I was recently interviewed by Emilie Dingfeld, health editor of Fashion Magazine, about intention setting for the non-yogi. She wanted to propose to her readers to set intentions rather than new year's resolutions and asked for my input on what that process could look like.
Below is the full interview.
What does it mean to set an intention, for the non-yogi? What's an example of an intention?
An intention is like a seed of something you wish to create, grow, become or the first step towards where you want to go. Setting an intention helps give your actions direction, focus and meaning.
Today, I will eat more mindfully.
This week, I will only spend money on what's necessary.
This month, I will commit to exercising at least once a week, writing once a week and reading once a week.
How can we use intentions to turn our lives around? For instance, how can we improve our fitness or health via intention setting?
We can use our intentions to turn our lives around by focusing our intentions on striving to continually move towards our better selves - which typically means being more mindful and being more honest with ourselves. Be more mindful about what we eat. Be mindful about how we relate to others. Be mindful about how the body feels and how we can move to make the body feel at its best. Be honest about what we need (do I really need another croissant today? Will this cigarette actually serve me in achieving my best self today?) Be honest about when we need help from others. Before acting, pause and ask yourself if your action will help achieve the intention you've set.
What does the process of intention setting look like? Should we make a list, or take a moment each morning to set our intention for the day? Should we have both long and short-term intentions?
Set daily intentions as well as long-term goals so that your present day actions set you up for future success. Set intentions that are attainable, specific and expandable. Set intentions that only use positive language.
Ex. If you're desire is to get fit and eat healthy, instead of saying that you're going to hit the gym everyday for at least an hour and that you're going to give up gluten, sugar, meat, dairy, everything that tastes delicious... start small.
"Today, I'm going to set aside 30min to move my body."
"Today, I'm going to look up easy and healthy recipes for packed lunches so that next week I can be more in control of what I'm putting in my body."
"This week I'm going to actually assess how my body feels after I eat so I can recognize which foods don't serve my health."
Once you've successfully attained your "smaller" goals, you can start expanding, but keep it specific: "This week I'm going to go to the gym for at least 30 min on Monday and Wednesday. Sunday, I'm taking a yoga class."
"This month, Sundays are my meal plan and prep days. Mon, Wed, Fri are workout days. Tues and Thurs are read and write days. Saturday is my day of rest and small indulgence."
Do you have any other tips or ideas about intention setting?
I think starting your day by setting intentions and ending your day by reflecting on what you're grateful for is an amazing and powerful practice. It keeps one feeling positive and present.