What Are Intentions and Why Set Them?
Setting an intention means deciding consciously how you would like to show up or what qualities you’d like to embody. Intentions serve as an internal compass to guide our thoughts, words and actions.
Research shows that setting intentions can help improve our well-being. Intentions help us focus on what matters most and how we’d like to move through the world. Pausing to clarify our intentions grounds us in purpose and meaning.
How to Set Intentions with Self-Compassion
- Start by getting centered and grounded through a few deep breaths.
- Check in on how you’re feeling emotionally and physically.
- Identify an intention that reflects a quality or way of being you’d like to embrace more fully.
- Phrase your intention in the positive (how you want to feel and act vs what you want to avoid).
- When crafting your intention, speak to yourself as you would a good friend.
Setting intentions isn’t about forcing ourselves to think or feel certain ways. It’s about gently guiding ourselves with wisdom, care and understanding when we stray off course.
Examples of Compassionate Intentions
- I intend to be patient with myself when challenges arise
- I intend to speak my truth while also considering others’ perspectives
- I intend to make decisions aligned with my values
By setting intentions rooted in self-compassion, we can nurture the qualities we wish to grow.
Revisiting Your Intentions
Checking in on your intentions periodically helps reinforce them. You might reflect on:
- How am I feeling in relation to this intention today?
- When did I embody this intention? When did I stray from it?
- Do I need to adjust this intention or my approach to setting it?
Adjust your process with care and compassion. Intentions aren’t commandments to be followed perfectly. They are guides to walk with gently on our ever-unfolding journey.