A Guide to Setting Fall Intentions

A Guide to Setting Fall Intentions
What we focus on and pour our energy into influences a great deal of what happens in our lives because our thoughts ultimately create our reality. Whether it’s where you live, the career you have, the people you surround yourself with, or even what you decide to fuel your body with, everything in our lives begins with an intention. But without taking time to consciously set those intentions on a daily basis, you can end up jumping into each moment feeling lost, unsatisfied and unfulfilled. This season, learn how to take control of your life by consciously setting intentions so you can align your life with what you really want. Here’s our quick guide to setting fall intentions.

An Intention Is Not the Same As a Goal

First, it’s important to understand what an intention really is. Many people confuse intentions with goals, but they’re actually quite different. Intentions are like your inner compass. They are emotionally-charged beliefs that guide our thoughts, perspectives and actions throughout our lives. Goals, on the other hand, are specific and external achievements. Both are important for aligning your life path with what you want. Here’s how to start setting your intentions this fall:

Step 1: Begin with Gratitude

Before you can start setting positive intentions, you first need to work on drowning out any inhibiting thoughts. And practicing gratitude is the best way to start. Why gratitude? Because it’s an essential tool for training your mind to focus on appreciation and feeling happy. When you start to appreciate even the simplest things in your day to day life (like your dog or family), those good, positive feelings naturally increase, which leads to more positive experiences in your life.  Start practicing gratitude every single day by writing down at least five specific things that you feel grateful for. Try to include things that are meaningful and specific to you. Do this every morning before you get out of bed.

Step 2: Fine-Tune Your Values

When you understand what’s important to you and can get crystal clear on your core values, it becomes much easier to make decisions throughout your life that make you feel happier. Fine-tuning your values helps you realign your life with behaviours and actions that don’t compromise who you are.  Take some time to determine the five core values that are most important to you. Consider what experiences or moments in the past have meant the most to you. What made you feel happy, proud and fulfilled as a person? Some examples of core values:
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Helping others
  • Honesty
  • Loyalty

Step 3: Set Your Intentions

Once you’ve completed those prior steps, find somewhere quiet with a notebook and begin writing, “My intention is to….” Then complete the sentence with what’s important to you. Even if it’s vague, it’s a good place to begin.  Some examples of intentions: “My intention is to have a strong, healthy body and mind.” “My intention is to cope with stress in effective ways so I can feel empowered.” “My intention is to feel calm, centred and clear-minded.” “My intention is to love myself unconditionally and inspire others to do the same.” By consciously setting your intentions, you can take back the reigns of your life and start to focus on what makes you feel good. If you’re struggling to do this on your own, get in touch with us at Ottawa Counselling. We can sit down with you and offer professional support and guidance to get you back on track.