Monthly Intention Setting Worksheet
Something that I’ve embraced the last few years is setting intentions for the day, week, month, year, etc. In my head intentions aren’t quite the same as goals. Goals can be things like - I want to close 10 new clients in the next 5 weeks. Goals are important, they help us get shit done, it’s important to have milestones, blah blah BLAH. I’m not hating on goals (honestly I can’t get anything done without them), but as somebody who is a chronically trying to acheive I have enough goals to last me at least two lifetimes. I’m burnt out on goal setting.
Intention setting is like goal setting but it’s way more personal. When I set my intentions for the month I think of milestones that I want to reach in the next 30 days. At most I allow myself ONE professional intention; the rest have to be personal. Outside of that, I like to look at my intentions as a form of self reflection. I take some time to think about how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks (or how I want to feel), and then plan some intentions around that. So, if I feel like flaming hot garbage because I haven’t been sleeping, one of my intentions for that month might be to figure out a really solid evening routine. If I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, one of my intentions might to say “no” to things that I know are going to stress me out.
Setting intentions has been a really helpful tool for keeping myself on track, having a “theme” for my time, and is also a great touchpoint to come back to throughout the time that I set them for. So if I set my word for the week to be “calm”, you better believe I’m going to intentionally try to inject some calm into the work that I’m doing. Some of you on Instagram were interested in learning more about my intention setting process, so here you go!
Intention setting tips:
Don’t be a jerk. Be nice to yourself. PLEASE. So, for instance, your intention can be about making healthier lifestyle choices but shouldn’t be something like I AM GOING TO LOSE 30 POUNDS THIS MONTH. Think about your intentions as things that will make your life better long term vs. short term. This is stuff like creating new habits, practicing more mindful time management, and other shit that will make you feel good. Don’t set intentions that are secretly just punishments for yourself. That’s not what this is about and you won’t end up sticking with them because it will be terrible. This is meant to enhance your life.
Don’t be a hero. It can be easy to get caught up in the momentum of self improvement and start setting a lot of really crazy intentions. I’ve been teaching yoga for 6-ish years, and I can’t tell you how many people tell me each January that they are going to take a yoga class every day for the year, and then (I assume?) for the rest of their life. It NEVER fucking sticks. Don’t be a hero. Be reasonable. If you’ve never been a runner before but you want to start pounding the pavement, your intention should be something like I am going to make an effort to run five times this month. Five times is absolutely doable. You know what wouldn’t be doable? Proclaiming that you were going to run every day for the next month. I’ve trained for long ass runs and just trust me - it’s not going to happen. Even hardcore runners take at least one rest day a week. Stop the heroics and be realistic about what you’re going to do that month to set yourself up for success.
Stew on it. Meditate, go for a run, drink a beer outside, whatever; think about the month ahead for at least a few minutes. I have been guilty multiple times of trying to hammer out my intentions in a quick few minutes in the middle of my day before and they always end up being awkward, unmanageable, and just… not something that I can get excited about. I don’t care how you like to reflect; just try to find some time to actually do it before you make plans for your month ahead.
Be positive. You are 100% allowed to be negative whenever the fuck you want, but I find that intentions and affirmations are easier to stick to when they’re in a positive voice. So instead of something like I will not stay up late every night this month instead try something like I will try to go to bed before 11 each week night this month. Talking in a positive voice is really powerful for your mindset, and personally I find that it makes the whole thing seem much more exciting and less like a punishment.
Check back in. After you complete your first month of intentions, I HIGHLY encourage you to revisit them. For me even having a word for the month is huge for giving my time some purpose and a clear theme to be working with. Look back at the end of the month (or hey, even the end of the year) and see all of the stuff you’ve accomplished. I like to go back every few weeks and highlight all of the things I’ve done. If I have time I sometimes also write a few notes about the past month, how I feel about my intentions 30 days after setting them, reflect on any goals that did or didn’t happen, etc. Reflecting also helps me make even better intentions the next time around. BOOM.
Ok, now that we’ve talked about ALL OF THAT, here are the prompts + format that I use to set my intentions each month. I also included a link below (don’t worry - you don’t have to give me your email!) for you to download the doc yourself if you prefer to print it out.
You absolutely do not have to have your intentions ready on the first day of each month. I try to finish mine by the fourth day of each month. Sometimes it happens early, sometimes it happens later. Remember, this is supposed to be something fun for you to do that doesn’t stress you out. If you don’t have time this month, skip it! If you’re only able to complete one of the prompts above, totally chill! Do what works best for you and forget the rest.
Don’t forget, if you want more journaling or mindfulness resources I have a TON of posts about this. You can search topics on the home page or click here for mindfulness resources.
Have a great month!