We may have been taught from an early age to make each day count by not being lazy, studying, getting chores done, spending time with family, and managing to do something fun. Unintentionally, we grow up with this pressure to make each day as epic as possible and if not it would be an epic failure.
Taking things one day at a time is a skill, because there are so many things competing for our attention. In an age where we're bombarded with things we could be doing, setting an intention for the day ahead can be reassuring.
We may have a long to-do list or maybe we have no idea of what we need to be doing. In either case, setting an intention for how we want to live the day ahead is empowering.
From Bland to Grand
Think about a very basic or boring thing human beings do. It could be washing the dishes, reading the newspaper, or staying stuck at home with no internet. What if I told you there's a way to never be bored again?
If you have a task you're really not looking forward to doing, setting an intention for it would be like seeing your day from a skydiving view: we see the big picture, stay in the moment, and we realize this day is unrepeatable.
The way to turn something bland into something grand is by changing our mindset. With a predetermined intention, we direct our minds to see whatever life throws at us as worthwhile.
What Influences Intentions
Maybe you're reading this and have no idea what you could set as your intention for the rest of today or tomorrow. This can be a great starting point to set the intention of setting an intention.
The way to figure out a good intention is by knowing what's important to you; it could be something like: relationships, creativity, entertainment, learning, resting, working hard, having fun, enjoying food, looking good, building memories, helping others, having faith, and so on. Being mindful of your values will most likely give you a sense of fulfillment because these are the things you pretty much live by.
The Process of Intention Setting
Let's say one of the things you really value is entertainment. A daily intention that would align with this value could be to try to find a way to laugh about a situation you're in, or maybe to be grateful about the content that makes you feel happy in the moment.
You could also set an intention for your day by taking a motto, like "It is what it is" and choosing to say it when you face something beyond your control. Maybe you could notice a worry you're having and set the intention to turn to wonder, "I wonder what I can learn from this." Or maybe you want to enjoy the little things in life more, and you decide to set the intention to take time to literally smell the roses. If you can think of an intention you've had before, you can also take that intention and use it again for a given day. Having a moment of prayer to set your intention is always a good idea.
When setting your intention, try to find a way to have it readily accessibly. Maybe you can write it down on a physical calendar, journal about it in the evening or in the morning, or share it with someone you trust. The important thing is to make sure your intention is unforgettable in your day. If you didn't live by your intention today, then be gentle with yourself and try again tomorrow.
The LORD answered me: “Write down the vision; write it clearly on clay tablets so whoever reads it can run to tell others."
Intentions don't solve your problems, but they help to turn your problems into purpose. A life with purpose is a life worth living.
In a Nutshell
Setting an intention helps to guide your attention and it can help you step into your day with more power. Your intention can be like your slogan, like Nike tells us "Just Do It" and McDonald's asserts "I'm Lovin' It." With an intention, we live by words that make sense to us and that's something we can hold on to.
What's your intention for the day ahead?