When I got the email from Diana Hostettler at Mind Body Align to write a blog on Setting Intentions, I was flattered and terrified.  I can get up and speak ad lib in front of 100 people but to put my thoughts down on paper makes me panic. However, in the spirit of all that I have learned at MBA, I felt I had to accept the assignment.

What is “setting intentions?” Are “intentions” like the resolutions we make in January every year that we never keep? Are “intentions” like those punishments we use to make sure we lose the weight we gained from eating the delicious food during the Holiday season?

No, they are not.

An intention is a guiding principle for the way you wish to show up in the world. When you set an intention, you are activating your receptivity. If you go out in the day without setting one, it’s like you are riding a bike with no direction. When you do set an intention, you are putting out that which you intend to attract into your life. But how do we get there? How can we connect to our inner wisdom to chart our course for 2019?

Since I didn’t know the answer to my question, I did research on this subject. There was a lot of guidance explaining how to set intentions, but I liked the information from Deepak Chopra, which I’ve paraphrased below.

Chopra states that “the sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires.” Here are the five steps in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Science, to help us harness the power of intention.

  1. Slip into the Gap: The “Gap” is a state of pure awareness that takes us away from the chattering monkeys in our minds. Meditation is one of the most effective tools we have for entering into the stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to “plant your seeds of intention.”
  2. Release Your Intentions and Desires: Once you’re established in a state of restful awareness, release your intentions and desires. The best time to state your intentions is during the period after meditation. After you set your intention, stop thinking about it and let it go.
  3. Remain Centered in a State of Restful Awareness:  Let your intention go into the positive vibrations of your meditative state. Let your higher self take care of the outcome.
  4. Detach from the Outcome: Let go of the need for a specific result and “live in the wisdom of uncertainty. Intend for everything to work out as it should and allow opportunities to come your way.”
  5. Let the Universe Handle the Details:  “Your focused intentions set the infinite organizing power of the universe in motion.” We don’t know what the outcome will be. Many times we have a plan in mind and our higher power sends us something better than what we had envisioned.

When you are working on your intention, make sure you keep it positive. Instead of saying I want to take off these ugly 10 pounds I stupidly gained—try the more positive version—I want to love my body and eat healthy food that nourishes it.  Your intentions can change and evolve. Many people find it helpful to keep a journal to decide what intentions are meaningful for them. You can also write about your outcomes after you start doing this. I love reading old writings to see how I’ve evolved and grown. It can be amazing to see how things that upset me in the past have been healed.

I’m glad I took the challenge to write about “setting intentions.” I thought I knew a lot about this subject, but I really didn’t.  Now, I have a roadmap to help me bring this into my daily practice. One of my new intentions will be to face challenges in a positive way. Writing this blog was a significant experience and I highly recommend it to others who may be asked to contribute.