Everyone, from websites like SpiritualGangster to PsychCentral, say it’s good to “set intentions.” What in the heck does that even mean?
Most of the times, my best intentions to “be better in life” get lost. They usually disappear in the urgent pile of laundry that includes the warm fuzzy socks I need tonight.
You probably have the BEST intentions!
So often I have these amazing, potentally life-changing intentions to wake up early and work out. I also have the intention to follow that work out with a Whole30 approved breakfast.
Then, I intend to drive to work with focus. I won’t text or even glance at my phone.
Then, there’s the intention to approach my work day head on! It will be filled with uninterrupted productive bursts of the “tiger blood energy” that people say you get when you are on Whole30.
When I (finally) get home, my intention is that I won’t be dead tired, exhausted, drained and ready to crash. NO! I fully intend to walk through my red front door, glowing because I haven’t been drained of all my creativity doing two radio shows in different languages. NO! I am fully here and present to be everything my husband desires and all my children need.
At least, that’s my intention.
In fact, I also have the intention to have a beautifully clean & decorated house! My intention is to gracefully glide throughout the house, singing like Giselle in Enchanted, dusting and cleaning and tidying up.
Finally, we all peacefully go to bed with all the homework & chores done, no whining and a home filled with love.
BAAAHahahahaha! Nope. But it’s funny to imagine all that, isn’t it?
Those are all fantastic intentions, but they’re not happening here in my house. I WISH!
Oh, I left out my intention to be completely debt free in no more than 7 months because Dave Ramsey said I could if I really go for it with gazelle intensity.
Is it practical to set intentions or is it setting us up for frustration?
Is this possible? To set intentions for ALL THE THINGS and not lose our minds?
I want to go straight to PsychCentral and SpiritualGangster and give them a piece of my mind about all this insane, impossible intention business.
But before I do that, let me actually stop and re-consider what does it really mean to “Set Intentions” at the beginning of a new year (or month, or week, or even day!)
What does it mean to “set intentions for the year?”
An article on Inc.com really inspired me with the concept of setting intentions. It says they can help us “get out of our heads” and “open our eyes to things we might have missed otherwise.” They go beyond goals to a more lofty expression of the way we want to live.
Intentions can help us declare a change of direction.
If life has been happening to you faster than you can think or react, you probably know much stress that brings. You’ve been putting out fires and living in emerency response mode (welcome to my life).
Let’s just start by saying we all know that is not healthy. Before we know it, 5 or 10 years have flown by and we’re (I hate to say it) STUCK in the same place. We wish things were different, but we’ve been too busy to change directions. Setting intentions can help us declare that we’re ready for that change.
But we need to set the intention and follow through with action.
Set Intentions and then what?
What in the world does it matter to have the best intentions or set intentions (intentionally) for the year, if we don’t follow through?
Here are a few thoughts that I hope will help us not just want things to change but make this THE YEAR OF CHANGE!
3 Things to help us set intentions
- I’m a Christian and honestly believe in the power of prayer. The Bible also says “faith without works is dead.” So let’s pray and ask God to help us set intentions that align with His plans. And let’s also ask Him to give us the strength to see it through.
Write it down
- I heard one of my favorite podcasters, Chrystal Evans Hurst, share how she believes in the power of writing things down. But not just that, also going back to look at what you wrote and stay committed! I can see how that would help with these intentions. I’m sure it helps to take the time to write them down in a planner that we’ll refer to daily or weekly. It should help to make sure we’re doing at least one thing every day that will help us live out that life we are intending to live.
Tell a friend
- Accountability is so important! The longest I’ve lasted doing a “Whole30” elimination diet proram was 11 days and that was the time I actually had a friend doing it, too! LOL! Maybe next time, I’ll tell a friend and make it the “Whole 30 Days!” But it really helped me to see that all my previous attemps that lasted even less than that, I was trying to do on my own. Why do we do that? Life is not meant to be lived alone. So let’s seek out a friend (or a few) who can jump in to dream big, set intentions and encourage each other to follow through!
I hope this helps and encourages you (and those friends you’re going to invite) to go for it! Set those intentions, pray about it, write it down and share it with a friend. Let’s make this the best year possible.
Laughing thru life,