While you’re probably familiar with the act of making New Year’s resolutions, you might not be as familiar with the idea of setting intentions — or how they differ from resolutions. Today we’re going to talk about how to set creative intentions and why it’s important.
What is an Intention?
An intention is different from a goal. That’s because intentions are just that — something that you intend to make happen, but it might not happen exactly the way that you plan it. That’s because unlike goals, which are firm, intentions are open to possibility and calling. They are fun and fluid. Think of intentions as a path, not necessarily a destination.
So, for example, a resolution might be “I want to lose 10 lbs this year.” But your intention would be, “I want to eat whole foods to maintain a healthy weight.” You can live your intention without reaching your resolution. But along the way you might find that you really love the way healthy eating makes you feel and it completely changes the way you think about food!
Another example of a resolution could be, “I want to finish a quilt per month in 2021.” But an intention could be, “I want to challenge myself to learn new skills that will enhance my creative practice.” You might find that you love English paper piecing, which is far more time consuming than machine piecing. In the end you might finish half the number of quilts that you set in your resolution, but you will be more creatively fulfilled.
Why Set Intentions?
We set intentions to open ourselves up to connect with our creative dreams. We may set intentions to learn a new skill or technique. Or we might set an intention to finish a particular project. The purpose of an intention is to give direction for creative endeavors, while leaving the door open for wherever the creative spirit might take you. It creates a feeling that we want to maintain as we work toward our creative goals and dreams.
How to Set an Intention
Setting an intention is the first step toward manifesting our creative dreams. There are many ways to go about setting intentions but these steps should help to get you started. There’s no need to follow all of the steps or to do them in a particular order. Just do what feels right to you, to help your mind to quiet down enough to hear your heart’s desires.
- get quiet
- light a candle or incense and focus on the flame
- breathe in and out, focusing on the breath
- spend 10-15 minutes in meditation
- write in a journal any of the thoughts that popped into your head when meditating or breathing. There’s no need to give meaning to anything that you write down, just write all of your thoughts and get them on the page. Afterward you can go back and read what was written to determine its meaning.
- be present
- let go of expectations or what you think you “should” be feeling
- write down what your heart is telling you, and set your intentions for going forward — today, this week, this month, or this year
- thank yourself and God/the Universe for guiding you in this moment
Do you set creative intentions for the New Year? Tell us in the comments below!
Want more inspiration? Check out Looking Back Before Looking Ahead (And Why It’s Important)