I like to set intentions at the start of each new journal. Intentions are the things I want (or intend) to bring about from journaling. It sort of clarifies for you (and the universe, or God – whatever you believe) what you hope your journaling will bring to your life.
I never used to set intentions, but since doing so I’ve found them to be really helpful in giving me a sense of purpose with my journaling. They can be anything really, just try to answer this question:
What is it you hope to gain from your journaling practice?
Here are some examples of intentions I have set in the past:
- Connect with myself every day
- Feel inspired and creative
- Clarify my vision, goals and next steps on my journey
- Listen to the wisdom inside
- Develop more self acceptance
- Express myself creatively
- Learn more about myself
- Find my writing voice
- Overcome perfectionism and procrastination
- Develop self-confidence and overcome self-doubt
- Establish a daily creative routine
If you read the first post in this series, you will know that in just a short space of time journaling has brought me these and many other benefits.
Intentions are personal, so yours won’t necessarily look the same as mine. Just keep asking yourself, why do you want to journal? What do you hope it will bring you?
The other thing about consciously setting intentions is that they are different from expectations, and can sometimes save you from disappointment. I often approach new projects with high hopes and a lot of expectations, but these are not often conscious. Usually my expectations are unreasonable, and because of this they aren’t met and I end up disappointed. It’s this feeling of disappointment that causes me to realise I had high expectations.
The thing about setting intentions is that you are consciously looking at your expectations, and usually making them quite realistic and reasonable. Also, intentions have a positive sort of energy, something you are moving towards, something you aim for or hope to do. Expectations tend to be a bit negative, like a deficit that must be filled – you are constantly trying to meet some standard, and this is usually made worse by the fact that we often don’t actually acknowledge what we expect.
Expectations place conditions on a situation whereas intentions give us a sense of purpose to guide us forwards.
So think about your intentions and get these down in the front of your journal somewhere.