Add Peace & Calm into Your Busy Life
So, listen, by then end of this year you could be living a more calm and peaceful life. Sounds crazy to think about this with the upcoming holiday season upon us, but even with the hustle and bustle of the holidays I assure you, we can still find peace and maintain it! So, let’s talk about intentions, what they are, and how to set them.
Intention setting can help shift one’s awareness of self, through altering thoughts and behavior patterns. Setting new intentions each day can help reframe our outlook on life and how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Oh, and let me explain, intentions are not goals. They are better!
How are intentions better than goals? Goals and intentions seem interchangeable, but really, they are vastly different. Goal setting can help decipher what we want to achieve in the future, set plans, and get it done. Goal setting emphasizes achievement in the context of where do we want our physical life to go? And, often if we are unable to achieve our goals it can lead us to feelings of failures or constant comparisons of other’s successes.
So, what makes intention setting so great? Setting and living IN your intention empowers you to focus on who you are in the “here and now”, explore your value system and live within those values, and increase your emotional awareness. Intentions help you to expand through the awareness of self and what you want to contribute to the world. Intentions also help you to see the world differently through acute consciousness, which comes with living in the moment. Intention setting is more about internal change than external achievements, which is the fundamental difference between intentions and goals.
So how do we get intentional about setting intentions? Here are 4 easy ways to become familiar and comfortable with intention setting.
1. Set some time aside every day to set intentions (as little as 5 minutes). Make a commitment to yourself to find a time in the day which works for you, to reflect on the emotions you want to feel to shift the behaviors you want to change.
2. Be clear and specific. Take the time to think clearly about the difference between the emotions or feelings you desire and the behaviors you wish to change. If you desire to be less reactive to stressful situations you would say, “I intend to be less reactive to what I cannot control.” This is clear and concise, no confusion.
If you desire to live in an intention immediately to change your day you could say, “I intend to make a conscious effort to be present today, to live in the moment, and appreciate all I have to be grateful for.” Again, very clear and specific.
And, one last example… If you intend to be better in your romantic relationships you can say, “I intend to open my heart completely and fully to my partner, and will draw in all the love they have for me.”
3. Start and intention journal. Write your intentions down. Journals are awesome tools we can use to connect thoughts with action, ultimately adjusting the undesirable behaviors and emotions. Journals are great in helping us stay accountable too!
4. Start small. All new habits take time to build and get used to. Start with one intention that you can see yourself committing to, and see it through. And remember, don’t be hard on yourself. Change does not happen overnight.
I would like to just leave you with just one more thought. Just taking the time to explore and understand your intentions is worth being celebrated. Remember to celebrate the small steps you have taken to change the unwanted behaviors. In other words, celebrate the fact that you are becoming more aware of what intentions are and how they can enhance our lives and provide purpose. This new awareness in and of itself is worth celebrating!
Written by Natalie Arredondo, MS, LPC Intern, Supervised by Amber Alexander, MA, LPC-S