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This shop and post on setting daily intentions has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser – International Delight Simply Pure Coffee Creamer. All opinions are mine alone.
Being a mom is one of the absolute best – yet one of the most challenging – experiences I’ve had in my life. My girls are the only people that can bring me so much joy and so much frustration in mere moments. One second I can be smiling at their adorable faces and the next aghast at the mess one of them just made. Can you relate?
One of the biggest challenges of motherhood for me is the lack of time for myself. I put myself to the side for several years before waking up one day and realizing that my needs mattered too. I’m an introvert that has always needed a lot of alone time to recharge my batteries. I let my batteries get completely drained before I took steps to recharge them.
If you’re a new mom or a mom to littles, don’t be like me. Don’t wait until you are completely drained before implementing self care practices. You matter too. Of course your kids’ needs have to be met, but if you aren’t meeting your own needs you won’t be able to be 100% there for them either because you won’t have 100% to give.
One way to carve out a little bit of time for yourself is to create a ritual for setting your daily intentions. If you start out each day knowing how you want to feel that day and what you want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to have a good day. It can be as simple as having a cup of coffee or it can be as in depth as you’d like. Trust me, it feels good to have a few moments to yourself in the morning.
The best time to practice this ritual is first thing in the morning, before everyone gets up. During the school year, it’s easy to keep up with this ritual in the mornings. However, during the summer months, I have a really hard time getting up before everyone else. I have to make it a real priority because I love sleeping in 🙂
That said, I often have to shift when I practice self care during the summer months, and that’s okay. I’m still putting my self care onto my priority list, which is something I had a lot of difficulty doing in the past.
So how do you create a ritual for setting your daily intentions? It varies by person, but here are some ideas for putting together a routine that works for you. Choose some pieces that you think would make you feel good and of course feel free to incorporate anything else you enjoy into your routine too.
You don’t have to have the exact same routine every day. You can read a book one day and go for a walk the next. The important piece is carving out time for self care every single day. You will feel better and your intentions for each day will be clearer.
Here are some ideas to help you get started in creating your very own daily intention setting routine.
Write in a Journal
When I was a teen, I wrote in a journal all of the time. It was something that was very important for helping me keep my emotions balanced and my thoughts straight. Somewhere along the way, I lost that practice. I notice a huge difference when I write about my experiences and my feelings.
If you haven’t written in a journal before, all you have to do is sit down with a pen and start writing. Sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge to get your thoughts flowing if it’s something you’re not used to doing.
Here are a few things you can write about if you need help getting started:
- Your daily intentions
- Your dreams
- What you want in your day
- What happened the day before
- Funny things your kids did
- How you feel about something you experienced
- Your goals
Make a To Do List
I separate this from writing in a journal because writing a to do list is a bit more specific in what you have to do. There is less freedom in it, but it’s a still a key part in setting your daily intentions. I like to start each day knowing what I need to get done and what I want to get done, knowing there may not be time for everything.
I start by writing down everything that I’d do that day in an ideal world. Then I look at the list and put the things that are the highest priority at the top of the list. I try to pick no more than 3-4 items. I like to separate my work and my personal life to do lists that way both areas of my life are taken into consideration. Otherwise, work tends to take over since I work from home.
If I complete the items on the priority list that day, then I move onto the rest of the list and check off as many things as I have time to accomplish. Each day, do the same thing. It feels good to know what you need to accomplish and be able to check those things off throughout the day.
Meditate or Sit in Silence
Sitting in silence is something I have needed ever since I was a young child. I would sit alone in my room or go sit out in nature for as long as I can remember. When I became a mom, silence became a thing of the past. I never knew how much I needed that quiet time until I didn’t have it anymore. I have been making it a priority to get some quiet time every day and it makes a huge difference for me and how I play out my daily intentions.
I taught myself to meditate when I was a teen, but only started practicing again. You can do silent meditation where you sit quietly and try to keep a clear mind, or you can find some guided meditations to follow. I prefer to meditate in silence – it helps me to clear my mind and open me to messages from the universe. A lot of people find guided meditations easier to begin with though since you literally have someone guiding you through the process.
Break Out the Coloring Books
If you haven’t jumped on the coloring book bandwagon, yet, you should! I find it very relaxing and nearly as good as meditating. I have several coloring books as well as colored pencils and markers. I forgot how much fun coloring was! Check out this list of coloring books if you need help getting started.
Read a Book
I have always had a great love for books. I read all the time as a kid, and even as an adult I always had my nose in a book – until I became a mom. After having kids I went from reading a new book every week to only reading a book or two a year. I recently started reading again and it feels amazing. Seriously awesome. I have a whole stack of books on my night table that I’ve been holding onto until I had time to read – now I’m making that time a priority.
If you enjoy reading, then grab a book! The great thing about books is that you can borrow them from the library for free. So even if you’re on a budget there’s no excuse. Set aside 10 minutes during your morning or evening routine and read. You’ll probably find that you go beyond 10 minutes quite often – that’s okay! If your kids see you reading more they’ll want to read more. So it’s not only good for you, it’s good for your family too.
Go for a Walk
Walking by myself if something I absolutely enjoy so much. I love going for walks with my girls, and we do that quite often together, but walking alone is so refreshing. I like to listen to the sounds of nature (we live in a national forest) and clear my mind! It’s one of the best ways for me to set my daily intentions.
I know this can be hard for many moms to find time to walk on their own, but if you can get up early enough before your kids are up and before your husband has to leave for work, it’s worth it. If you just can’t find the time to walk on your own, bring the kiddos until you’re in a place where you can make time to walk on your own.
I find practicing yoga to be a very good use of time. Not only is it good for strengthening you body, but it’s good for fortifying your mind too. I always feel so much more at peace at the end of a yoga session than after any other workout.
If you are an Amazon Prime member, there are some free videos on there you can try. There are websites like Grokker and Gaiam that offer subscriptions. Or you can buy DVD series like the Ultimate Yogi that have a long term practice plan for you. Find something that works for you and stick with it.
I don’t know about you, but when my kids were little, I always forgot to eat. I’d make them breakfast, but never actually eat anything myself. Then by the afternoon, I’d be so hungry that I’d get cranky. I was so busy taking care of everyone else that I never took care of me.
Eating regular meals is so important and eating breakfast is a great way to start your day. It helps keep your metabolism operating optimally and also helps keep your hormones balanced. After having babies, that is so important! If you’re breastfeeding, it’s even more important to keep your milk supply up. I put together a list of easy breakfasts for busy moms you might find helpful.
Drink a Cup of Coffee
Even on days when I sleep in and I can do nothing else for myself in the mornings, I always brew myself a cup of coffee. It’s something very small, but it makes a huge impact on the way I look at the day. It’s like a signal to my mind that the day is starting – and I’m starting the day doing something for me even if I don’t have time to do anything else just for me that day.
Especially during the school year, I like to get up and brew myself a cup of coffee and enjoy it before anyone else wakes up. I traditionally use organic unprocessed sugar and coconut milk in my coffee, but I try to be as quiet as I can in the mornings when I’m up first. I don’t want anyone joining me during my quiet time.
Create Your Own Routine
Now that you have some ideas for putting together your own morning ritual for setting your daily intentions, grab a piece of paper. Write down what you’re going to do tomorrow morning to get started. Then you can modify your daily intentions routine until you find something that works for you!