In work and in life, we understand the importance of goals and how they help us plan for the future. But sometimes, even with the help of these plans, it can feel like our days are running us instead of the other way around. If you’re feeling like you’re in the passenger seat and reacting to what the day throws at you, the solution may lie in setting a daily intention.  

Both goals and intentions express a deliberate desire, but daily intentions differ from goals in that they allow you to focus on the present, live out your values, and take control of your time. By assessing the realities of your next twenty-four hours and then determining a focus, you are able to approach your day proactively instead of reactively.  

So what is involved in setting a daily intention and getting on track? This exercise is most beneficial if it’s done first thing in the morning. Take a few moments to calm your mind, sip your coffee or water, and take some deep breaths – and if you can, do this before checking your phone. Consider the events of the previous day: What went well? What could have gone better? Then think about what you have ahead of you: What is it that you value? Where do you want to focus your mind and energy? What doesn’t need your time or attention today? If it helps you, write your intention on your phone or on a sticky note somewhere you will be reminded of it during the day.  

Some examples of daily intentions:  

  • I intend to show acts of kindness today, opening myself to any possibility to bring joy into the life of another. – Inc
  • I intend to forgive others, and myself. – Mind Body Green 
  • I intend to find meaning in my work, be it the broadest dreams or tiniest details. – Live A Life You Love 
  • And the options are limitless! 

What are your intentions today?