Microdosing without setting an intention is like setting off into the woods without a map. The journey may prove interesting and sprinkled with new discoveries, but you’ll likely not end up at your destination. Setting an intention before the 30-Day Microdosing Challenge is a vital first step towards seeing lasting shifts in our mental, physical, and emotional well being.
What do you want to experience over the next month? Do you want to foster more profound empathy? Inspire more creativity? Reverse negative self talk? Intention setting isn’t just about stating hopes and dreams. It’s the first step up a staircase towards achieving concrete goals.
We may open the door to these possibilities by microdosing, but ultimately we are responsible for walking through it.
Why Intentions Are Important: Psychedelics and Neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity is the “capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behaviour in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage, or dysfunction.” As children, our brains are hardwired to learn, absorb, and grow, but this fluid neuroplasticity slows down as we age.
Maintaining our neuroplasticity is a hot area of study, getting lots of attention. One area of focus is the ability of psychedelics to promote plasticity. In 2018 a team of scientists out of the University of California found both in vitro and in vivo evidence for this.
They concluded, “Our results underscore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and, importantly, identify several lead scaffolds for medicinal chemistry efforts focused on developing plasticity-promoting compounds as safe, effective, and fast-acting treatments.”
But what does intention setting have to do with neuroplasticity? As per Dr. Andrew Huberman, “Having a plasticity practice that is geared around learning specific things, is way more important and more scientifically grounded than just ‘plasticity.’”
Huberman explains that having a specific end goal is required for real change in the brain— for promoting true neuroplasticity. So while microdosing is a powerful tool, ultimately, we are the ones wielding that tool.
How to Set an Intention
Intention setting is a private and intimate experience. Only you can reflect on where you are and where you want to end up. Because of the highly personal nature of this practice, it will look different for each of us.
However, we do suggest a few guidelines as you set off on this journey on intention setting.
Screen-Free: Put your screens aside. Intentions don’t need input or interruptions from phones, emails, or other technologies.
Bite-Size Pieces: While big goals are admirable, aim for small buildable goals for the next few months. Remember, habits take daily practice and ongoing commitment.
Dedicated Session: There is no time limit for this activity. But it's best to set aside a dedicated time to do so.
Questions to Guide You
How do you want to feel during the next 30 days?
What would a successful Challenge look or feel like?
What do you want to nurture?
Are there any words that inspire you?
What would you like to release?
What would you like to process?
What do you need to let go of?
Where do you get lost in thought? Certain practices, such as yoga, meditation, and journaling, are not only distraction-free but allow deep concentration.
Over the next few days, set aside some dedicated time to explore your intentions for the 30-Day Microdosing Challenge, perhaps using one of the following practices.
Free flow journaling
Test out a series of mantras
Creative time (music, painting, sketching, writing)
Set an Intention for Real Change
To experience the most profound outcomes from the next 30 days, allow yourself space to lay the foundation. What do you want to feel? What do you want to see at the end of the journey? Set your intentions now, and keep them close over the course of the month.