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How to Organize Intentions in 30-Day Increments

Joy sets goals for continuous achievement, and loves connecting with others by helping them reach their own ideals and aspirations.

What Have You Designed Into Your Future?

Design a life that makes you smile.

Design a life that makes you smile.

Organize in 30-day Increments

In this part of our series on overcoming fear, we will focus on using 24-hour intentions to create groupings of your aspirations, arranged in 30-day increments. That is, we will be using calendar months to help us prioritize and track our intentions.

The reasons for this include simplicity of tracking, and being able to both add images to and check up on your intentions. It is encouraging to see over time how much progress you've made, and watch the pieces fall together. Visiting your intentions for your current month each day will solidify them in your mind and emotions, so that shifts begin to happen automatically, moving each item toward completion.

Secondly, you will quickly be able to detect if you made a mistake in including any particular intention. When you view an item each day, and it fails to lift you up, you will know it is a mistake, and be able to move or delete it.

Format

We will be showing how to use Pinterest to format your intentions. If Pinterest is not your preferred method, you can most likely adapt the instructions to other formats.

Did You Miss Previous Parts?

If you are unsure what we mean by 24-Hour Intentions, read Part 3 to learn about this concept, and how you can apply it in your own life. We give only the briefest explanation below.

Review of How to Set Intentions by the Month

You may set one intention per 24 hours, for a maximum of 28 to 31 intentions per month, according to the number of days. You may set fewer if you wish, such as one a week or every three days. Choose 10+ images per intention which evoke strong positive emotions in you.

Unfinished or not-quite-planned categories may function as place markers, and be filled in later, as long as your passion for that day's project is sufficiently strong. You don't need to figure out everything immediately. But keep in mind that 10+ pics per concept brings clarity and stronger, more fertile results--including spiritually asking others for their cooperation. Basically, the Universe responds passionately to your obvious passion.

Form a Habit

Choose a time of day to set each new intention, thus allowing a habit to form. In the evening before bed is a prime time to set intentions, but any time of day works as long as you aren't too haphazard. For example, you should avoid setting one intention at 9:00 am, then trying to set another one at 6:00 that evening. This is because your body and energy field need time to "talk" to each other and your surroundings, before they can begin literally building the intention into your cells and DNA. If you give them insufficient time to acclimate to each new intention, your body and energy patterns will be unable to take hold of some intentions.

To put it another way, each intention requires incubation before it can hatch and do its work.

Once you have your list formed, or at least well started, look at it daily. Review the topic for today and perhaps for the coming few days. Allow time for each item to sink into your consciousness and heart.

For tips on learning how to "feel" an image so that it becomes a part of you, see our related article, "How to Choose the Perfect Images for Your Vision Board."

A Method That Works to Clarify Your Desires

I'm going to spend time showing you the details of a method that I've developed over the last year, which has helped me immeasurably to clarify what I want to accomplish in my life, and break those decisions down into manageable steps. In this way, I can literally see daily progress.

But first, we need to discuss why it is so important to plan carefully and be ultra-specific about your desires when you have a trauma history, or mental health difficulties.

Poor Memory and Depression Are Normal for Us

I have Dissociative Identity Disorder, paired with several other conditions and problems. This means my alters and I forget a lot of things. We spend enormous amounts of time and energy trying to get back on track, and we may not recall from one day to the next why we planned something. In some cases, such as after unusual alter switch-outs, we forget that we planned anything at all.

This means we literally may not know that we have pictures, journals, and apps which are supposed to help guide us on our daily journey. This also means that if we do recall certain plans or projects, we may not know why we planned them. To some of us, they have absolutely no emotional significance, and we feel no way to own them.

Depression, PTSD, poor physical health, or burnout can create similar emotional conditions, so it's likely that you experience some of these problems as well.

Keep reading to find out if our method may work for you.

You've Come This Far. What's One More Day?

You alone are a good enough reason to stay alive.

