5 Powerful Factors for Setting Super Intentions

how to set an intention
Photo Credit: @thaislyrafotografia

If setting intentions has ever caused you to feel confused, doubtful, or anxious, you’re not alone. Most people struggle with where to begin. The fact of the matter is that you are the only person who actually knows what you truly need at any given moment. It’s just a matter of practicing the ability to finding your way to the answer waiting within.

1. Create the right environment

As you get started, it’s important to set yourself up for success by eliminating clutter and reducing any noises or distractions as best as you can. You can even go so far as to light some candles, diffuse your favorite essential oil, or grab a journal to write down flashes of inspiration.

Settle into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and spend a few moments paying attention to the movement of your breath. Invite your awareness and energy into your body as you begin to watch and listen to your inner life.

If settling into a still and quiet space for reflection is challenging for you, that’s okay. Instead of fighting the fidgeting or dismissing the practice as “not for you,” simply notice how it feels to settle down and shift your awareness inward. This awareness will inform your intention.

2. Embrace where you are inside

“With all the messy stuff, no matter how messy it is, just start where you are - not tomorrow, not later, not yesterday when you were feeling better - but now. Start now, just as you are.” –Pema Chodron

Regardless of how you feel, what matters is that you meet yourself where you are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Not allowing yourself to connect with the root of where you are could lead you to set an intention that has nothing to do with what you really need. Not only is this a misdirection of energy, but it might cause further frustration. Feeling like your intention isn’t working or as if there’s something wrong with you can be avoided by embracing where you are and getting grounded.

3. Allow yourself to go within

Once you have a grasp of how you’re feeling in the present moment, you can start to think about how that compares to your ideal state and how you want to feel. Deciphering the difference is important because intentions are often birthed from present moment awareness that informs how to fill the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Sometimes, simply employing the opposite emotion can work wonders. For example, if you realize you're feeling anxious and jittery when you sit down to meditate, then your intention might be, “I am at peace” or “I am calm.”

4. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it

Focusing on one word or a single concept may be the right fit for the moment. Other times, you might use a phrase for your intention. If using a phrase, there are four principles to follow:

Keep it present

You always want to set your intention in the present tense, as if it is already happening. For example, notice the difference between: “I will feel calm” versus “I am calm.”

By speaking in the future tense, you're leaving your intention up to chance as to when this feeling of calm will actually (and hopefully) show up. When you use the present tense, as if your intention were already true, you take control of your reality and start the shift immediately.