Set Monthly Intentions.

Energy flows where intention goes.

Resolutions are not just for January. Setting clear intentions can help with decision making, accomplishing goals, and a clear path to following your greatest good or higher self. I find writing intentions down and having fun with them can fuel motivation, discipline, and establish a routine or daily ritual that leads to long-term changes.

Here are a few tips to begin setting your intentions and working toward them. Start every month by sitting down and really thinking or better yet, feeling out where you want to channel your energy. What do you want to improve and grow?

1. Meditate on your higher self.

Sit down in a quiet place in comfortable clothing. Light incense or a candle if it helps you foster a meditative environment. Close your eyes in a comfortable upright position. Set a timer for 10 minutes and engage in the following meditation.

  • Breathe in for a count of 2.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 4.
  • Breathe out for a count of 8.
  • Repeat this 10 times.

Ask yourself the following questions and allow the answers to flow to you in a feeling, a visual representation, or any other manifestation.

Where do I see the most content version of myself?

What does my higher self look like?

What kind of daily routine does my higher self engage in?

What is important to my higher self?

What qualities are strongest in my higher self?

After the sound of the timer, journal the answers that came to you in your meditation. This practice is meant to guide you to the higher self you would like to work toward. From here, you can begin to act in a way that is in line with the way of this ideal self image.

2. Write down 10 intentions.

Find a blank canvas, whether that be a large chalk board in your room or a blank piece of white paper in a notebook. Write the name of the month on the top and write down the number one through ten along the left side. Begin to write out what intentions you want to set for this month.

3. Be positive with your choice of words.

Instead of jotting down:

“Complain less.”

“Stop wasting time on my phone.”

“Cut out junk food.”

Re-frame intentions to be positive in nature. These three intentions can be re-imagined as:

“Speak with purpose and positivity.”

“Be present in real time.”

“Nourish my body with healthy food.”

When you look at your intentions and they are aspirational instead of accusing, you will feel more motivated and less scolded for your current behavioural defects.

4. Create mini reminders.

Write down your intentions in little snackable form so you can take them with you wherever you go. This could be as simple as writing one word on a cue card and sliding it in your wallet, or making an inspirational quote related to your goals as your phone background. Keeping intentions close will allow your actions to reflect them throughout the day.

5. Morning intention setting.

Read your intentions before your morning meditation and repeat them in a routine chant. Taking ten minutes to set the intentions for the day will help with ensuring changes are long-lasting instead of short-lived.

6. Evening reflection.

Similar to your morning ritual, create a “before-bed-brief” where you journal about the success of your day. Reflect on which intentions were an active part of your day and which you could improve on tomorrow.

7. Be compassionate to yourself.

Making changes is hard. We often set intentions because we want to grow and this often doesn’t happen without a few growing pains. If we set an intention to be more generous we may feel a little pinch inside as we offer up our last slice of pizza. Be kind to yourself as you embark on a journey of self betterment. Often the rewards that are most worth it take time and involve overcoming challenges.

8. Eye on the prize.

The ultimate prize is the gift of transformation. We meditate on our ideal self or higher self because it shows us the path to our greatest good. As Thanissaro Bhikkhu said in “Skillful Shelter”:

“In trading the pleasure of an ordinary life for a meditative life, you’re trading candy for gold.”

Today’s Practice:

Start trading candy for gold! Set intentions for the month and engage in the suggested steps above to decide where you will send your energy. Reflect on the intentions at the end of the month and start again for the next.