You alone are a good enough reason to stay alive.

Overview of Our Method for Planning Daily Intentions

We started with a few areas in which we desperately wanted to see positive changes. At first, these topics related to fears which were holding us back from enjoying life. We prioritized these topics, arranging them with the most urgent ones first. After the urgent came the important, then the someday projects or situations. We refrained from adding any "maybe" topics to this list.

We browse Pinterest almost daily, as we find it both inspiring and fulfilling. It is a place full of beauty, creativity, and hope, and these are qualities we deeply admire. We already had been using the site to plan aspects of our life, so we added our list as sections in a new board, and began filling in topics.

All images represented a quality or emotion we want to experience in place of fear or anxiety. For each topic, we asked ourselves the question, If I could choose to feel anything while doing this activity or being involved in this event, what would I feel? In what ways would I think about the topic differently? How would the event look to me if there was zero tension and fear involved? And finally, How can I arrange my life or change details of my surroundings to make this happen? What can I do to increase my feelings of serenity and happiness?

Can I Be Happy?

If I could accomplish these changes, they would lead automatically to being a more cheerful wife and a better mother--no matter what my husband or kids chose to do with their choices or lives.

For the last six years, I had been thinking over a question a close friend had asked me. He had said, after a heart-to-heart, "Do you think you're actually capable of being happy?" I had to admit I didn't know. But I wanted to try.

There are huge deterrents in my life to feeling happy. To name a few:

  • Autoimmune symptoms mean I am often so tired I can barely function, let alone be an upbeat partner, friend, or wife.
  • I can't remember the last time I didn't feel at least a little depressed.
  • There are reasons why parenting has been an extraordinarily painful journey. These reasons have had to remain mostly secret, and have been a burden for 17 years as of May 2020.
  • My husband and I have never lived on the top side of the poverty line. Nor did we grow up living above it. Adult life has been one long series of financial almost-drownings.
  • Due to having autism, I don't make or keep friends easily. I do not form social ties easily, or think about friends in average terms. I lack normal social understandings and behaviors.
  • Due to a trauma history resulting in polyfragmented DID (meaning there are a lot of alters), I don't trust easily.
  • I often don't feel I know who I am, or what I like. I may fluctuate from a child's perspective, to a married adult's, to a blackness where shadowy, incomplete memories stalk.
  • My husband is neither knowledgeable of nor supportive of my health conditions. At times, he is aggressive and demeaning. It is hard not to retaliate.
  • I live in a severely rural area where isolation is the norm. Almost nothing has changed for me because of Covid-19 Lockdown. During lambing, for example, it is not unusual for me to go up to six weeks seeing no one but my family.

Attitudes in Titles

So as I formed my initial list of intentions, and thought over these excuses for the umpteenth time, I determined to handle the details differently than I had before. For example, I would include in the titles the kinds of happiness I was seeking.

These would reflect either the outcome of a goal itself, or an emotion I associated with a concept. More rarely, they represented traces of a good memory.

My February 2020 Intentions List

In my initial brainstorming list, I included details reminding myself why certain items are important, and what I hope to accomplish in my spirit and emotions. Some choices needed no further explanation, as the concepts themselves excite me.

In my initial brainstorming list, I included details reminding myself why certain items are important, and what I hope to accomplish in my spirit and emotions. Some choices needed no further explanation, as the concepts themselves excite me.

Details Are Important

As you see, the list is highly specific, with subsections on some topics. Due to Pinterest's format, I can't add subsections within regular sections, but I can keep this list as a reference and reminder of my initial ideals. I didn't start entering images quite at the beginning of February, so only 25 days are represented. Here is what February 2020 looks like on Pinterest:

February 2020 Topics Example, Layout

The layout only hints at the riches and magic within, but serves to pique my interest whenever I click in.

The layout only hints at the riches and magic within, but serves to pique my interest whenever I click in.

