The Power of Setting Intentions
“New year, New you!”...
It’s a phrase that always gains popularity as we come to the end of one year and the beginning of the next.
A powerful momentum built from the rush of the holidays ushers us into the new year at full speed and we’re inspired and motivated to make this one better than the last. With a burst of energy and the best of intentions, we make our resolutions and set new goals for the coming months, eager and excited for this fresh start.
But like a runner who races off from the starting line at full speed, it’s easy to quickly lose some steam once we settle into our natural paces and routines.
So now that we’re just beginning to turn the pages of this year’s calendar, it’s a good time to check in with ourselves and revisit our intentions.
Maybe we find they could use a little revision or revival or perhaps we decide to set some for the very first time.
And that’s one of the amazing things about setting intentions - we can do it anytime. Every single moment provides an opportunity for a fresh start as our intentions can shift with our needs and desires, and evolve as our lives evolve.
An important aspect when setting an intention is to have clarity around it, so let’s start by clearly defining what an intention is and how it’s the same or different from similar goal-setting words.
A resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not do something” and a goal is defined as “an aim, or a desired outcome”. Both are typically future-based, concrete, and measurable, while an intention is a bit more general. Defined as, “what one intends to do, or bring about”, intention is a mental state that focuses on cultivating a tone, a feeling, or a way of being we’d like to bring into the present moment. Defining your intentions is your first step in achieving your goals.
Our intentions can hold incredible power, which actually stems from the power of our very own minds. As the saying goes “what you believe, you can achieve!”
Motivational speaker and self-development author Wayne Dyer covered this topic extensively in his book The Power of Intention. He defines intention as “a force in the universe that allows the act of creation to take place.” He believed that the ability to manifest our desires and live a fulfilling life lies in the power of aligning our thoughts and actions with the universe.
Dr. Deepak Chopra, an international spiritual leader and alternative-medicine advocate, also emphasizes the incredible power that intention holds. In his book The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success, he states that “Intention triggers the transformation of energy and information, and organizes its own fulfillment.” He goes on to talk about the importance of having awareness of our thoughts and actions in the present moment, as they are what create our future. He also explains that to harness the power of intention, we must release our desires to the universe, trusting in its pure potential, and with the expectation that they’ll manifest.
It’s important to note however that setting and manifesting our intentions doesn’t mean simply wishing on a star then crossing our fingers and hoping the universe will make our wish come true; we need to continuously be an active participant in the process. The key is in developing intentions that are in line with our values and goals, and aligning our energy and actions with them. This allows the universe to connect with our prana (aka life energy), and that’s when the magic happens!
Though we need to honor our individual and unique values and selves when setting our intentions, we can always look to others for guidance and inspiration. For example, Dr. Chopra has intimately shared the four spiritual intentions he has lived by. The intentions that guide his life are “having a joyful and energetic body, a loving and compassionate heart, a reflective and alert mind, and a lightness of being.”
Our intentions set the tone we’d like to feel or bring about. They give us a compass and sense of direction and establish purpose to our days. Rather than allowing our days to be dictated by outer circumstances, following our intentions empowers us, and provides a sense of control, connection, and fulfillment along our journeys.
Intentions can have both short and long-term focus, and they can be set daily, such as first thing each morning, or at the beginning of a yoga or meditation practice for example.
When establishing our intentions, it’s important to make them clear, simple, and attainable. Start by developing clarity around what you’d like to manifest, and then defining what it is. Then state your intentions, whether in writing, out loud, or in prayer, etc, sending them out energetically to the universe in a manner that feels right to you. Next, align your actions and energy with your intentions, and trust in the powers of the universe and your being. Then be sure to check in on yourself and the intentions you’ve set regularly, being mindful to stay flexible and compassionate, and remembering that every moment holds an opportunity to set, reset, refine, or revive them.
Now, the power of intention isn’t limited just to setting intentions in the name of achieving our goals and manifesting our desires. Living intentionally and communicating intent are practices that also have profound effects on our lives and on our well-being.
Living intentionally means doing things with and on purpose. It means being deliberate with our daily actions and choices and keeping them in alignment with our values and beliefs. Being intentional is making mindful decisions based on our ethics and integrity, and having purposeful reasons behind the things we say and do. When we live intentionally, our prana is able to flow freely and connect with the energy of the universe, and we empower ourselves to create our lives as we desire them to be.
Finally, being open and clear about our intent in situations with others is crucial for developing and maintaining healthy relationships and connections. Whether in our homes, in our workplaces, or out in public, we are in constant interaction with each other, and all of our actions are interconnected. The things we say and do (or don’t say and do) have a direct effect on those around us. Communicating our intent honestly and outwardly with others allows for ease, understanding, and cooperation in our interactions and collaborations.
For instance, when starting a new job, entering a relationship, or establishing a new partnership or agreement, openly sharing our intentions provides clarity and transparency, and allows each person to make their own decisions accordingly from a place of truth. Even when just going about our daily lives, we need to act in coordination and cooperation with others, and signaling our intent helps us to do so safely and effectively. For example, when driving we use our turn signals to show our intent to merge, change lanes, or move through an intersection. Or when biking, we ring a bell or shout “on your left” to let people know we’re approaching and that we intend to pass them. Stating our intent to others in ways both big and seemingly small helps to cultivate ease and harmony for everyone involved.
Here at The Green Pineapple, we aim to inspire our global family to live a conscious lifestyle and have created a set of values to help guide us in doing so. In our last blog post, we introduced the foundation of our values system as “Integrity”. Building on that foundation, we’ve established “Intention” as our next value. In alignment with this value, we strive to continuously make deliberate choices in how we relate and what we offer. We set clear priorities, then work diligently to achieve our goals. For example, we intend to operate as sustainably as possible. In the Wellness Cafe, we achieve this by sourcing seasonal ingredients from South Florida farmers when possible, by separating food waste from landfill waste, and by offering wines from houses that are biodynamic and organic.
We believe through our ethical offerings of products and nourishment, and the opportunities for genuine connection we facilitate, that every moment provides a chance for a fresh start at intention setting, and that each new year holds the potential to be better than the last!
So now that we’re quickly rounding the corners of this new year, whether you bolted into 2024 at full speed and are still coasting through, or you have settled down into a steady pace, remember, there’s no better time than now to harness the power of intention to manifest your goals and enhance your wellbeing! Our team here at The Green Pineapple is eager and excited to offer our continued support. Stop in to shop with purpose and a commitment to eco-conscious, sustainable goods, a healthy new gluten-free, vegetarian, or whole-food diet, or just to sip and sit with your newfound intentions.
Cheers to 2024 and the power of intention!