How & Why to Set Positive Intentions at the Beginning of Every Week
My partialness for kick-starting each week with a carefully planned to-do list is well documented. Over the past 9-ish years that I’ve worked from home, I’ve tried and tested a ton of productivity tips and tricks, many of which involve lists. Positive intentions however, are a little different.
Though scoring an item off of my to-do list is always satisfying, I’m conscious that feeling fulfilled at home and at work is not all about output. Sometimes feeling good is more about aligning with your bigger goals and values.
Amidst the current COVID-19 situation it’s hard to feel in control. It’s likely that your ‘normal’ is looking very different to what it once did. However, amongst all the uncertainties, there are things you can take charge of – setting positive intentions being one of them.
I hope that today’s article, contributed by the brilliant Chelsea Becker, will resonate.
A shift in focus from output, to intention, can be hugely helpful when it’s tricky to complete actions or to-do lists in the way you’re used to.
I’m excited today to open the floor to Chelsea, who is sharing her take on positive intentions, and just how and why setting them at the beginning of each week can be of huge benefit to you.
Be it Monday as you read this, or any other day of the week, it’s never the wrong time to draw a line in the sand and start afresh with your intentions.
Chelsea and I would love to know your take on this! Drop us both a line at the bottom of this post so that we can share in your intentions too!
The What, When & How Of Them
One of the best things to come out of the wellness movement, I believe, is the push for positive actions and commitments.
At the top of my ‘how to live better list’ is a habit I refer to as ‘positive intentions’.
I’ve played around with mantras and happy sayings (both of which I love), but more than anything, I get value out of setting positive intentions week on week.
Confusing though it is, intentions differ from tasks on a to-do list. Intentions are separate to tasks like “laundry” and “bills” at home, or “contact ‘X’ person” at work.
Intentions in this sense are more to do with you as a person. Your wellbeing and focus for feeling good this week.
So, What are intentions?
The definition of an intention is: ““a thing intended; an aim or plan.”
Intentions, in this sense, are more like plans that will keep you on track with living well each specific week.
I save tasks for my running to-do list.
My intentions are always changing, and some weeks I have more intentions than others.
Jess Lively explores ‘living with intention’ in great depth in her podcast, and classes. Both Monica and I have closely followed Jess’s work for years and it’s informed both of our beliefs on positive intentions.
Intentions, in this sense, are
plans that will keep you on track with living well
each specific week.
When do you set them?
Setting intentions clears your mind and opens up the new week, hence why I’m such a big fan of spending Sunday evening or Monday morning putting them in place.
I work from home and make my own schedule (like so many people now), so I have relative flexibility.
If setting your intentions over the weekend (or any day really!) feels more suitable for you – then go for it! This is your habit to create, should you wish to.
There’s no right or wrong answer here – intentions can be made any time.
My preference for Sunday night or Monday morning is to help you to gain perspective on the week ahead.
And starting the week on a high note is always a great feeling!
Setting intentions clears your mind
and opens up the new week.
How do you set positive intentions?
Think of setting intentions like sitting down with yourself and checking in with where you are, in that moment.
What are you stressed about?
Where do you want to shine attention?
What nagging changes do you want to implement?
Each week is different, so it’s crucial to really feel where you are right then.
Leave last week’s intentions behind if they aren’t relevant anymore, or bring them along if you’d like more time with them. From there, you can take pen to paper, jot them down in your phone, record a voice memo, or simply say them out loud . . . it’s up to you how you set them!
For the record – I’m a pen and paper girl myself ✍????!
Leave last week’s intentions behind
if they aren’t relevant anymore,
or bring them along
if you’d like more time with them.
What do intentions look like?
Everyone’s intentions are different and there are no rules – that’s the beauty of them! Maybe yours are short and silly, or maybe yours are long and serious. Or a mix.
I thought I’d share some of mine here as an example. I always keep them positive and focus on what I can add to my life vs. what I’d like to stop doing.
It might be a mind trick for myself, but I feel like by focusing on addition, rather than stopping something, the good vibes help with achieving the intention!
My Positive Intentions:
I will . . .
- write about what I’m feeling.
- be the first to smile.
- spend as much time in nature as possible.
- choose cuddling over Instagram.
- prioritise my rest over hustle.
As you can see ☝????, my positive intentions for the week are all pretty simple! They are designed not to burden me but to lead me to a better week.
The intentions above came off of the back of a week when I found myself feeling insular, so I wanted my intentions to reflect quite the opposite. I’m aiming to not force blog topics based on what’s trending, to connect with strangers (or rather, I will do when it’s possible again!), to spend more time walking outside, and to give my husband more love than my phone!
This is all part and parcel of reflecting on where you are right now, and setting positive intentions for how you would like your week to unfold.
Positive intentions are a way of setting in motion good vibes for the week ahead. Specifically in relation to your own wellbeing.
Forget burdensome tasks, and really think about what will make you feel good.
What’s Your Take?
Since I’m such a proponent of positive intentions, I’d LOVE to hear any questions you may have!
Even better, some intentions that you’ve set for yourself! I hope that yours bring you a week ahead which is peppered with beautiful moments, and pockets of calm.
Photography by Charlotte Bryer-Ash
This blog post was originally published on July 24, 2017, and has been updated for 2020.