There are tons of people out there who say that you should set intentions for your life but they don’t always tell you how to set intentions.
What even are good intentions? Why do you need one or more in your life? And what does it even mean to set intentions?
Next time your yoga instructor tells you set an intention before class begins or you hear Oprah implore you to have an intention for your life, you should be able to have one. However, you have to start with the intention basics first.
Setting an intention is something that anyone can do and everyone should do. It does not have to be difficult or take a long time. It should not be a complicated thing for you to do. Instead of stressing you out, your intention should center you and insert some focus in your life. If you are considering the question of how to set intentions that means you are already on the right track.
The definition of intention in Webster’s Dictionary is “a determination to act in a certain way.” Your intention means you are determined and purposeful in how you experience the world. An intention is about creating how you want to feel and how you want to act in your daily life.
What does it mean to set your intention?
Setting intentions can be a life changing practice. It basically means you are trying to become something, to do something in your life, on purpose. Setting an intention can allow you to become more aware of the behavior and thought patterns you have each day.
When you think about how to set intentions, think about the guiding principle for how you want to live. Think about how you want to be and how you want to show up in this universe.
Choosing an intention is as simple as choosing what matters most to you. An intention can be a powerful idea to focus on during your meditations, prayer or daily quiet time. It doesn’t need to end there though. Let the meditation guide your thoughts, actions and beliefs as you go throughout your day.
How do you set annual intentions?
When you set annual intentions, you are focusing your mind, your heart, your thoughts and your spirit on something specific. And that intention can become reality if you let it!
Think about using words like love, compassion, peace, freedom, kindness, strength, joy, or goodness. Make sure the intention is a positive statement. There should be no words like stop, avoid, quit, or eliminate in your intention. Keep it simple and focused and something you can repeat all year.
How do you set a clear intention?
Setting a clear intention means keeping things focused. It means that it is something you can visualize, something that you can believe in. When you set an intention, be sure to share it with a friend. That person can support you and also be an accountability partner if you need it.
Also, you need to share your intention with yourself every day. Say it out loud. Say it often.
Try to create a ritual around saying your intention with putting on an essential oil at the same time or having a certain song on in the background.
Be sure to breathe while saying your intention too. Once you have set a clear intention, remind yourself of it daily.
Use it while meditating, but also when you need to count to ten before yelling at your kids. It is a practice, so you have to continue to use it for that intention to manifest in your life.
What is the difference between a goal and an intention?
There is a big difference between a goal and an intention. Though the two are often confused, they are actually quite different.
A goal is something you have attached an expectation to. There is a judgement or evaluation connected to it.
An intention is something you are aiming towards. It is how you want to align your life, your purpose for living. It should be an attitude you are proud of and want to share with others.
A goal often comes from pressures in the world around you. Your goal may be to lose 20 pounds, quit smoking, or read more books.
They are goals because they are tangible things you may or may not achieve. Goals have specific outcomes and are more about things you want to achieve.
While useful, goals are often based on external circumstances. They can also cause guilt and self-judgment if you don’t achieve them.
Intentions on the other hand are driven by your heart and are about awareness of yourself and your life. They make you feel purposeful and help you embrace love in your life.
Examples of intentions include things like intending to let go of fear, practicing self-affirming actions, and loving yourself wholeheartedly. Intentions should not evoke envy or pride or cause you to look outside yourself.
For those thinking about how to set intentions, it is important for you to make sure it brings your life into alignment. It should feel good to say.
What are some good intentions?
The best intentions are the ones that mean something to you. They are personal and really speak to your heart, your mind, and your spirit.
Sure you could use one of the examples below but really consider what you need and want in your life. How can this intention make your life better when it comes true?
Since it is hard to get started doing anything new (trust me, I know!), here are 30 examples of intentions that may speak to your heart. Use them as-is or shift them slightly to make sure they are personal to you.
30 Examples of Good Intentions
- I intend to be courageous and act with courage.
- I intend to find community.
- I intend to find balance.
- I intend to live with an open mind, heart and spirit.
- I intend to be surrounded by peace.
- I intend to stay calm, focused, and at one with myself.
- I intend to stay present in my life.
- I intend to act with courage especially when it is difficult.
- I intend to lead my family by example.
- I intend to love unconditionally.
- I intend to allow myself to both give and receive love.
- I intend to be vulnerable and allow people in my life to truly see me.
- I intend to connect with others around me.
- I intend for love to come and stay in my life.
- I intend to embrace change and be brave.
- I intend to accept things I cannot change.
- I intend to manifest happiness in a natural way in my life.
- I intend to see the goodness around me.
- I intend to be kind even when it is difficult.
- I intend to experience greater amounts of fun, creativity, and connectedness in my world.
- I intend to invite and live with peace, prosperity, abundance, and safety.
- I intend to fill my life with ease, elegance, healing, and health.
- I intend to move into a positive cash flow quickly, magically, easily, and joyfully.
- I intend to live the most beautiful life possible.
- I intend to live with kindness toward all and harm to none.
- I intend to support and love my children without enabling.
- I intend to see myself as the strong, loving, capable, and successful person I am.
- I intend to be courageous about seeking adventure and become the risk taker I want to be.
- I intend to be secure and confident about who I am at all times.
- I intend to create a home that fills my loved ones and I with peace, joy, and happiness.
Why is it important to set an intention?
If you want to live a life of peace with less stress and strife, then setting an intention is important. If you thrive on chaos or are just not ready to do the inner work (no judgement), then maybe it’s not for you.
By tying your intention to your personal values, thoughts and general life perspective, it should fit in well with your everyday life. Be as clear and precise as you can.
Don’t be afraid to wish for something you aren’t quite sure you can have. You can even boil your intention down to one word like “peace” or a phrase like “love myself”. Don’t overthink it!
Setting intentions are not about being perfect or “getting it right”. When you think about how to set intentions, just imagine what you would like to attract to your life.
If you could have any feeling or idea be real and present in your life right now, what would it be? And if you are worried you might fall, I humbly counter that thought with my own: what if you fly?