How to Set Intentions that Help You Find Balance


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Everyone loves a fresh start. A new beginning, a clean slate, a field of limitless opportunity.

For many of us, setting intentions sparks that same sense of excitement, appealing to the exhilaration that flows from welcoming the unknown as a chance to transform for the better.

The problem is, today’s intention-setting practices are largely about addressing productivity or keeping up with the latest wellness trends – rather than helping us fulfill our unique needs to truly enhance our well-being.

But with a simple practice of introspection, we can shift the focus and start to customize our approach.

Why Intention Setting Matters

Before you begin to set intentions, it’s important to understand your “why.”

 The way that we show up in the world is largely a product of choice – how we choose to react, what we choose to prioritize, where and how we choose to spend our time. Whether we realize it or not, we’re making choices every single day that impact not only us, but our relationship to others and the world around us. Those seemingly inconsequential choices ultimately shape the direction of our lives and who we choose to become.

Creating a mindful routine can help you approach each day with intention, but figuring out what you need to prioritize can feel an overwhelming place to start.

The good news? All it takes is a few moments of stillness and connecting with your intuition.

 

How to Identify Your Unique Needs

Thanks to a modern world constantly “on the go,” sitting in stillness has become an exception rather than the norm for many busy professionals. When we overlook the power of hitting pause regularly, we can lose sight of what we need to thrive and find ourselves falling out of balance.

Spending just a few moments checking in with ourselves – exploring the mind, body, spirit, and our sense of community – can help us identify areas we need to nurture and prioritize. This practice can be helpful to complete weekly or monthly to enable a holistic intention-setting approach tailored to serve you — wherever you are in your journey.  

Tune in with your mind. To start, find a quiet place and settle into a comfortable seated position. Sift through your thoughts, simply noticing what comes up without judgment. Where do you notice your attention wandering?

Complete a body scan. Next, slowly complete a mental body scan. Recognize any areas that may be holding tension. Focus on letting go of whatever you may be holding on to. Allow yourself to mentally and physically release that tension. How does your body feel, and what does your body need in this moment?

Connect with your spirit. Notice how you feel energetically and emotionally. Recognize any blocks or lightness you may be experiencing. What language would you use to describe your emotions?

Consider your sense of community. Lastly, check in with your sense of community. Evaluate the quality and depth of your relationships. Notice areas where you feel an unequal energy exchange as well as those relationships that leave you feeling inspired and fulfilled.

REFLECTING AND Setting Practical Intentions

After you complete this introspective practice, spend a few minutes journaling. Notice where you felt the most resistance or imbalance. Prioritize these aspects of your being as you choose intentions for the week, or the month.

To nurture your mind, choose to carve out time in your schedule to meditate each day or wind down each evening with a regular reading ritual. To nurture your body, choose to start each morning with an invigorating walk, or spend some extra time on your yoga mat. To nurture your spirit, try sticking to a daily journaling practice or spending time in prayer. To nurture your sense of community, prioritize quality time with a loved one that fills you with joy, or make an effort to call someone that brings light into your life.

Whatever intentions you choose, listen to your intuition and let it be your guide. Focus on what you need more of in your life—and make small, incremental changes that truly help you live in alignment.  


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Laura Hanson