It’s no secret that our words hold great power. Both our internal and external dialogue have the ability to greatly affect our mood and influence the direction of our day. When we take the time and care to focus on the things that we most value or areas we want to see growth or change, we can better begin to move in that direction.
Setting our intentions and incorporating positive self-talk into our daily lives can be highly beneficial. While it can sound a little new-agey, bear with us. Studies show that self-affirmations can actually build our self-worth and keep our focus on our core values. Plus, they’re exactly the kind of “little step” that we love at Sanvello.
If you’re interested in learning more, we’re here to help you focus on your intentions for the new year — and keep in mind, this practice doesn’t need a “new year” to work. You can set an intention anytime, anywhere. While this might seem intimidating at first, it’s actually quite simple and the good news is there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. All you need is a little peace and quiet, along with an open mind.
Setting Positive Intentions
Intentions can serve as guiding principles for how you want to exist and show up in the world. They can focus on any area of your life from career, to relationships, to personal expression. Think of your intentions as seeds. In order for these seeds to grow and thrive, you must plant them into your consciousness.
Try to remember that intentions aren’t goals—no specific expectations or outcomes involved. Instead, they can serve as guiding principles in your life that come from the heart and aren’t so focused on box-ticking. Your intentions are much more about awareness than achievement.
Taking five minutes, or even 20 seconds, at the start of the day to set your intention can be a powerful tool. Begin by thinking about what you want to experience or manifest that day. What matters to you in life and what would you like to nurture or create? Consider having an intention journal to help you gain insight.
For example, if you’d like to experience less stress, maybe your intention will be “I will keep my cool in stressful situations.” If you’re looking to focus on your family, your intention could be “I intend to be present with my child today.” Try to keep it both positive and personal. And if it helps, attach a “because.” That why can be your anchor. So if the intention is, “I will keep my cool in stressful situations,” your why can be, “because when I keep my cool, it helps others stay calm, too.”
Revisiting your intention throughout your day can help you to stay grounded and connected with yourself. By doing so, you’ll become more aware of your thought patterns and actions you take. Consider writing down your intention and posting it somewhere so that you’ll see it during the course of your day. Remember, intentions are essentially directions we want to head toward. If you trip or make a mistake or veer off path, that’s OK, just turn back in the right direction as soon as you notice.
Creating the time and space necessary to set an intention at the start of each day, the beginning of the month, or on an important event like your birthday can be extremely powerful. In doing so, you’re taking a step towards embodying exactly what you want to be in this world.
Creating a Personal Mantra
Mantras, also known as affirmations, are handy tools in helping us to disrupt negative thought patterns. If you’re experiencing a disempowering thought, such as “Who do I think I am? I’ll never be able to do this…” a mantra can help you to recognize what is happening and bring you back to a more positive headspace.
Personal mantras can be one sentence or one word statements that you return to throughout the day or can be used during meditations to quiet mental chatter. You can repeat your mantra in the shower, during your commute, while looking in the mirror, etc. It’s your personal reminder of exactly who you are and what you’re capable of.
When creating a personal mantra, it’s helpful to carve out a short window of time to journal about an idea, emotion, or goal that you want to focus on. Without over-analyzing or judgment, see what emerges from your writing. Once you have a little more clarity on what you want to focus your energy on, try turning what you’re desiring into a declarative statement or simply focus on a meaningful word.
For example, if you’re seeking a career shift, your mantra could be, “I am open to new opportunities.” If you’re experiencing self-doubt, your mantra could be something along the lines of, “I am enough exactly as I am.”
Remember that there is no right or wrong way to establish your own personal mantras. The key is to simply make it feel authentic and meaningful to you.
Personal Pep Talks
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could always extend the same type of compassion to ourselves that we give so freely to others we love? If you’re like us, you have a tendency to be your own worst critic, letting the negative self-talk take over at times.
The next time you find that you could use a little self-love and support, try talking to yourself as you would talk to a young child or a best friend. Ask yourself what you need in this very moment and assure yourself that whatever you’re feeling is valid and OK. There’s even research that says when we speak encouragingly about ourselves in the third person, it can help us feel better. So for example, if your name was Miguel, you might say, “Miguel is a good guy. He always tries his best and I love that about him. I can always rely on him.”
While it might initially feel awkward, consider taking a few minutes each day to look in the mirror and offer yourself words of acceptance and lovingkindness. Whether you’re going into a job interview, a first date, or just feeling particularly overwhelmed, it can be helpful to regulate your emotions by offering yourself understanding and reassurance. With a simple pep-talk, you can help to banish self-doubt and move through the challenges that may be standing in your way.
Remember to be gentle as you learn to introduce positive self-talk into your routine, as there is no right or wrong way to do it. The language that you use to build yourself up and direct your path in life is highly personal to you.
Incorporating intentions, mantras, and personal pep talks into your daily life can bring clarity and focus as we enter into a new year. Not only do they provide direction, but they also encourage us to love ourselves along the way. Here’s to a new year of showing up for ourselves each and every day.
If you have a mantra, personal pep talk, or intention that works for you, share it in the Quotes Community to inspire someone else.