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Recovery blog

Setting Intentions - A How To

By: Rachel Tenny, MA, LPCA, Alumni Coordinator for The Renfrew Center

Posted on January 28, 2019

This past week, I hosted our first alumni webinar of 2019 with Adriana Labarta,M.Ed., Ed.S., Aftercare Coordinator at The Renfrew Center of Florida. We discussed how to understand your values and use them to set intentions for the year that are not based on achieving a goal or changing yourself.
If you're new to the idea of setting intentions, here is a quick overview of the difference between a goal and an intention.

 Goals/Resolutions
 - Achievement-oriented
 - Pressure to complete something
 - Experience more guilt/shame when unable to "measure up"

 Intentions
 - Based on your values
 - Not trying to change yourself, the focus is on accepting yourself
 - Allowing yourself to be as you are!

A well-crafted intention starts with your values and becomes a statement about how you want to show up in the world. Intentions are guideposts for who you want to "be" and how you want to show up, instead of what you want to "do" or accomplish.

So, let's say that one of your core values is acceptance. You might set an intention that looks like this: I choose to accept myself. This is something you can be successful at right now, in this moment. You don't have to wait to accomplish a goal in order to choose self-acceptance. As long as you value acceptance, that intention will inform how you treat yourself for the rest of your life. You don't check "self-acceptance" off of a list and move on to something else.

Your turn to try…

Use of the following sentence structures to get started!

I want to…

I am choosing to…

When you practice setting intentions based on your values, you are more likely to accept yourself vs. try to change yourself. It's okay to be a work in progress!

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