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Setting Intentions

Setting Intentions

There is no doubt that 2020 has greatly affected many of us. Perhaps it was in ways we may not all be able to comprehend, but inevitably we were affected. The world felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that took many of our loved ones away from us; economic insecurity may have been exacerbated by the pandemic for some; the Black Lives Matter movement; racial injustice; social injustice, especially when it came to our mental health; political strife—and the list goes on.

I believe we need to take the lessons we have learned over the past year and utilize them to navigate towards where we want to be as individuals, and within our relationships in 2021. Let us take a moment to mindfully invite positive shifts into our lives in 2021.

More often than not individuals allow for their day to happen to them; weeks, months, years, feel like they are flying by. By setting intentions we are able to ground ourselves in the present moment; we are able to receive. Receiving can come in many different forms – energetically receiving, physically receiving something, emotionally, etc. Setting intentions allows for us to manifest our reality and become open to the ways in which we want to live our lives.

Setting intentions can be similar to the process of repeating a mantra – whether it has been one you have heard before that resonates with you, or one that you come up with yourself. You may have heard of the spiritual belief of the number 40 and the philosophy behind it… it takes 20 days to break old habits, and 20 days to form new ones – 40 days. (Check out this article by Rebeca Grainger at HuffPost to learn more about the 40 Days).

As we move into 2021, I encourage you to set your intentions. Perhaps you are the type of individual that puts together a vision board for this; perhaps you keep a journal; perhaps you pray before bed – whichever way you choose to engage in setting your intentions, I encourage you to do so during the month of January and to carry these intentions on with you during this year (even for 40 days!). It’s also important to remember that intentions can change—maybe something that works for you this month, no longer serves you in June. That is OK! Have fun with this. The world around us is constantly changing; as individuals we are also in a state of constant change and development.

When I refer to “mantras” I am referring to the practice of repeating a word, sound, or phrase as a meditative practice. When I worked in NYC, I often found myself silently repeating mantras to myself during the commute on the bus. On weekends, I find myself repeating mantras out-loud as I finish yoga, or a few times before I go to sleep. They can be practiced anywhere, and at any time of the day!

Here are some of the mantras I have used in the past:

• May I be happy may I be peaceful.
• May I be healthy, may I be well.
• May I be calm, may I be connected.
• I have so much to offer to the world.
• I am smart, I am powerful, I’ve got this.

Not only can you set intentions and utilize mantras for yourself, but you can set them for others too. It takes intention to see a shift happen.

One of my personal intentions for 2021, is to let go of what others think of me. The way others perceive us is out of our control. There is a different version of ourselves in everyone else’s mind, and all we can do is carry ourselves as the version we want to be. It does not serve us to be who we authentically are not. My intention is to live authentically to who I am, and how who others want me to be.

I follow an account on Instagram titled Spiritdaughter—and they recently posted about shifts being made in 2021. They shared the following shifts, which may also make great intentions or mantras for our community members who are interested in this practice:

I am going to shift:

• Fear about what I cannot control into trust can always create inner peace.
• Uncertainty about the future into knowing I am always on the right path.
• Feeling intimidated by obstacles into motivating to overcome them.
• Listening to my limiting beliefs into opportunities for growth and breakthroughs.
• Judging myself for not being productive into being patient with myself and prioritizing my self-care.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Spirit Daughter (@spiritdaughter)

So Create Change community members, as we shift into 2021—with so much hope for the future and year ahead—what will your intentions be?

In Wellness,


Instagram: togetherwecan_cc

Intention Journal

What will your intentions be? Tell us about the intentions you are setting for yourself and why that’s important to you. Send us your essays about your intention(s) here!

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Buddha_aka_me She/Her
2 years ago

Great article, that gives some great advice.

abbee merryman
2 years ago

Thank you Connelly, this is very much something I needed to hear and think about today. For the majority of 2020, I felt like you said time just flew by, and until 2020 I was someone who was super focused, present and who lived in the moment. I haven’t really thought about why that was or how to become a better version of that girl who used to be so in the moment and present until I read this.
My intentions for 2021, are to become more focused of what is happening in the present and around me, and how that affects me and the others around me.I hope all is well, Abbee 🙂

2 years ago

Beautifully written Connelly! What a fantastic piece. Hopefully this will inspire many people to set some mindful intentions heading into 2021. I know it has inspired me 🙂

East of Eli
2 years ago

I couldn’t agree more with each response. I absolutely love this idea of being more intentional with how we harness the power of our own intentions by giving them more substance & greater sense of purpose in our daily lives!
Connelly, thank you for the incredible insight. You’ve helped give me a sense of confirmation on an idea that’s been swimming around in my head for a few months now. Feeling inspired to put all my thoughts down on paper to continue this conversation & will share next week through my EOE Modern Icon page;)

Dorin Cohen
1 year ago

I couldn’t be more grateful for this wonderful blog .
Throughout the reading I felt like all of my questions for this past month has been answered.
Lately I give so much room in my heart for what others think of me that it throws me out of balance ,but now after reading this it got me a whole new perspective. I never thought that mantra could be in a form of a word or a phrase , it sure is a new and positive something I’m going to try. 🙂
Thank you Connelly for this amazing insight .
You’ve helped me to calm some of my worries and fears I had of the past few weeks.
I always thought that if I set intentions for a new year or a new beginning Im not allowed to change them ,but now I’m full of inspiration of writing them and knowing that even of they change through my journey its ok!

