How to Create a Daily Intention Setting Ritual
Confession: I’m a crappy meditator. I fully believe in the power of meditation and when I do practice, I notice its impact. However, I don’t practice regularly. Part of me thinks it’s my rebel streak bucking the trend, the other part of me knows I just haven’t tried that hard to make it part of my life.
Because I suck at meditating, and really want something mindful to start my day with I recently started practicing a daily intention setting ritual. I wanted to share my process here because I think it would be super helpful for anyone who’s struggling to get into meditation and is still looking for a way to practice being mindful. It’s my way to ease into meditation and also do it my own way. To my fellow rebels out there feel free to take what you like from this and totally modify it in your own way. My goal is just to show options for mindfulness.
What is intention setting
Setting an intention is a tool to manifest how you want to feel during the day-to-day. On paper, you can be the most successful employee/mom/entrepreneur/wife/partner/friend, but what’s the point if you feel like crap doing it? It’s so easy to get caught up in the things, the outcome, the finish line. Yes, sometimes they require worthwhile sacrifices, but on the whole, it’s not worth living a miserable life for a moment of glory. The goal of mindfulness, meditation, and intention setting, is to slow down and live life on purpose. It’s this radical notion that you can be joyful and really enjoy your life even when it’s a work in progress.
It’s so easy, especially when you have a full plate and a busy schedule to hop right into work, right into your phone, right into the intensity of your life, without thinking about how you want to feel. Even scarier is how easy it is to forget why you’re doing what you do. A simple ritual of intentions setting can help you set a powerful, productive and positive tone for your entire day.
I know that when I start my day with a focused intention it helps me feel good about the work I’m doing. Some days I miss it, jump right into work and feel kind of scattered and anxious.
The cool thing about setting an intention is that it’s really never too late. Say you do start off your day with a whirlwind and you feel it getting away from you. That’s totally ok, and realistically you should expect days like that. When that happens you can step away for even just 5 minutes to reset your intention and spend the rest of the day operating from a higher place.
How to Set a Daily Intention
This part is totally up to you really. There aren’t any rules or intention police. If you want to set your intention in bed, go for it. On a walk? Do it. In a yoga class? Sounds amazing. While you brew your coffee? Sounds amazing.
Here’s what I do:
Get in the mood
A huge reason I like to set an intention, more than jump into meditation, is because it’s fun for me. I have created a morning I get excited about which is so important because I really struggle to wake up and get out of bed. Without an alarm, no joke I could sleep into 11 am. I get into the mood by putting on a fun upbeat song that I’m into at the moment. I’ll stretch a little, sing a little, dance a little.
Choose your intention
My next step is to go through my ritual. Right now I’ve been setting my intentions using these really fun cards called Affirmators*. They have great positive words, adorable illustrations, and fun, witty descriptions. I’ll fan out the cards, light my palo santo (you can use a candle, sage, whatever floats your boat), arrange the crystals I have and wave my left hand over the cards. I try to feel a heat or energy in my hand when I wave them over the cards. If I do I’ll pick that card. Lately, I’ve picked “Self-love” “Joy” “Confidence” “Love.”
Feel the feeling
I’ll read the card and really focus on that feeling. What does it really feel like in my body? What does it look like in my life? I close my eyes and really bathe in the word, breath in whatever candle or sent that’s going. Sometimes I write the word down in my planner, sometimes I just let it stick to me.
My favorite part of the cards is the element of surprise and unfolding that can happen. I love the idea of being guided in some way. I also have a free printable to make your own angel cards if you’re looking for something simple and free to get started with.
Craft Your Own Intention
If you’re feeling really inspired and know what you want to feel you can always set your own intentions without cards too. One of my frequent intentions is to go through the day with energy and joy, another is to move through the day with lightness and ease. That’s the fun part. You decide how you want to feel and show up that day.
All in all the ritual probably takes me less than 5 minutes if I put a song on before or after. It can be as quick as 1. I really have zero excuses not to start my day with purpose. I hope this tool is helpful if you’ve been looking for more accessible fun mindfulness practices.
If you have your own intention setting ritual I’d love to hear about it!
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