This blog will be a bit shorter of a post than I normally write, but I wanted to share a concept real quick that I’ve been incorporating into my morning routieg in hopes it ignites interest in you. I think you should consider making it part of your routine if you agree because I believe it will really impact the way your day goes.
One of my podcast guests, Catherine Willows, talked about this in her episode. She said that one thing she does every morning is journal her intentions for the day. I had never heard of this before…journaling yes, but not writing down your intentions.
Priorities and Intentions Are Different
It’s been my practice to write down my priorities for the day for some time now, but setting your intentions is different. Catherine talked about journaling how you want to show up that day. For example, confident, calm, present, etc. She said that setting intentions for the day brings a level of awareness and deeper meaning to what we want to achieve.
This idea of setting intentions came up again recently in the Optimize.me course I’m going through. I’ve written about this before…it is a year-long coaching program focused on personal development. Brian, the creator, gave a specific framework for setting intentions for the day, and I want to share it with you so you can use it if you wish.
Think of setting intentions as goal setting, but not for the things you want to achieve…rather for the kind of person you want to be. Each day you will write down the behaviors and mindsets that will help you be the person you aspire to show up as.
Framework For Setting Intentions For The Day
The framework for the Optimize program centers on three main areas – energy, work, and love. I think these categories pretty much cover all areas of life. You could certainly get more granular than this with setting your intentions, but the course has us focus on these core aspects.
I’ve kept my intentions to focus on Love, Energy, and Work (which I refer to as LEW). Each morning, I write down how I want to be in these areas. Not to say that it never changes based on what’s happening that day, but for the most part, I write down these things each morning on my morning routine cards.
Love – warm, present, and encouraging.
Energy – abundant, grateful, and zestful.
Work – confident, calm, and ambitious.
I write down these intentions every morning because they are mindsets and behaviors that I want to be reminded to follow every day. These are MY intentions – just sharing them to give you a concrete example. So that said…
Benefits Of Setting Your Intentions
Over the last several months I’ve been doing this practice as part of my morning routine. Here are the benefits that I’ve seen during the exercise.
1. Remind Yourself What’s Important to You
When you write down your intentions every day you’ll find that it really drills it into your head. As you go throughout the day, you’ll be reminded of the kind of person you want to be in those moments.
This exercise will greatly influence your daily behaviors and decisions because you have reminded yourself of who you want to be. For example, if you continually remind yourself that you want to be more present around people, you will eventually be more present.
If you want to be a calm leader and you set out every day to be that, you will be calmer at work. It might not happen overnight, but regularly reminding yourself will help reinforce what’s important to you over time. I believe that if you keep stacking good behaviors (action) and mindsets (thinking), it’s impossible for it not to develop you into the person you want to be.
2. Drill It Into Your Head
If you’ve ever practiced affirmations, you’ll know that eventually you memorize the affirmation and it comes up in your mind throughout the day. Over time, saying the same affirmations and believing them will change your identity and what you believe about yourself.
Setting your intentions each day, especially if they are the same, will really drill it into your head. Even if you have a few different sets of intentions you write out depending on the day, it will still influence who you are and the way you behave.
Here’s a pro tip: I write them down on my morning routine cards, which I keep by my desk…and I read over them throughout the day. It acts as a continual reminder for me.
3. Writing With Pen And Paper Cements The Ideas
I’m a firm believer that writing pen to paper is important for personal development. Writing out your intentions will help you cement them even more. It gives you something tangible to focus on and acts as a visual reminder.
4. Solidify Your Intentions By Daily Practice
When I first started writing out my intentions for the day, I wasn’t 100% set on those intentions. I probably went through 15 different iterations of how I wanted to show up each day before it felt right. It was really rewarding to me to go through this exercise because I think it solidified the kind of person I want to be. Now when I look at my LEW intentions, I get a feeling of YES!
If you commit to setting your intentions each day, I encourage you to do the same. Try different words until you get it to the point where it clicks and you feel excited. It’s very rewarding to nail down behaviors and mindsets that are important to you.
When To Write Down Your Intentions
Of course, you know I’m all about morning routines, so it only made sense for me to set my intentions during that time. But, you may do better with setting your intentions at night before you go to bed or at another point in the day. I actually think there might be some added benefits to letting your subconscious chew on your words as you drift off to sleep The bottom line is to experiment and find what brings you the best results!
Key Take Aways
- Decide when you want to write down your intentions for the day of how you want to show up. Behaviors, mindset, etc.
- Try different words until you get the combination that you feel right about.
- Use pen and paper to write them out daily.
- Leave your paper out somewhere so you can review it throughout the day.