1 year ago

Thank you Connelly! B)
After reading this, I feel like my intentions for 2021 will be to slow down and connect the dots between different parts of my life. In my head it’s like everything is on a separate pathway, (eg. school, uni, health) when in reality they all affect each other. I need to learn to put things in perspective, prioritise and join everything together so that I can use each day wisely without letting time just run away.This way, I can have more control on the outcome and hold less fear for any consequences. I hope that you and Matthew are well 🙂

1 year ago

Thank you for your time and words Connelly! I hope 2021 will be kind to you and yours x
I also follow them on Instagram and it has proven to be something I regularly go to, when my thoughts are clouded.
I, for one, struggle with Mantras. Especially when I have to say them out loud. I know that it might feel similar for some people and what has helped me was writing it down. Whether that was in a little notebook or on my phone when I was on the go. Also changing the wording and toning it down to make it feel more comfortable was key for me!
I never believed a single word when I would say “I am loved”, but changing it to “Some people love me” helped me make it more tangible and true. Because even if it’s hard to grasp for me, I know that there are people who love me.
Eventually they made their way into my mind and I would think of them in situations I was nervous or anxious.
It’s worth a try, right?

Chyler Leigh
1 year ago

This is really powerful Connelly! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and gifting us with such solid inspiration. I’m grateful that I can take what you said and totally apply it to my life on a daily basis. This is an excellent way to remind ourselves that our well-being is incredibly important and that self care comes in so many different ways ❤️

abbee merryman
1 year ago
Reply to  Chyler Leigh

Very well said Chyler!! Something I don’t think we usually think about, is how many different ways self care is shown, and everyone is going to use what is best for them. What Connelly wrote, was just so honest and had so much information we can use everyday. Hope your doing well 🙂

Liz Oliveros
1 year ago

I just had a wonderful conversation yesterday with a trainer from the CrossFit program I recently joined. The essence of the conversation is that we are on this path of life and things happen for a reason, whether we understand why or not, and our choices just continue our path forward. I think the actual phrase was that everything happens for a reason… and we need to figure out the positive spin as best we can when we can. Your blog fits this mentality for me. I am someone who relishes in the timing of things, in how so much seems to happen in connected ways. The content that you share and your wisdom just helps reinforce conversation points of my therapy sessions. I am still working on coming up with my intentions for 2021. I have been working on this most of January as part of my therapy. It was framed for me that we have done good work on addressing the past, I now need to focus on the now and living in the moment so that I can begin having a vision for what I might want in life in the future.
There is inspiration in your words. I am grateful for what you provide to the community!

1 year ago

Thank you for this article. It’s beautifully written.
I like that intentions is less rigid then a resolution. I’ve always failed when it comes to resolutions. The minute I mess up, I am done for. I give up. Too Critical on myself.
Intentions for me and my mind gives me room to work work with, and if the mark is missed it’s not a failure.
I like to be intentional with my friends and relationships. I like to put the time, thought and heart in. To harvest growth… So why wouldn’t I want that for myself. Intentional thoughts, growth. I don’t want my years wasted, because I can’t care for myself the way I can for others.
This year I’ve got some intentions, not resolutions…I’ve been inspired to try and believe in myself and focus on my writing, where my creativity lives. I’ve lost it the last few years. I am excited to have the inspiration to get back to my roots.

Oli Sylvan
1 year ago

Great article. Very inspiring.

1 year ago

This is my second time reading your article Connelly. It’s really inspiring. Thank you for the motivation.

1 year ago

back again to read this for the i don’t know how mnay times. i’m so glad that we started the journey of the 40 days of intentions. i’m learning so much more about each team member, as well as the people of the CC communnity.
this article captures exactly what i want to do. i personally dealt with a lot of trouble with personal relationships, and this year moving foward i want to figure out what went wrong and become a better person.

Dawson Filips
1 year ago

I’m coming to this article a couple of months late, but I’m incredibly grateful to have found it now. I just realized how important mantras have been to me in the past, but until now I never would have described it as a kind of mantra and probably never would have thought to use it outside of the context I used it in.
I used to run, and I used to repeat some phrase to myself over and over to get myself past my goal. It would be some variation of “you got this, keep going; you’re strong, keep going”, and it always worked. It always got me to run farther and harder than I intended to run. I can’t run anymore because of an injury, but hope to again someday and this article is kind of a nice affirmation and reminder that I can still use that practice in anything.
If I could get myself to run an extra mile, I can get myself to exceed any goal I set with a positive affirmation. I’m strong, I got this, keep going.
I missed out on the 40 Days of Intentions, but going forward, I think I’ll focus more on ending each day with a new intention for the next, and focusing on that intention every day I wake up. Aand my first intention will be to get back into a normal sleep routine so I can actually wake up in the morning and sleep at night :/ I got this.

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