For a few months now, I’ve been going to yoga classes and I’ve noticed that the instructor will say “set an intention for your practice,” and I absolutely love the idea of setting an intention of the day, week, or even year.

I have my own word for the year that is intentional to me: abundance. Abundance to me means having more than enough and being more than enough. It means recognizing that a scarcity mentality doesn’t benefit me, but feeling whole and valued and loved does benefit me.

Channeling that energy and reminding myself of my word and my intentional practice opens me up to having a more meaningful day.

Setting a word for the year isn’t a “set it and forget it” concept. It’s a day-after-day practice of reminding yourself what this year or moment can be. But as with any habit, it takes some reminding and remembering.

A few ways you can gently remind yourself of your intention:

  1. Set an alarm with your intention
  2. Write it in your planner (daily)
  3. Put it on your wall or mirror where you see it every day
  4. Make a background for your computer or put a sticky note on your screen
  5. Write a small paragraph about why you have this intention (on your Notes app or whatever you prefer on your phone) that you look at regularly

A few intention ideas from our contributors here:

“My word for this year is compassion. I am declaring this the year of self-love for me, recognizing that I need to be compassionate towards my mind & body so that I can live my best life. But ALSO practicing more compassion to others – cultivating new friendships & nourishing the old through acts of compassion throughout the year!” Corinne at whysowell.com

“The word that comes to mind is growth.” Ariana

“My word (well actually phrase) is “live well.” I started focusing on this phrase last year and it served me really well in 2016. This year I hope to dig a little deeper into what it means for me to live well.” Sarah at sarahmichellewalsh.com

If these don’t quite resonate with you, below are several more intention ideas.

Intention phrases

To accept whatever happens as if I had chosen it.

To channel delight into my day.

To gain strength

To develop a skill and improve myself

To bring light into other people’s day

To show up for myself

To allow myself grace

To encourage and inspire by being my authentic self

To follow the flow

To hustle and work hard with the peace of knowing that I am loved regardless of the outcome

To create more simplicity and peacefulness in my day

To discover who I am and what I enjoy

To give back to the community that has inspired me

To explore something I’ve never seen before

To pause before responding in conversation and lead with empathy and love.

To give up control and let God handle it

To be afraid and do it anyway

To dance like nobody is watching

To rise to meet my own standards

To answer the call of service

To live authentically and unapologetically

To be selective with my time

To be the person my friends can rely on

To find beauty in everything

Now, maybe you’re like me and you’d rather focus on a single word. Here are some of my favorite word ideas for 2017. 

Peace

Joy

Clarity

Travel

Generosity

Patience

Thankfulness

Solitude

Wonder

Self-care

Wholeheartedness

Faith

Courage

Boss

Realness

Play

Simplicity

Beauty

Breathe

Empathy

Excitement

Satisfaction

Family

Rest

Acceptance

Love

Delight

Passion

Worship

We’ll end with a quote on intention,

“Mindfulness has helped me succeed in almost every dimension of my life. By stopping regularly to look inward and become aware of my mental state, I stay connected to the source of my actions and thoughts and can guide them with considerably more intention.” Dustin Moskovitz

Intention setting ideas for 2017. Choose a word of the year!

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