11/11 Making Wishes vs. Setting Intentions

It’s one of my little joys in life to look for wish-making opportunities. When I happen to notice 11:11 on the clock, blow on birthday candles or fuzzy dandelions, see a shooting star, or find a penny heads up, I like to take a few seconds to call to mind something my heart desires. While I know with my logical, scientific reasoning, the orientation of a penny on the ground will likely not help a five-million-dollar check appear in my mailbox, (though if I pick up the penny, I’m only $4,999,999.99 away!) making wishes is fun and harmless and gives my brain a few seconds to ponder some positive possibility, however far-fetched.

While making wishes may be little more than a temporary, whimsical break from reality, setting intentions could result in some tangible outcomes. Setting intentions is also different from making resolutions. On one end of the scale, we’ve got WISHES – these can be unrealistic whims we hope land in our laps without any effort on our parts, so they don’t necessarily motivate us to take action. On the other end of the scale, we’ve got RESOLUTIONS. Resolutions tend to be behaviors we are going to do or not do because we think we should. They tend to be more rigid, be things we don’t really want to do, and we evaluate them as successes or failures based on whether we did or did not achieve. Somewhere in the middle exist INTENTIONS.

Setting intentions is more active than wishful thinking, but also more flexible than resolution-making. It focuses our energy on the process, helps us to find the path, and allows for continual adjustments along the way. Here are some ideas you can explore in your own intention-setting practice:

+ Write down your intentions using empowering words. Avoid words like “should,” “must,” “always,” and “never.”

+ Place visual reminders of your intentions in areas where you will see them daily.

+ Center yourself using breathing techniques. Picture inhaling positive energy and exhaling negative energy.

+ Use rituals to help focus your energy. Light a candle or hold a special object as an extra tool to direct your thoughts.

+ Meditate. Quieting the mind can help us gain clarity and set us on the path toward manifesting our intentions.

+ Practice gratitude. It has been said that gratitude in advance is one of the most powerful ways to attract what you want.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still setting an alarm for 11:11 on 11/11 for an extra fun wish-making opportunity, but I also regularly employ some of these intention-setting methods that help me direct my energy into action. Do you use any of these techniques? Do you have your own ways you set intentions? I’d love to know! As always, feel free to reach out with any comments or questions on this or any wellness-related topic.

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