neon sign saying 'where focus goes energy flows'

The Empowering Habits Series: Setting Intention

Creating meaningful habits serves us immediately and over time

By Laura Carson Miller

Did you know the keys to unlock living beautifully each day, mind, body and soul, are largely found in your daily habits? Over time – minutes, hours, days, months and years – we develop habits, good or bad, whether we consciously realize it or not. These habits are truly the framework from which our lives unfold. This might be hard to hear but these habits often determine if we are actually living or merely existing. There is marked difference!

My Motivation

A habit is defined by Merriam-Webster as ‘a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior’ and also ‘an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.’

What we do daily does define us, like it or not. This series of stories on The List addresses habits that when implemented on a regular basis will have a positive impact on your life. Much of what I’ll discuss involves engaging your mind in a specific way. Once your mind becomes acquainted with these thought processes (and you see how your life will shift for the better) you’ll likely find they become second nature for you.

I use these empowering habits in my own life. I am certainly not perfect when it comes to implementing every single one every single day but I want to you to know from the bottom of my heart: when I use them they work! Being aware of these ideas, beginning with setting intentions, opens a door for a certain inner peace because we basically get what we think about and where focus goes, energy flows. Control what you can control, as in using your incredibly strong mind to focus on what is already good, what you want to attract and to express continual gratitude. Also, one of our greatest freedoms is how we react – or don’t – to people, places and things. But that’s a story for another day.

What Exactly is Intention?

The word intention translates to what one plans to do or bring about and can also describe a determination to act in a certain way. When we set an intention we drive energy toward our desires, thoughts and actions. The way I view setting intentions is by doing so I have absolutely nothing to lose. Yet I have a lot to gain by taking the time to funnel all the thoughts in my mind into specific goals and setting actual intentions around exactly what is meaningful to me.

How to Use Intention in Your Life 

There are multiple ways you can use intention for positive outcomes in your own every day life. I find writing out my intentions in a notebook or on notecards is the most impactful route for me. Setting aside even 5 minutes to read over my intentions with my morning coffee or over lunch helps me focus on and connect more deeply with manifestation. You can write your intention in the Notes app on your phone or even email them to yourself once a week. Try several methods to find out what is best for you. Sometimes I read my intentions aloud. Many people feel empowered through verbalization of intentions. A great tip is to configure your intentions sentences several different ways. This helps you determine which word structure feels most authentic and natural. You’ll know when you hit on the right words to convey what you want to manifest. You might find this exercise will have you thinking about your intentions differently. In a good way!

Consistency is Great – Perfection is Overrated

Personally I find consistency so much more rewarding for everything in life as opposed to having a perfectionist mindset. When you figure out how to be consistent in setting intentions for living what you see as your best, most beautiful life each day, you set the stage to appreciate small wins and foster gratitude. You also better position your mind to not sweat the small stuff, just another empowering habit that will serve you in very meaningful way. Wowza, friend. Did you see how I slipped in that little bonus nugget just now?

Setting intentions is completely customizable and will benefit you whether you set intentions daily, weekly, monthly, twice a year or if you set a few intentions in January and work on those all year long. You can make setting intentions as edited or as all encompassing as you want. As always, none of this is one size fits all!

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Why Not Live Beautifully Each Day?