head as you sit in stillness.
At the end of the day, reflect on whether you upheld your intention or not. If not, write down a few ways you could improve tomorrow.
Try it out for yourself and set an intention for the day. I hope this post has inspired you to start setting intentions in your daily life to help you stay connected to yourself and your goals.
What intention will you set for yourself today?