What Does Setting Your Intention Mean?
When reading or researching about meditation, the phrase “set your intention” regularly comes up. But what does it mean to "set an intention," and what is the process like? An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to live, the kind of energy you want to bring to the world, and how you hope to carry yourself. Intentions can be set for whatever periods of time you think is most applicable: for example, if you are going to a yoga class, you can choose to set your intention before the class begins. At the start of each week, you can set your intention for the next seven days. When the week is over, check in with yourself and reflect on how you were guided by your intentions.
Keep in mind that goals and intentions are not synonyms. A goal is something you can attach expectation or evaluation to, whereas an intention is something you want to commit to. An intention is something you want to align with in your life: think of it as an aim, purpose, or attitude. They are deeply personal and intangible. They provide a method of bringing your heart and mind into alignment.
Intentions should be closely tied to your personal thoughts, values, and perspectives. Intentions can be whatever you want them to be, whether that’s a phrase or a single word. Aim to keep your intentions positive. If you want to address something that you’ve been nervous about or have been putting off, set an intention of “be courageous” or “strength” instead of “stop putting it off.”
Here are some questions to help you establish intentions:
What matters most to you?
What would you like to build, create, or nurture in your life?
What would you like to let go of?
Who would you like to forgive in your life?
How do you feel when you are your happiest self?
What makes you proud?
What word(s) would you like to align yourself with?
What fears would you like to release?
What are you grateful for?
Some examples of intentions:
Open your mind and heart.
Stay steady, calm, and focused.
Act with courage.
Give and receive love.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Connect with others.
Revisiting your intentions are the best way to let them guide you. Call your intention to the center of your mind when you’re feeling ungrounded and in need of reconnecting with yourself. Intentions can serve as an incredible way to help you re-center yourself and offer a personal compass that will help guide you through your ups and downs.