Intention is the motivation behind everything you think, say, or do. It can influence your entire day, making it more likely that your words, actions, and responses will be more mindful. Try this practice first thing in the morning, before you do anything else.
Waking up with awareness
1. Shortly after you wake up, sit up in bed or in a chair nearby. With a straight spine, close your eyes. Pay attention to how your body feels.
2. Take three long, deep, breaths — in through your nose and out your mouth. Then let your breath settle into its own rhythm, and simply follow it in and out. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and belly.
3. Silently ask yourself, “What’s my intention for today?”
You can follow with these questions to help find an answer:
- How can I show up at work, or with my family or friends, to be the most effective and kind person I can be?
- What quality do I want to strengthen?
- How can I take better care of myself?
- How can I be kinder to others and to myself?
- Where can I feel more connected and fulfilled?
4. Set your intention for the day. For example, “Today, I’ll be kind to myself, be patient with others, give generously, and stay grounded." “Today I’ll work hard and stay focused.” “Today I’ll have fun and eat well.” Add anything else that’s important to you.
5. Throughout the day, check in with yourself. Pause, take a breath, and remember your intention. Notice how the quality of your communication, relationships, and mood shifts.