How To Set Effective Intentions
When you want to achieve any kind of result in your life, your intention is fundamental. It’s not the only determining factor, but the results you get hugely depend on the intention you have.
Even in my sessions I base my work on my client’s intention for the session. It determines what information I receive for them and which blocks and restrictions get cleared away.
Here are the most common mistakes I see in my practice when it comes to setting intentions, and tips on how to set effective intentions that have a chance to manifest into your life.
Mistake #1: Having No Intention At All
The first mistake most people make is that they don’t set any intentions at all. I do that a lot too, when I don’t pay attention. I just go about my day, doing stuff, without having any clear intention about what I do.
You can do that, but the quality of the results you get will be dramatically diminished. I have found that regularly setting intentions makes a huge difference in my life, whether they are about big, life-altering things or about very small, mundane things.
Need to make a phone call? Take a minute to set an intention for this phone call. Going on a weekend trip? Set an intention for the weekend. A meal? Set an intention for your meal. The quality of your everyday life will so go up.
I very much encourage you to set intentions for everything in your life – at least one a day.
You are the powerful creator of your experience on this planet. This means you need to be proactive and to want stuff to happen, for it to be created. How can you create if you are busy passively reacting all the time?
You have the power to get what you want, provided you accept that power and claim to the face of the world: “I want this.”. Most people never get what they want because they don’t declare that they want it to begin with.
Your intentions determine the direction you are going in life. Not setting any intentions is like sitting in a car and refusing to touch the steering wheel. Like, “Let’s just see what happens with the car…”. Well, no surprise the car doesn’t go where you want it to go.
Mistake #2: Weak Intentions (Unclear, Fuzzy, Timid, Unrealistic, Inauthentic…)
Set a Clear Intention
Your intention needs to be clear. If you are fuzzy about what you want, your car will zig-zag around aimlessly. You will get fuzzy, unclear results.
The energy you put in is the energy you get out.
So, take the time to get very clear about what you really want.
Set an Authentic Intention
The point is what you want, not what you think you should want, or what other people want you to want.
Set a Realistic Intention
Your intention needs to pass the filter of your beliefs. So if you choose an intention that is totally not a match for your current beliefs, the probability that it manifests is rather low.
Don’t intend to lose 50kg in one month or to make ten times your current income next month. That will just not happen, not because it’s not possible (it is) but because you yourself cannot believe it is.
On the other hand, our mind often uses “reality” as an excuse to stay within its comfort zone. Often, what we find unrealistic can very well happen, if only we open up to the possibility and choose faith.
So, keep your intention within the frame of your belief system, but don’t be too timid either. I have already seen pretty unrealistic things manifest!
Mistake #3: Focus on Negatives
Focus on What You Want
Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.
“I don’t want to feel this nervousness in my stomach anymore” is NOT an effective intention. So often, my clients define their intentions as something they don’t want. But your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between “I am sick” and “I am not sick”. So please use words that describe what you want to focus on.
“I want to let go of this nervousness in my stomach” sounds a bit better, but it is still not a workable intention. If you don’t want that nervousness anymore, then don’t even mention it in your intention.
Make the effort to formulate your intention in such a way that it contains only positive things that you do want. Like feeling peaceful and relaxed in your stomach area. Do not even mention anything you do not want.
Mistake #4: Poor Wording
Avoid the Future Tense
“I will be peaceful and relaxed in my stomach area” is not an effective intention either. If that is your intention, then you intend to be peaceful and relaxed… some day.
Use the present tense instead, as if it were already true. “I am peaceful and relaxed in my stomach area”. I personally don’t like this. When I set intentions that way, my mind immediately goes “LIAR!!!” at me. And it is right, so what can I say. :) But if you like the present tense, go for it.
Alternatively, you can use a progressive form, such as “I am feeling more and more peaceful and relaxed in my stomach area” or “Every day I get a bit thinner”.
The simplest and most effective wording I personally have found for myself simply is “I want xyz.” or “My intention is to xyz.”. It’s clear and direct, no woo-woo bullshit. I get what I want, because I am the powerful Creator here, and I want this. Period.
Choose Your Words Wisely
Words are both irrelevant and extremely important.
In itself, it totally doesn’t matter which words you use. What your reality will respond to aren’t words, but the energy you send off. But words focus your energy. That’s why your choice of words is very important. The words you use influence the energy you radiate, and this energy determines your results. So, pay extra attention to the words in your life.
Once you are clear about what you want, define it in the most precise possible way. Just as an example, “having” a relationship is not the same as “being in” a relationship or “enjoying” a relationship or “being open for” a relationship.
I recommend to set intentions in written form. For some reason I have found this to be extra powerful.
Mistake #5: Attachment
Avoid Attachment to Specifics
When you set intentions, the how doesn’t matter. So don’t get too hung up on the details of how your intentions should manifest into your life. Our mind often thinks it knows how it will/must/should happen, but then it happens completely differently. So, set an intention about the end result you want, not about how to get there.
Intentions are about what you really want. For example being fit and healthy or feeling safe and confident in your human body. Going to the gym every day is not an intention. That is part of the “how”. It’s just one possible (and not the only) way to get there. It’s not the real intention. Make sure you make your intention about the real intention, not about the how.
Avoid Attachment to People
If you set an intention involving other people (like a fulfilling, loving relationship), do not make it about a specific person. Other people have their own free will. They make their own choices. No magic will ever allow you to make other people do what you want them to do! (At least none aligned with Integrity.)
Set your intention for yourself and only for yourself, never for others. If you need someone else for your intention to manifest, the right person will show up. It might be the person you are thinking about, or it might be someone new and completely different. Stay open.
Avoid Attachment to Your Intention
It is enough to state your intention, loud and clear, once. You don’t need to repeat it.
On the contrary, repeating it would kinda imply that it wasn’t effective the first time. And then that is exactly what happens: it’s not effective. The Universe always proves you right.
Intentions are not meant to make you feel better nor to convince you of anything nor to reprogram your subconscious mind nor anything like that. They are an act of spiritual creative power. That’s a one-time event.
And then, let it go. Don’t think about it anymore.
To Sum it Up
- Ask yourself what you really want and what your real intention behind your goal is.
- Define the essence of this intention as clearly as possible while leaving the details of the implementation open.
- Formulate it in a positive way, including only what you do want, in present tense.
- State it loud and clear, once. Or even better, write it down.
- Forget about it.