Written by: Jessica Bourcy ('24)
As a yoga instructor, affirmations and setting intentions are two things I frequently incorporate into my classes. Although the concept can seem daunting, these are powerful tools that you can take advantage of to achieve what you envision as your highest self, or most fulfilled life possible.
An intention is a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in the world (Eisler). Essentially, intentions help us to work toward achieving a mental, physical, or emotional presence that we want to embody. Let me give you an example: at the beginning of my yoga practice, I often set an intention to love myself and release any judgment toward myself or others. It may sound silly, but it is a super powerful practice and the first step toward embodying what you want for yourself. Wayne Dyer once said, “our intention creates our reality,” and this couldn't be more true (Eisler). Frequently bringing your mind to this said intention helps bring it to fruition.
Hand-in-hand with intention setting is affirmations. Affirmations are a strategy used to promote self-confidence and belief in your abilities. Affirmations are typically used as a way to shift your mindset toward achieving a goal, or an intention. For example, maybe you set an intention to live a more carefree, happy life. Then you could affirm “I am happy, I am carefree, I don’t sweat the small stuff.” If you affirm something with intention and belief, you can definitely expect it to come to pass.
A couple of weeks ago a writer for the school newspaper reached out to me asking about why I loved yoga and how it has affected my life. I responded by describing yoga’s effects on me, explaining how it is so incredibly empowering and can rewire the way your brain thinks, not only about the way you approach life situations but also the way you think about yourself. In saying this, I was referring to intention setting and affirmations. Raypole explains how creating a mental image of yourself doing something activates the same brain areas that would be activated if you were actually performing this activity. She goes on to explain, “Regular repetition of affirming statements about yourself can encourage your brain to take these positive affirmations as fact. When you truly believe you can do something, your actions often follow (Raypole).” One great way to make affirmations more effective is to physically write them out. Try writing an affirmation or intention on a sticky note and posting it on your laptop where you can frequently be reminded of what you are working toward. Working toward these affirmations is key– take time every day to speak them out loud and make a consistent routine to repeat them.
Creating a vision board is a great way to stay reminded of your intentions and affirmations. I frequently take time to write my affirmations on a blank sheet of paper, placing it where I can meditate on them each morning. Some of these affirmations typically include: “I am brave,” “I am strong,” “I am enough,” “I am loved,” and “I radiate light, abundance, and happiness.” Oprah Winfrey suggests to “create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe" (Dee). When creating a vision board, you should choose both pictures and words intentionally, and understand that you need to put in work in order for the vision board to work. Vision boards basically function similarly the law of attraction: the belief that the universe creates and provides what your thoughts and intentions are focused on (Dee). Once again, look at the vision board every day to remind yourself of what you are working towards achieving and visualize your dream life or your highest self each time you look at the board.
I encourage you to do your own research and am so excited for you to see how your intentions manifest in your life! If you do decide to create a vision board or have any questions at all, never hesitate to reach out to me– I would love you to share your journey with me!
Happy intention setting!
Disclaimer: Her Campus St. Law U is neither sponsored by nor affiliated with any brands or companies mentioned in this article.
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Eisler, Melissa. “Intention Setting 101.” Melissa Eisler, 24 Sept. 2020, melissaeisler.com/intention-setting-101/.
Deanna. “How to Create a Vision Board With Intention & Purpose + FREE Workbook.” Morning Coffee With Dee, 28 Feb. 2020, www.morningcoffeewithdee.com/create-vision-board/.
Raypole, Crystal. “Positive Affirmations; Too Good to Be True?” Healthline, 1 Sept, 2020,