Just for Today - Setting your Intention

I’m guessing that you want to be master of your own destiny rather than a puppet of the world. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? So here's the good news - you can commit to doing anything for a day. All the twelve step programs are based on this simple philosophy. They have a JUST FOR TODAY card, which is often read out at twelve-step meetings.

I’ve changed the emphasis of this to focusing on how I want to be for a day. I’ve been setting my Daily Intention for many years now and while I miss a few ( because I’m a human, not a robot), it’s my most regular practice. Today's Intention was “Just for today, I am receptive”. Setting a Daily Intention is a very powerful practice, and my clients tell me that it’s very effective for them. We know that it really works. Set an Intention. One day at a time. Simple. Effective. Intelligent.


Just for Today

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Setting an Intention - Consciously Programming your Day

One of my daily practices for the past few years is Setting an Intention. If you don’t, you're carrying all of yesterdays psychological dirt and emotional baggage into today. Doesn’t it make complete sense to take 5 minutes to wash yourself clean of yesterdays rubbish - on all levels? It means that you’re taking charge of how you want to be, and it feels good!

You can commit to doing anything for a day. Yes, you can! It’s very powerful - AND, we know that it really works.

If you don't, the world will set your mood for you. We are bombarded daily with negativity, sensationalism, drama, traffic jams, deadlines and so on - and these will all hook you back in to your "normal mode" - unless you have programmed your day, by setting your intention and sticking to it.

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The new habit will gradually become a part of your life. Try it for twenty-one days and see what happens!


If you’re like most people, you'll love it - for two reasons. One, because it only takes five minutes, and two, because it works! Finally, you’re taking charge of how you want to experience life.

It does make sense, doesn’t it? And, believe me, if you say you haven't got time, it's even more important for you. Make the time. Have your physical shower, and then take 5 minutes to have a psychological shower too!

So, what is an intention? It's different to a goal ... which might be making a call, changing job, doing a fire-walk. Sometimes the goal feels quite “hard” until you begin to ask yourself questions like “why do I want to do this?" or "what’s the essence of this for me?” That will point you towards the intention.

The Intention is not "What will I achieve today?" It's more "How do I want to BE today?" It's like programming your inner world, because, if you don't, the world will do it for you.

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When you get the right words, close your eyes and breathe in the energy of your Intention statement.


So you breathe in, lets say "calm" - and let yourself imagine what it's like to feel calm.


Remember, your body doesn't know the difference between a real experience and an imagined one, so ramp up that imagination! See yourself really calm in a situation where you usually stress or worry or where you usually lose it! Keep the image there in front of your eyes and then merge with that deeply calm and centred you.

When your whole body feels calm and centred, anchor that feeling by associating the feeling state with a physical hand position, or “mudra”. The simplest mudra is to touch the tips of your thumb and middle finger together on your left or right hand, while breathing in and expanding that lovely feeling of calm.
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REMIND YOURSELF - what the Intention was, at regular intervals during the day. Here's one suggestion.
Get yourself the Mindfulness Bell App. There are some great Apps out there, and this one is very unobtrusive. Set it to chime once every hour.

When it does, all you need to do is take three breaths, put your finger and thumb together in the mudra position and recall your Intention from the morning.

Repeat your Intention Statement - e.g. "Just for today, I am calm" - and feel that powerful deep calm again. Revisit that feeling for about 30 seconds.

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Get a Writing Journal !

If you want to live from the inside out and take charge of your experience of life, you’ve got to build your “awareness muscle”. It's important to keep building this awareness by noticing your triggers. - i.e what moved you away from your Intention during the day. So, last thing in the evening, get your Journal out and write down one thing you noticed that moved you away.

For instance “I noticed myself reacting to what Mark said about Lucy, and I really wanted to punch him and tell him to get a life!”

After a while you'll begin to notice your consistent triggers - and your consistent reactions! These are what Pema Chodron, a wonderful Buddhist teacher, calls "your propensities".

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Remember that you are now noticing your reaction, rather than the story in your head about Mark. Write a little bit more about your reaction, in terms of what you felt, where you felt it in your body, and what the sensations were like.


Don’t censor yourself! Simply jot it all down as spontaneously as you can. That’s all you have to do – get the drama of your mind onto the page, along with all the feelings and sensations in your body.

This way, you’re deepening your level of awareness of what’s going on in you. When you’re finished, tell yourself “I now let go of the story in my mind and the feelings and sensations in my body.”

Finally, make sure that you bring yourself back to your Intention before you sleep, by touching the tips of your thumb and middle finger together, and recalling your Intention.

Just for today - a series of daily Intentions to powerfully get you in charge of how YOU are each day. 

Read More Daily Intentions to Inspire You