T.S. Eliot said, “The journey, Not the destination matters.”
Intentions are how you want to feel as you journey towards creating your goals regardless of current circumstance or future outcome.
Intentions are the why behind the goal.
When we know why, we can prepare as Oprah said, for the only things we can ever prepare for – What might happen and for how we respond to what has happened. This is key, for as Napoleon Hill said, “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.”
Following are the steps to creating powerful life-changing intentions.
Start by identifying each of the various roles in your life and the values you hold most dear.
“If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.” ~Michel de Montaigne
Reflect on what feeling you want to experience in each of those roles as per your values. Guide your reflection by asking yourself how would the person you would like to be in the future, do the things you would like to do in the present in the role you have identified.
Be clear and be specific. For example, if one of your roles is being a parent, don’t just say you intend to be a good parent. That’s too broad. What specifically do you associate with being a good parent that you want to manifest in that role? Is it patience, empathy, understanding, consistency, etc.
“Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.” ~ Cherie Carter-Scott
Visualize what your life would look like if you were actively living the intentions you have identified. This activates the power of visualization which helps to manifest desired outcomes.
Remember how Jim Carrey revealed to Oprah that he wrote himself a post-dated check for $10 million for “acting services rendered” just so that he could feel better during a tough period in his life? That is the power of visualization.
If you can see what your working towards and believe that it can be yours and attach that vision and feeling to hard work then you can get it.
“A word after a word after a word is power.”~ Margaret Atwood
Write your intentions down. Writing engages the subconscious mind and programs it to begin to work towards making your intentions a reality. It also allows you to look back, reflect, and celebrate. As Anaïs Nin said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
- Write down your intentions in the present tense – Use “I am …” or “My intention is …” or “I now …” etc. Don’t start with “I will …” or “I am going to …”
- State your intention in the positive, not in the negative – “I am joyfully nourishing my body every day and speaking kindly to myself to build a healthy body and mind” as opposed to “I am not fat.”
- Your intentions should include not just the ‘what’ but also the ‘how.’ In the above example, the ‘what’ is build a healthy body and mind and the ‘how’ is nourishing my body every day and speaking kindly to myself.
- Your intention should include the state in which you will be in as your intentions manifest. This could be a state of joy, ease, peace, happiness, calm, etc.
- Keep them short – the longer the intention the more you tend to get lost in your mind.
“An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” ~Arnold Glasow
Intentions must be supported by action. Intentions allow you to dream but dreamers must also be doers.
Make a list of all the things you can actively do every day to support the manifestation of your intentions.
If your intention is to lose weight, what activities would support this? Making smarter food choices, eliminating junk food options, or creating an exercise routine? Whatever you choose, you must commit to doing it.
So unlike intentions where you are encouraged to dream big, the actions that support your intentions should be small so they create no resistance and can be done consistently until they are done automatically.
6. Ritualizing – Forming the habit
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.” ―Aristotle
For your intentions to take hold, they must be repeated daily. This will not come naturally unless you make it a habit. The key to forming effective habits is to make them part of your daily routine. Routines help establish discipline which you should view as a form of training and not punishment. Discipline is the bridge between intentions and accomplishments.
Intentions set your thoughts and actions for the day so they should be stated first thing in the morning and the best way to ensure you do so is by adding them to your morning routine. Morning is also when your energy is the highest and your mind the clearest.
If you do not have a morning routine, establish one immediately. Don’t just get up to get up. Get up with a purpose.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
- The intention setting process must be rooted in authenticity. Don’t copy someone else’s’ intentions or allow anyone to tell you what your intentions should be. Your intentions create your reality, never someone else’s or vice versa.
- Your intentions must promote your well-being and the well-being of others. They should also not attempt to manipulate or control the actions of others or their behavior.
- Don’t rush the process. It will take time to create powerful intentions for your life so be prepared to dedicate quality time to the process. Also be prepared to do it more than once as you may need to edit your intention as you get a better understanding of yourself and what you want for your life.
- Chances are high that you will come up with multiple intentions so you must learn to prioritize them. Five should be the maximum but if you feel overwhelmed then drop to three.
- Intentions can vary in duration. The can be immediate, short-term or life-long intentions based on what you need at the time. This can help you prioritize them.
- Intentions can be used for all areas of your life.
Thanks for choosing to read this post! If this post resonates with you, show it some love by clicking the like button below so others can find it too.