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Intention Journaling

Young female opens notebook and planning her schedule.

Not long ago, I became so overwhelmed with all of the things on my to-do list (and all of the many things that I really wanted to do) that I was no longer able to easily prioritize at the beginning of each day.

As a result, I’d flutter from item to item, getting a few things done, but forgetting something important that really had to be taken care of. I realized that I was so inundated that I needed to “talk” my way through to clarity. So I started “intention” journaling every morning.

Unlike Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, I write a page every morning that specifically sets my intentions for the day. In conjunction with my planner, I outline what I’m going to do — but more than the specifics, I remind myself of the mindset of presence that I want to retain as much as possible; how I want to eat in order to nourish my body; priorities for my business, etc. It’s kind of like re-programming myself every morning. Intention journaling isn’t about re-hashing the past, although I wouldn’t want to limit myself if something really important seemed to be waving its arms in my face.

By clearing my mind and soothing anxieties, I make room for creativity. During this process, I often come up with new ideas for something I want to integrate into my coaching work or a new blog topic — I note them in my journal and then go back and highlight those items, so the journal is sort of a real-time workbook. It has been an enormous help to me in gaining clarity every morning, working though any perceived stressors, and reminding myself of what’s important before the day runs away form me.

If this approach appeals to you, give it a try. Art journaling would work here too! If you try it, let us know!

This piece was reprinted from the last issue of the Creative Times, our monthly newsletter. Click here to subscribe!

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. thanks, i needed this. too many things on my plate lately, can’t organize it well at all.

    May 11, 2011
  2. Toni #

    Love this Mir, will adopt/adapt and report back.
    I have some writer mothers I’ve sent your way – both great talents, great moms both ready to push. We’re meeting soon to set goals and help nudge each other along. I’m allowing for photo goals while they write….

    May 11, 2011
  3. Karen #

    I do morning pages when I can and they often end up being intention pages. I will often list things that pop up during my morning pages in the margin of my journal. I, too, feel calmer and more focused on my goals as a result.

    May 25, 2011
    • Nice, Karen! Are you able to do your pages fairly regularly? Sometimes I fall into the trap of “Oh, it’s a busy morning and I’ll do them a little later” and then…nope :-/

      July 12, 2011
  4. alisonwells #

    I am really taken with this idea of intention, especially for us mothers. We often have to juggle and choose and it’s so easy to lose sight of our intentions, so that we can end up feeling we’ve accomplished nothing. I think your idea is so useful and it ties in with what I’ve been trying to do these last few days…be aware of what I AM doing, exercise, helping the children, writing a few words etc etc. I also need to remind myself what I have done each day, so that I don’t become downhearted or lose my place in my journey. But to orient myself each morning seems just right and I love the idea of reprogramming, just setting yourself right for the day, not drifting and feeling pulled in many directions.

    July 10, 2011
    • Wonderful, Alison! Let us know if you try it and it seems to stick…..

      July 12, 2011

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