How to inject more joy into your day


What's your intention today?

Question: What’s your intention for today?

The quick answer might sound something like: Go to work, or keep the kids clean and fed, or just get through it.

Then there’s the answer beneath that answer: Be able to pay my bills. Maintain order in my day. Hold the dread at bay.

All understandable. Necessary, even. But, in addition, what if we intended to do something that touches our soul? To feel purposeful or loved or delighted. Now that’s something to get out of bed for!

For some of us, the day runs mostly on auto-pilot. For others, it can seem rudderless. Or bland. Or contentious. Those joy-filled days— isn’t that what vacation is for?

Sort of. Vacation is important because it helps us step back and experience life differently. But what about the 360 other days of the year? Don’t you want to inject some joy into those too?

Of course you do. So let’s do it.

1. Think about what makes you feel happy to be alive.

Your answer is yours alone, but here are some thought starters. Feel understood. Understand yourself. Help. Make people laugh. Learn. Be adventurous. Feel at peace. Connect people. Make something. Make a change for the better. Change yourself for the better.

It might be hard to choose, and that’s good. You can try out different intentions on different days. For now, commit to one.

2. Tomorrow, find a way to make that intention come true, even if it’s only for a moment.

This is the tricky part because it’s easy to get caught up in the usual. You can either spend the day looking for opportunities to exercise your intention or you can be deliberate about it. At first, deliberate might work best.

For instance, to feel understood, pick a person to share something vulnerable with. To learn, question the norm or watch a TED talk. To connect people, set up a coffee date and explain why.

3. Toward the end of the day, think about your intentional moment.

How did it improve my day? How could I do it more often or more deeply? What if this intention is my purpose? Congratulate yourself for your courage, then sign up for the same or new intention tomorrow.

One of the best intentions ever
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