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Setting Intentions for Healing and Changing Codependency

Set an Intention to Change Codependency

Change. Uncertainty. Worry.

When you’re experiencing a crisis or going through a difficult time, coping with the uncertainty of the situation can be really hard. Most of us crave predictability; we thrive on structure and want to know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, and what the outcome will be. We want to be in control!

But life rarely goes as planned. And we don’t have nearly as much control over what happens in our lives as we’d like to think. We can, however, control our thoughts. We can choose to think in more helpful and accurate ways. I don’t mean that we should take an overly positive, “Pollyanna view”. But we can focus on what we can control, the ways we want to act and feel. And while this doesn’t solve all our problems, it can help us feel more hopeful, confident, and capable. One way to do this is by writing intentions for yourself.

Intentions for changing codependent behaviors

This is a set of intentions that I wrote specifically for those feeling stuck in a codependent relationship, repeating a pattern of arguing, enabling, or worrying that you can’t seem to break. You may also relate to them if you’re feeling discouraged, self-critical, or unsure of yourself.

I will…

Be patient rather than needing to react to everything, big or small.

Be more accepting and less controlling.

Let others do things in their own way, in their own time.

Be humble rather than always needing to be right.

Have the courage to take responsibility for my behavior (and not take responsibility for other people’s behavior).

Feel grounded and empowered.

Be at peace, not bogged down with regret and worry.

Remember that I have choices; I’m not a helpless victim.

Feel confident that I can cope.

Acknowledge the ways I’ve contributed to problems and to apologize to those I’ve hurt.

Listen more instead of jumping to conclusions, giving advice, or forcing my agenda.

Let go of my expectations and focus on what I can control.

Hold firm to my boundaries with the knowledge that I deserve to be treated with respect.

Be more empathetic and less judgmental.

Trust myself rather than second-guessing and overthinking.

Forgive myself and stop beating myself up for the mistakes I’ve made.

Accept myself fully.

Take good care of myself and treat myself like a dear friend.

Be present with my feelings and not censor them, to let them wash over me like a wave, knowing that feelings come and go; they don’t last forever.

Be transformed, little by little, into my best self.

Write your own intentions for personal growth

I love that intentions and affirmations are easy to adapt. I encourage you to use the ones from my list that speak to you and add some of your own. Notice what’s weighing on your heart, where you feel pulled to put your energy, and how you want to change, and then write your own intentions. Doing this allows you to reflect on what’s not working in your life and to take ownership of your part in the problems. And while this is hard, it’s an essential part of making real changes.

Take action

Intentions create a map of where we want to end up. And, of course, if we’re going to change our unhelpful, distorted thoughts and our codependent behaviors, we have to take action – we have to actually learn new skills and practice new ways of thinking and acting. This is definitely a process and I’ve listed a few articles below to support you in this.

To get started, try writing your intentions and read them a few times every day to keep them a priority. I hope you find doing this is insightful and gives you renewed focus and hope.

Learn more

How to Change Your Codependent Behaviors

Affirmations for Difficult Times

13 Common Cognitive Distortions and How to Challenge Cognitive Distortions

Sharon’s Resource Library (over 40 free worksheets, guides, and other free tools)


©2020 Sharon Martin, LCSW.
Photo by Bookblock on Unsplash

Setting Intentions for Healing and Changing Codependency

Sharon Martin, LCSW

Sharon Martin is a licensed psychotherapist and codependency expert practicing in San Jose, CA. She is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance and several ebooks including Navigating the Codependency Maze.  

To learn more, visit Sharon's website. And please sign-up for free access to her resource library HERE (worksheets, tips, meditations, and resources for healing codependency, perfectionism, anxiety and more).

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APA Reference
Martin, S. (2020). Setting Intentions for Healing and Changing Codependency. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Jul 2020
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