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Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Power of Intention Setting for a Mindful School Year

The following is a guest post by Holly Duckworth, host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show and author of Mindful Leadership: The A to Z Guide For Stress Free Leadership. 

At the beginning of every school year your desk is buried in the to-do list, the goals, everything that you want your students to achieve. All of these are very important.  However, there is one key aspect to planning the year that most teachers and school leaders miss: Intention setting.  

It takes just a few moments, and is the most powerful way to set in motion a successful school year.  

Intention setting is about how you want to be as you are caught up in all the doing.  

As a mindful educator, I invite you to step back from the doing/goals and pause long enough to think through your intention for this school year.  Intention in mindfulness practice means focusing our energy on our highest values.  By setting an intention, you invite your mindfulness to support your doingness.  

To set your intention this year:

1. Set a side 5 minutes in the silence of your classroom or workspace to look around and feel the energy and excitement you have created.  

2. Ask yourself, “What is my intention for this year?”  

3. Listen to that still small voice inside you that will whisper to you the answer.  If it doesn’t come right away, give yourself space for the right word to show up.  You will feel it when it is right.  

For example, my client Mary was feeling anxious about working with a new special needs student.  After thinking about the types of challenges she and her student might face, she decided the most important quality to cultivate would be patience.  Mary was delighted to discover that seeing her word “patience” would remind her to gently take a breath and not rush herself or her student.  

Other intentions to consider might be:
• Kind
• Compassionate
• Caring
• Calm
• Warm
• Welcoming
• Loving
• Passionate

Once you have your word for the year, place it in locations where you will be reminded of your intention often.  On a tough day, just seeing that word “kind” or “calm”  can help you remember your intention and set your positive energy in motion, so you can be mindful in your response to whatever challenge you're facing.  

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

About the Author 

Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP is a keynote speaker and empowerment coach focused on mindful leadership. She has written for publications such as the New York Times, Huffington Post, and Thrive Global, and is the author of Mindful Leadership: The A to Z Guide For Stress Free Leadership.

Visit or listen to her podcast


related posts:

Five Ways to Begin the School Year with Mindfulness and Compassion

My Goal in Heart, Mind, and Body: How Yoga and Mindfulness Can Support Life Goals

Self-Care Resources for Educators and Other Helping Professionals

Activities for Practicing and Teaching Mindfulness and Compassion