I have kept a journal on and off since I was in seventh grade. Back then I wrote about silly things, like if the new boy in art class liked me or whether I was going to be able to stay up all night at an upcoming sleepover. When I moved into high school, I wrote longer entries, often several pages per day. Some of those entries were still about boys, but others were about growing up and what was happening in the world. In college I could easily fill a whole journal in three months. When I got married and had kids, my journals were all about my family. However, I noticed as I grew older, the entries grew farther apart. It wasn’t that I didn’t have as much to reflect on; it was just that life seemed to get continually busier, and journaling took a back seat. When the idea of bullet journaling came about, it appealed to me. I could quickly jot down my thoughts to at least create a pinpoint in time. But I missed the deep inner reflections. Now, I am getting into monthly intentions. I don’t do it every month, but when I do, I really enjoy it. With November starting, bringing us into a season of thankfulness, family and giving, I thought this would be a perfect month to focus on monthly intentions.
If you aren’t familiar with monthly intentions, do a quick search online. You’ll see all the creative ways people put together intention sheets or boards. They are often hand-written or drawn, or perhaps hodge-podged together in scrapbook format. They can be colorful, whimsical, elegant, or straightforward, but overall, they should reflect your personality. And then you simply write down all your intentions for the month. What are the intentions? Things you want to focus on, or do better at, or simply be aware of. Maybe these are steps you want to take to move you in a certain direction. Maybe they are just quiet reflections. Your intentions could even be just something you want to try or do more of. Setting intentions—and writing them down—helps to manifest them. If you don’t know where to start, follow these simple tips:
- Reflect on your life and what you’d like to see happen. How do you want to feel?
- Turn those reflections into words, phrases or actions.
- Write them creatively on your board, giving them emphasis.
- Post your intentions board in a prominent spot and review it often.
For November, the overall theme of my intentions is to recognize and be thankful for the little things in life. I get too busy caught up in the everydayness of life. At times I focus too much on what the world expects of me. I don’t take enough time to smell the roses. For my November intentions board, I started by focusing on a few simple, but powerful words that get to the heart of what I want: Simplify, Appreciate, Let It Be, Enjoy, Breathe. I then spent some time individually thinking about what each of those words mean and how I can manifest them. Simplify: Don’t overschedule, allow free time. Appreciate: find joy in the wonder of nature, a child’s laugh, the wagging tail of a dog; talk with my friends and family more. Let It Be: understand that I can’t control everything—and that’s okay. Enjoy: do the fun things, linger over a decadent cup of hot cocoa, take a spin on a scooter, or as one of my favorite quotes says, “buy the ticket, take the ride.” And Breathe: take deep breaths, sit with yourself, let it out.
Your intentions, of course, will be different as they are your intentions. Maybe this November you’d like to try making an apple pie completely from scratch, or maybe you just want to relax around a campfire more often. Perhaps you want to start learning a new language or take up yoga. Maybe you want to host a Thanksgiving dinner all by yourself. Or maybe you just want something simple, like to start each morning with a quiet cup of tea. Monthly intentions don’t have to be elaborate, but they should be items meaningful to you. They should be something you want to do for yourself. So for the month of November, what would your intentions be?