Copious Ideals

I followed up with full lists for March, April, May, and June before I began running out of urgent ideas. July is quite incomplete, although I jotted down ideas I may choose to pursue as the time draws near. At the moment, I have enough to play with.

Here is July, and the accompanying ideas list as it stands during this writing:

July 2020 Pinterest Board + Additions

July at first was sparse, being used as overflow. It is much fuller now, with an altered arrangement and more topics. Seasons and times will serve to remind you of ambitions you forgot during your initial brainstorming session.

July at first was sparse, being used as overflow. It is much fuller now, with an altered arrangement and more topics. Seasons and times will serve to remind you of ambitions you forgot during your initial brainstorming session.

Most of the things on this list are not time-bound. They are general ambitions, or things I am not ready to think about seriously. As other goals are accomplished, these choices will grow more transparent to my consciousness.

Most of the things on this list are not time-bound. They are general ambitions, or things I am not ready to think about seriously. As other goals are accomplished, these choices will grow more transparent to my consciousness.

Planting Seeds Early

As you see, most topics are not related to the month in which they are found. Instead, they are important enough that I chose to enter them as soon as possible, irrespective of associations with the time of year. I did this in order to give them time to gather their things and get moved, so to speak. These are items I would like to see completed by the end of this summer, which means in the next 4.5 months, or whenever snow flies.

Most building and home improvement projects fit this category.

Time-Sensitive Topics

A few topics are time-sensitive, such as Valentine's Day. This was one of the first fear-related topics I dealt with. In fact, I had entered it on another board which dealt specifically with fears. This other board is what sparked the realization that I could recondition myself to accept happier scenarios. Without going into a history of woes, Valentine's Day has for many years been a wreck for me. I'll tell you how I handled it when we talk about fear categories another time. Suffice it to say, this year was serene and wonderful, and I felt truly blessed. I even had fun making cookies, which my daughter and I frosted using techniques and materials new to both of us. There were no fights with my husband, nor hard feelings.

The intention planting worked so well that it took me several days to realize how well things had actually gone, and that it wasn't a dream born of wishful thinking. I now have real, solid memories of a happy holiday as an adult.

For the record, I used a similar technique on Easter, and that also worked. It was the first Easter in several years on which my husband and I did not fight or act sour.

Gardening Also a Positive

I told you earlier that people will often be drawn to come alongside you in your endeavors, even if they don't understand what you're doing, or that you secretly requested their involvement. I've seen instances of this twice this last spring, as regards gardening.

For the last decade, I had been co-gardening with a friend. We shared responsibilities ranging from prepping the plots to receive seeds in the spring, right up through canning, freezing, and drying produce after snow fell the next fall.

Circumstances changed. I need to improve my own gardening situation, and go it alone now. Even before I knew this was going to happen, I had been sifting through ideas for enclosed gardens with raised beds, which might work in our situation of limited water and extremes of cold and heat (sometimes in the same month).

So I had my basic plans figured out before circumstances forced me to reconfigure my expectations. Details sorted themselves out. Salvaged lumber turned up by the truckful, as did sheet metal. Chain link fences became available to wrap around the perimeter. I came across needed information on hugelkultur gardening techniques. Finally, the plants practically put themselves in without more than my supervision. First, my husband picked up a bunch of discarded coffee cans, and 2 packages of pepper seeds. He filled the containers and made it quick and simple for me to plant the seeds. These are in our living room until the weather warms, but are sprouted and mostly happy. Next, my son fixed a tiller for someone, and tested it on our tiny garden plot surrounded with sheet metal to keep the sheep out. Manure which had been applied the previous year was mixed in, and the ground leveled. Then came the purple potatoes. I love purple potatoes, and these just happened to be extra from a friend! My son planted them, and some cardboard I had on hand turned out to be exactly enough for a ground cover around the planted areas. This same friend contributed parsnip seeds, presoaked. She had prepared too many. Parsnips were secretly on my list of veggies to plant if possible, but I had given up getting seeds.

You can't convince me that God doesn't have my back, even if some of His people don't.

The larger enclosed garden is still just plans on paper, but I figured a way to build it in modules, so it can be completed a little and a little, as time and energy allow. Materials for a drip-system will be easy to come by.

Example Topic: Convenience in Home

Cooking and everyday storage present obstacles which are being incrementally overcome. Looking at these photos often gives me fresh ideas, and goads me into action. Many projects are completed in a burst of impulsivity.

Cooking and everyday storage present obstacles which are being incrementally overcome. Looking at these photos often gives me fresh ideas, and goads me into action. Many projects are completed in a burst of impulsivity.

Completing arrangements which allow me to spend far less time cleaning up are major ambitions for this year.

Completing arrangements which allow me to spend far less time cleaning up are major ambitions for this year.

Convenience in Home and Life Category Explained

I suppose that most of us struggle regularly to improve the order and function of our homes. But I can tell you that when two or more home-businesses are involved, it gets that much trickier.

Currently my family and I are dealing with paraphernalia regarding:

  • Homeschooling
  • Raising sheep and poultry
  • Construction
  • Small-engine repair
  • Writing
  • Various pets, hobbies, false starts, and the regular household stuff one finds on farms

There is no good way to make utter neatness out of the shambles, or declutter to meet minimalist standards.

Another time, we will talk about ways to clear stuff out of your life (even if you have a crow's eye for shiny trinkets). But for now, understand I have chosen to do my best to work with exactly what I have, transforming my mindset about ways to deal with belongings, spaces, and messes. I am devoting a bit of extra time to going through corners that have been neglected while we lived life.

Many of the pictures shown therefore display trouble spots in all their glory. I am both dealing with the spaces as they are, by asking myself to realize new ways of using them, and I am searching for ways to streamline and transform them. Things may happen quickly, or slowly, but they will happen.

My overall aim in the house is to ultimately save time and effort, by investing extra effort now providing better ways to do things. Our entryway, particularly, has been cause for a continuous headache, being used simultaneously as a mudroom, recycling container station, a summer kitchen, laundry room, and food storage (chest freezer). It also gets used for temporary firewood storage, tool storage, and feed/grain storage. The room is approximately 10-foot by 12-foot, with a sloping, low ceiling and no insulation.

Some things have been dealt with since these pictures were entered in the Pinterest board, but creativity is continuously required.

Time Just for You

Be sure to include some categories that are strictly for you and your benefit. These might have to do with health, travel, date nights, or self-care. One of mine has to do with study projects that exist for my enjoyment and betterment. They are not related to my family, ministry opportunities, or religious views.

Examples: Self Study; Time Alone

History and the arts are ongoing interests to  which I seldom dedicate time. I can change this by clearing out unnecessary time eaters.

History and the arts are ongoing interests to which I seldom dedicate time. I can change this by clearing out unnecessary time eaters.

Years of long hours and financial hardships gave me a craving for time alone, in which to sleep, read, daydream, and heal. I am slowly building this time into my life, and the results are beginning to show in less depression.

Years of long hours and financial hardships gave me a craving for time alone, in which to sleep, read, daydream, and heal. I am slowly building this time into my life, and the results are beginning to show in less depression.

Pretty foods feed my soul as well as my body. I crave the resources and time to make and enjoy beautiful meals and snacks.

Pretty foods feed my soul as well as my body. I crave the resources and time to make and enjoy beautiful meals and snacks.

Cleanliness and wildwood views, inside and out, are a balm to my heart.

Cleanliness and wildwood views, inside and out, are a balm to my heart.

Personal Study Examples

  • Books I want to read or am reading.
  • Movies or documentaries I want to watch.
  • Audios I want to listen to.
  • Reminders of how it feels to learn something new, and how learning creates interconnectedness.
  • What I hope study time will look like for me in a few years--atmosphere, topics

Unfinished Business

Unhappily, we have a category I am unable to begin, let alone finish. I leave it because it is understood I am passionate about finding solutions. The topic is "church". Though the section is empty, it acts as a place marker for better things to come, and goads my mind to search for a way to resolve my frustrations and doubts.

Meanwhile, I feel that organized religion has failed in pretty nearly every area for me, and I want no part of it as it stands.

Finally, there remains a category below which I started but have been unable to own, in spite of feeling a certain excitement when I see it. "Rabbits" is the section. In this case, I am unsure of my own motive, whether this category is for me or my daughter. For me, intentions pushed through for someone else's sake often fail to yield happy results, but instead may come with regrets or resentment. For this reason, I try never to do anything for anyone but me.

This section, too, is therefore acting as a place marker until I sort myself out.

Now You Try

I hope that as you've been reading, you've started thinking about things you can start on--or pick back up--in the way of renewed intentions. It's never too late to try life again.

Never Too Late Quote

So what might you have been that you still need to be?

So what might you have been that you still need to be?

How the Moon Controls Biological Cycles, by It's Okay to Be Smart

Further Examples

Lastly, I've included examples from March through June 2020, intended to spark further soul searching and daydreaming. With what do you most want to begin your own intentional journey?

Topics--March Through June 2020

March 2020 includes intentions for immediate needs and remodel projects. Our 1928 Craftsman farmhouse only had updates beginning in 2011. Progress has been sporadic.

March 2020 includes intentions for immediate needs and remodel projects. Our 1928 Craftsman farmhouse only had updates beginning in 2011. Progress has been sporadic.

In April, I challenged myself to visualize intentions that would not only open up  time and opportunities, but wrap up farm improvement projects, and further recondition the poverty mindset which was my rural inheritance.

In April, I challenged myself to visualize intentions that would not only open up time and opportunities, but wrap up farm improvement projects, and further recondition the poverty mindset which was my rural inheritance.

In May, I focused on pets and livestock, personal skills, and writing projects which had gone by the wayside. Changing seasons, too, are a constant delight and challenge for me.

In May, I focused on pets and livestock, personal skills, and writing projects which had gone by the wayside. Changing seasons, too, are a constant delight and challenge for me.

Personal growth and challenges are the theme for June. These things will result in a soul which is better fed and less anxious about my to-this-point secret ambitions.

Personal growth and challenges are the theme for June. These things will result in a soul which is better fed and less anxious about my to-this-point secret ambitions.

Topics Previously Covered in This Series

In Part 1, we explore why fear inhibits our ability to know what we really want, and act on it. Our thought loops often hold the key to realizing our deepest desires. Focusing on and owning these thought loops can allow us to move forward, first making the decision that fear will no longer own us.

In Part 2, we cover the basics of how to develop a vision board, whether in an electronic or physical format. We offer prompts and resources to help you decide what you truly want out of life.

In Part 3, we discuss the role of bio rhythms in setting intentions which yield pleasant fruit. When you pair your firm and detailed expectations with careful timing, cooperation from others and the Universe often results.

In Part 4, we pinpoint how to choose the perfect visuals and images for your needs, decode your personal color associations, and use past regrets and misunderstandings to help you go forward more wisely.

Our Conditions and Qualifications

In case you missed our intro before, we are an autistic DID System who have spent years exploring how trauma affects our ability to live our best life and act on our deepest needs. We have no official diagnosis, and no legal qualifications to offer advice or training on mental health conditions. Conversely, we have a decade of experience managing our Dissociative Identity Disorder, as well as about four years working to understand our autism.

Our Approach to Vision Boarding

Because fear is such a huge roadblock to stability and satisfaction, we have chosen to approach the topic of vision board development by exploring how it can be used to assist in healing and changing trauma patterns. We specifically use it to overcome fear and other trauma responses.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Joilene Rasmussen

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