There is a traditional Chinese ceremony where people float paper lanterns on a river as an offering to their ancestors and to bring peace and forgiveness. Launching a floating lantern is a good metaphor for setting an intention, which is a commitment to a future aim or purpose; like carefully placing a floating lantern on the water and pushing it in a chosen direction.
Intentions can be subtle, useful, and powerful. When we set an intention, we direct our energy and behaviour in a certain direction; normally towards purposeful improvements that we value. We can set intentions for many areas of our lives: for the next year or month, this week or day, or for a particular meditation or event.
We can also set intentions for the different areas of our lives: home and family, social life and friends, work and career, creativity, religious or spiritual life, as well as around our body, emotions, mind. and senses.