Give Your Life Meaning: Set Intentions

Chapter 3 of Onward talks about intention setting as a way to craft new stories. It’s a simple routine in which you make a statement to yourself about how you intend to show up, who you want to be, and/or how you want to experience something. Here are some examples:

  • I’m going to be calm and patient with my fifth period today.
  • I’m going to listen to understand in our grade-level meeting today.
  • I’ll be open to feedback in my evaluation conference.
  • I’m going to focus on the positives today.

Intentions give your mind a story to live into. It gives it direction. It also primes your mind to make the choices that will allow it to fulfill your intention. Intentions have definitely guided my life. Here is a story on intentions that I shared with Elena a couple years ago. My intention for that particular year was to live life more courageously.

The topic of this post is very special and personal to me for the work that I am doing now. I have used intentions for years. During my Yoga Teacher Training 15 years ago, we learned about how setting intentions in class can guide our practice and take us to the next level both on and off the mat. I had been using intentions for years then as a guide for how my students wanted to show up in the world. So you can imagine how excited I was when I first came across Elena Aguilar’s work.

The summer I got hired as a coach (with no experience) and professional development specialist, I immediately started googling coaching to see what I could find. After reading about a few coaches out there, I stumbled upon the Art of Coaching. I then googled Elena Aguilar and this blog immediately caught my eye: Setting Intentions: A Powerful Tool To Help us Learn. After reading it, I felt compelled to reach out to her and ask her if she practiced yoga since I hadn’t read about intention setting in the educational world in all my years of teaching. I found her on social media, sent her a message, we connected immediately and as they say the rest is history.

So what is your intention for this year? How do you want to show up for your students and staff?