how to set an intention

Set an Intention, Not a New Year’s Resolution

Set an intention, not a New Year's Resolution. In fact, skip the resolution all together! Yes, you read that correct.

As we move into the new year there is a lot to reflect on and there is probably a lot you’d like to see change for the better in 2019. This is the day where most people are making resolutions, but I’d encourage you to set intentions instead.

Why Do New Year's Resolutions Fail?

Have you ever thought about why so many resolutions fail? It isn’t because someone isn’t determined enough, not disciplined enough, or not skilled enough.

It is often because the focus is on NOT doing something or doing something to the point that we try to control every aspect of it. We focus on how we’ll make it happen, how it is not happening fast enough, or how we are in complete and utter lack until we have met that goal.

Dude, that bums me out just writing about it. Kinda easy to see how things can get discouraging quick.

And when we get down on ourselves, feel discouraged and start feeling like we failed then you better believe that your hormones start spiraling right along with your mindset. That's because negative self talk is a form of stress. And any stress has the ability to impact your hormones, for better or for worse.

Set an Intention Because You Can't Fail

When we set intentions we are aligning our heart, our mind, our body, our spirit and cultivating a resonance that tells our entire being that we are full of abundance and ground us in the present moment.

Using intention is tapping into your ultimate power to create something so much greater than you could imagine (and I bet you can imagine some incredible things). And the best part, you can NOT fail.

You can’t fail with intentions because it is fluid, it is being in the now, and it allows you to open your entire life to endless possibilities.

Resolutions set you up to either achieve or fail…or feel like a failure. And much of the time, they are based on an idea that we are somehow broken, not good, enough or not doing enough.

You are enough.

steps for setting intention

How to Set an Intention

Let me start by assuring you that you've already got this in you. You can do this. In fact, this is nothing more than a reminder of what you already know how to do.

One. Get grateful.

Feel it. Good, right? Hold onto that feeling because that is what it feels like when you have all that you desire. Oh snap, that’s some cool stuff right there. You’re already experiencing the feeling of living the life you’re dreaming. Goosebumps!

Plus, when you're in this space then your cortisol comes into a healthier level, your body increases feel good hormones and neurotransmitters and even your digestion works better. All of that just from being grateful

Two. Breath and release.

Let go of everything. Your attachment to where you are now and where you’re yearning to be. Just be. You and that breath are all you need.

You ever do that “I can make one trip from the car and don’t need help carrying all these bags” move? Yeah, me too. Think about what that feels like to carry all that stuff. Juggling it all. The weight of it. And then how it feels to start putting them down in the house. Relief, right?

That’s what I use to imagine putting down my metaphorical bags. I just start setting things down and surrendering them to the earth. As the thoughts come up (as they do), I acknowledge them and then set them down. There is always time to come back to those thoughts.

This breathing also helps you shift into parasympathetic activity, which is the rest and digest aspect of your nervous system. I talk about this a ton in Beyond the Pill because of how profound just the simple act of breathing can be for creating better hormones.

Three. Keep the gratitude flowing, leave the bags on the floor and set your intention.

It works better when you are feeling content and grateful for what you have, opposed to coming at it with a scarcity mindset or a desire for something because you feel you are lacking in your life.

Four. Release and leave the details up to the Universe

Release and leave the details up to the Universe with nothing more than a wish that it all unfolds in the highest good. When we hyperfocus on the details and trying to control things then we are expressing fear, scarcity, lack, and other “low vibe” emotions. Think of these as repellent for your intention. It’s like that stinkiest perfume you could be sporting.

Five. Say thank you.

Yup, give thanks because the ball is in motion and while it may not look the way you want it to, it’s going to serve you in exactly the way you need.

Try this every morning and night for the next week and see how you feel! In fact, let me know in the comments if you were able to make this happen for a week and what you experienced!

Do you already do intention setting? What are some tips you'd share with others to help them get started?

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medical Doctor and the founder of Rubus Health, a women’s medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best selling author, speaker and regular contributor to several online publications including MindBodyGreen. She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations.