I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media regarding “intentions” lately. It has peaked my interest because we can all have the best “intentions”, but how do we make them a reality? Let’s first clarify what we mean by intention.
Webster defines intention as determination to act in a certain way. It also states that an intention is something you intend to do or bring about. This is perfect because I intended to get this blog done by November 1st, but it didn’t happen. I decided I would experiment with this act beginning at the start of this month and see how it goes for the next 30 days. It’s the perfect time of year for me because the days are getting shorter and my mental health suffers from lack of daylight. I am going to be proactive and set some intentions regarding my health for the month of November.
A natural starting point would be to reflect on what you intend to do and write it down. You can do this for the length of time that you see fit. It could be intentions for the day, week, month or even for a year or more. Here are mine for the month:
1. Manage stress
2. Boost energy
3. Improve mobility
I am keeping it simple and focusing on three things. It might seem like a short list, but that is by design. We can’t stop here because even the best intentions need some kind of action plan. The next step is to think about the how and what.
Turning Intentions Into Reality
How can I manage stress, boost energy, and improve my mobility? This is going to take action – getting involved and finding ways to work on these things. Take some time to brainstorm simple things you can do that will directly impact the things you intend to make happen.
Here are some of my ideas of ways that I can be actively involved in turning my intentions into a reality:
- Do yoga twice a week: This will help with mobility but I am also hoping that it will help with stress management too.
- Track sugar and caffeine intake: I would like to believe that I keep this to a minimum but if I begin to track it, I think I will find I am consuming more than I realize. Awareness is a starting point. These can be real energy killers. Caffeine can also impact how the body manages stress. Increased stress adds to muscle rigidity and impacts mobility.
- Take a multivitamin: This is for deficiencies that I have. I never tell people to take supplements unless their health care provider recommends them. This will help with my low iron and iodine which ultimately impact my thyroid and energy levels. It also has vitamin D which I need due to the short, dreary west Michigan days.
- Get 8 hours of sleep each night. This is an obvious one for energy but it also for mood and food choices. Exhaustions increases the likelihood of poor food choices which zap energy.
- Prepare homemade meals daily. Nutrient dense foods provide stable, sustained energy throughout the day and fuels my yoga practice.
The Best Intentions
All of the things I have listed provide a sense of some control because it allows me to be an active participant in turning what was once a “hope” or intention into a reality. If this exercise isn’t helpful, you can also check out our blog on SMART goal setting that might also get you started in writing intentions.
In a busy, distracted world, even the best intentions can get side tracked. Write them down and decide HOW and WHAT are going to get you there. If you have something you would like to accomplish and can’t figure out actions steps, drop a comment and we’ll see if we can help!