The morning is an important part of the day. How we begin those first few minutes after we awaken can set the tone for the hours to follow. Many of us hit the ground running at full speed. From the moment we drift back to reality and our eyes flutter open, we are bombarded with thoughts and demands. While the thought of a busy day can make mornings overwhelming, setting an intention is one addition to our AM routine that could bring good vibes all day long!
Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler
And so our story begins with years and years of failed morning routines by yours truly
All my life I have attempted to design and successfully carry out the perfect morning routine on work days. I have daydreamed about waking up a little earlier to stretch, work on my blog, leisurely drink my coffee as I watch the sunrise, or write in my journal. I always thought that doing 1-2 of these activities before I started my work day would leave me feeling inspired and somehow more ready for my day.
You guys, here’s the thing — I am NOT a morning person. As much as I try to be, I’m just not. If you are, I applaud you and ask that you teach me your ways in the comments below! =) I can have high hopes of setting my alarm a little earlier on weekdays to journal, work out, stretch, meditate, or sip coffee, but my sleepy mind disagrees with this decision every time.
I have found over years of frustration with attempting to add activities to my AM routine that I am definitely more of a night owl. I work out at night, I journal at night, I leisurely drink tea (or wine) 😉 at night, I write at night — the evenings are a better time for me personally to have this type of routine.
Realizing my night owl status has been relieving, but my mornings were still missing something. If you caught my last edition of Citrus and Sun Moments, you read how I recently have been getting more into yoga and meditation. Setting an intention and identifying why I am choosing to be there that day is a part of both practices. By setting an intention, I feel purpose in what I am doing.
It was during my insight meditation class that I realized how I could add a little spark to my mornings: set an intention for the day! I know this is not a new concept, but I felt so compelled to share this epiphany with you. After spending many mornings feeling defeated over my failed morning routines on days that already promised stress, I now realize that all I need is mindful moment!
Whether you are busy in the morning with kids, have an early morning at work, you woke up late, or you just want to savor every moment of your precious sleep (can I get a “hallelujah” on that one??) – setting an intention for your day is one simple thing you can do, and it only takes a few seconds!
What is an intention?
We have so many goals and to-do lists that we want to accomplish each day. Most of us are already list makers or calendar creators, and have a set system for accomplishing those tasks. Setting an intention is different than goal setting or checking off lists. It’s not something that you can necessarily see or that you can measure. From what I have learned from yoga and meditation, an intention is an attitude, a mantra, or a vision that guides and focuses us. If you focus on your intention throughout your day, you will project that vision through your thoughts and actions and make it a reality for yourself and others.
If you focus on your intention throughout your day, you will project that vision through your thoughts and actions and make it a reality for yourself and others.
How do I set an intention?
This is a time when your mind and your heart need to work as one. Your intention should correlate with your values, your emotions, and who you are in that moment. It’s almost as if you are creating a mission statement for that day of your life. Your intention could be a specific phrase or a word that you wish to focus on throughout your day. An intention has the ability to slow us down and help us reflect how we are participating in our day!
The following are questions that I have been asking myself in order to set my own daily intention:
1. When do I feel most excited?
2. How do I want to grow?
3. How to I want to approach relationships today?
4. What is anchoring me down?
5. What do I want to create?
6. What does my life need more of?
Below are 10 words that I use often when setting my daily intention. Use them on their own or put them in a more specific phrase or statement. For example, instead of setting your intention as “courage” you could say, “Find courage in the journey.” This phrase could take on different meanings throughout your day depending on what you are doing. Set one of these 10 words as your day’s intention, or come up with a list of your own! Bring on the good vibes!
While it’s nice to have a moment to journal/meditate to help us set the perfect intention, this time is not always available. Fortunately, you do not need a lot of time to do this exercise. Your intention will probably be clear to you based on how you’re feeling and the events of your day. You might even think up your day’s intention while brushing your teeth, making coffee, or on your way to work.
Sticking with our intention throughout the day
I am a visual person, so having my intention written out in front of me is ideal. When it’s not possible to have a visual reminder, saying our intention out loud to ourselves can be effective. I have found that repeating my intention out loud allows it to harmonize with the rest of my thoughts. Eventually it will become a part of my self talk for the day!
Reflecting at the end of the day is also so important. Again, this doesn’t need to take long. You can restate your intention and then simply ask yourself, “How do I feel?” or “How was my day?” While these may seem like general questions, your intention will shine through in your answers!
So let’s do this!! Try taking a minute during your morning routine (whatever it may be!!) to set an intention for good vibes all day long! Share your intentions with me on Twitter by tagging @citrus_and_sun in your tweet, or on Instagram by using the hashtag #citrusandsunmoments! Let’s inspire each other with our good morning vibes!
Wishing you zest & light,