Setting Your Intentions and Giving Yourself Permission

I start my workshops the same way nearly every time. I ask participants to write their intention for the day on a sticky note. It can be anything. Often they are related to the topic of the workshop (resilience), but sometimes it is just about how they want to be that day. Intentions that I have seen include:

  • Learn how to calm down in stressful situations.”
  • Stay present and focused.”
  • “Be less pessimistic.”
  • “Not worry about what’s going on back in the office today.”
  • “Network with new people.”

Once they write down their one intention, I ask them to take another sticky note and write themselves a permission slip. On this note, they give themselves permission to do what they need to do in order to meet their intention. Maybe it is permission to put their phone completely away and not check it until a break. Sometimes it is permission to share a story with the group about something challenging. Other times, it is permission to put judgment on hold.

Once they have their intention and their permission slip on sticky notes, they stick those notes on either corner of their space for the day. It is there for them to check in with themselves throughout the day. I do this to help ground and center the group together. It is a good reminder to us that even though on the surface we are all gathered for a common purpose, we each have our own unique priorities and challenges we bring into the room.

Setting intentions as a daily routine allows us to practice vulnerability and boundaries setting. In big or small ways, it gives us space to say, “Here are the things I want to accomplish, the risk I want to take, or the challenge I need to face. Here are the boundaries I need to put in place in order to make those things happen.” So today, right now, whether you are reading this first thing in the morning or during a lunch break, what is your intention for the rest of your day? What permission do you need to give yourself in order to do it? Write it down. I’d love to hear how it works for you.

Have a great week!

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