It took me many years to start setting intentions. I only really discovered how much power intentions have when I was well into my thirties and it was only in the last year or two that I truly began to put effort into the intentions I was sending out into the universe.
The first – and possibly most important – thing to know about setting intentions is that it is not about getting everything you ever wanted instantly. It’s also not about saying a few affirmations and then waiting for life to magically become amazing. It is not meant to be a quick fix, basically. Instead, intentions are meant to be used as part of an overall mindset shift. When you start setting positive intentions and also start making positive changes in your life, that’s when you will start to see a difference.
How exactly do intentions work? How do you go about using intentions? Let’s take a look.
An Introduction to Setting Intentions
With all of the hyped up speakers, books, programmes, and coaches floating around telling you that you can get anything you ever wanted, you may start to see intentions as a quick fix. You may start to wonder why you have not been able to make things happen in your life, even when you repeat positive affirmations into the mirror every morning. Living an intentional life is not meant to be about snapping your fingers (or saying a few affirmations) and having it all materialise with no further effort.
Setting intentions can be as simple as defining goals or a vision you have for your life over the next year or so. It could be vision boarding, journaling, meditating on your goals or simply telling yourself what you want to achieve. If affirmations work for you, it could be writing out your intentions or speaking them out loud. I have a daily affirmation practice that includes writing out my intention every morning and including a silent affirmation after my bedtime meditation. I also have affirmation hearts scattered around my house that help me stay in tune with my intention. I have a vision board over my desk that further helps me stay connected to my intention.
Some tips to help you get more out of your intention setting…
- Keep it simple. To start, focus on a single intention. This will help you gain clarity without trying to add too many goals and intentions that could muddy the proverbial water. You could focus on something like staying calm, being kinder to yourself, getting through a busy work week or anything else you want to achieve.
- Make it clear. Be careful about vague, confusing intentions that could mean anything at all. Make sure that your intention is clear and easily understood, with no double meanings. For example, if you are focusing on being productive, use a clear intention that outlines your need to be more productive.
- Use proactive language. All affirmations and intentions should use proactive language. No passive words such as could, might, want, should. Instead, use words such as am and deserve. Essentially, you are projecting to the universe that you are already doing what you want to do, so keep language active to send the right message.
- Repeat intentions often. Include them in your morning meditation, bedtime meditation, bath or shower, trip to the toilet and any other time you find yourself with a moment to spare. You don’t need to stand in front of a mirror and repeat for hours. You can, however, say your intention in your mind a few times a day.
- Find the intention that works for you. My intention is to live an abundant life. Abundance does not always have to mean piles of money. It also means having enough and living a full life. This intention just works for me and I am not exactly sure why. Whatever the reason, that is what I will keep using.
If you’re wondering whether intention setting actually works in the real world, I can give you my own personal experience. I started using affirmations last year around October or so. I made a money heart to keep in my wallet and I started writing out my intention every morning after my meditation. It was not the only thing I did (I backed it up by working on my website, putting myself out there and keeping an open, positive mindset) but things began to change after I added intention setting to my life.
It takes daily work to maintain a positive mindset, I won’t lie. Just like anything else, mindset needs to be cultivated. When you put as much effort into having a healthy mind as you would having a healthy body and soul, amazing things start happening. That is why I will continue my journey into setting intentions, helping me connect to the universe in the process.