Have you ever been in a moment when you could see more for yourself… could see the success, the fulfillment or even the abundant happiness within an arms reach, and no matter how much you wanted it you just could never get there? The proverbial carrot on a stick comes to mind… And I get it, there are so many tips, tricks and magic pills on how to goal set, vision cast and dream up your dream life…. but how do you actually get to the finish line and achieve all that you see for yourself? (spoiler alert: there is no finish line, but that lesson is for another time) How do you actually get done the stuff you need to get done in order to move into the place of being successful, fulfilled or happy? Well, lovely, I’ll tell you how… you need to take inspired action by being intentional. And you do that by setting intentions.
“You get what you intend to create, by being in harmony with the power of intention which is responsible for all creation.” ~ Wayne Dyer
So let me start with the basics first… if you’ve worked with me before, or followed some of my work you’ll know the basis of what I’m about to share. And you’ll also know that 10 years ago I created a product called ‘The Intention Frame’ specifically to help people live more intentionally. It has transformed not only my life but also the lives of many others, which is pretty fulfilling and in alignment with my purpose. But regardless that all that, in this post I’m going to actually share some of the basics and clear up some of the confusion around intentions, what they are, how they are different from affirmations, and the importance of creating a ritual for them in how & when you write them. My intention (see what I did there?) is to give you the tools to create your own intentions and take the first step towards that dream life that is within your arms reach.
What are intentions and how are they different from affirmations? Let’s first start with a common question I get from coaching clients and friends when I bring up this topic… ‘what the heck are intentions, anyway?’ In order to answer that question I always have to come back to the very basic concept of intention… which is; that everything in the Universe, in our life and the lives around us all started with an intention. Intention is the energy behind creation. Intention is the energy behind action. And intention is the energy behind manifestation & fulfillment. And I could go on, but I think you get the gist that intention is the energy behind EVERYTHING you know, have known and will know. So if we can understand that intention is an energy and more importantly the energy of creation, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could tell that powerful energy what it is exactly that we want to create and manifest? At this point you’re likely feeling a little overwhelmed at the fact that everything you’ve ever created in your life (good or less than good – since there is no bad) has been because you thought it. It’s all good, girl – breathe deeply… I’ve got you. Because what’s incredible about that information is that you can literally keep the awesome and change the less than awesome right. now. …and yep you guessed it – it’s through setting intentions.
So to make it even easier to understand, at least in the context of what we’re doing here, an Intention is a hand written (most often, but can be verbal) phrase that describes how you will live your life in the future. The key here is to create the intention around how you want your life to be lived, not how you are living currently, since we’re always looking to move forward, right? Because if you were happy where you are currently you wouldn’t be wanting more, you feel me? And what’s even more exciting about all this knowledge is the bigger picture – that YOU HAVE THE POWER TO DO IT, since everything you currently are experiencing you asked for. So now for the magical understanding (drum roll please) you GET to ask for and then RECEIVE what you truly want in life. Weeeeee!!!! Yes. I know I can get ‘a little extra’ about this stuff, but I’m not apologizing for it.
Often people ask about the difference between Intentions and Affirmations. Although they are VERY similar they are different, because of the role they play in creating. If we’ve established that Intention is the energy or force that creates everything, then Affirmation is the belief that is required to fuel that energetic fire. I find in my coaching that people are only partially able to dream and visualize the possibilities for their life, because there is a lack of belief that they have in themselves. Usually the lack of belief is because of a variety of factors from the past (which we won’t get in to specifics here since that is what private coaching is for) and so often times I recommend affirmations should accompany Intentions as a way to ensure the Intentions are fuelled affectively. So to simplify the difference – Affirmations are often ‘I Am’ statements and Intentions are more often ‘I Will’ statements.
Let me give some examples;
‘I am a successful entrepreneur’ – This affirmation speaks to the belief you have around who you are and what you want to become. You would say this if your overall goal in 2019 is to increase your business beyond where you have ever gone with it before, allowing you to become a successful entrepreneur in your eyes.
‘Today I will be a successful entrepreneur.’ – This intention speaks to how you will show up today, as a successful entrepreneur of that big business even before you have built it. Since this is framed around today, how you show up today directly impacts how you show up tomorrow and every day going forward. How you live your day is how you live your life, so I have found that when you step into the place of being, doing and showing up in life as if you already have achieved what it is you are looking to achieve, you end up attracting the energy that supports the intention. Makes sense, right?
Let’s try another;
‘I am fulfilled in every moment of my life.’ – Affirmation
‘Today I will choose to be fulfilled in every moment of my life.’ – Intention.
Do you see how in the intention example there is actually inspired action, an actual choice to be or do more? That’s the critical part, because that’s what gets you moving towards your dream life.
Ok, last one;
‘I am happy.’ – Affirmation
‘I will choose happiness today.’ – Intention
I could literally go on and on, but this gives you an idea around the difference between the 2. With both affirmations and intentions they can sometimes morph into a hybrid and that’s ok. There is no wrong or right in this process, truly… as long as you’re speaking in a positive, forward moving way you’re good to go. We all need to believe in our possibility some days and other days we need direction & inspired action. Although truth be told, I happen to think we need all of it, all of the time. And so why not create a ritual around doing both Affirmations & Intentions daily, so you’ve got your Universal bases covered and not leaving anything up in the air for misinterpretation.
Take inspired action and elevate your success.
Rituals. I have a variety of rituals in my life, and not only do they allow for consistency & success in my daily experience, but they also allow me to connect with something more, something deeper and something sacred. Usually rituals are things that mean something to us that make us feel good, even if it is just reading the news (or scrolling Instagram, who’s kidding who) and drinking your coffee in the morning. That seemingly simple ritual is the time you take to be present with yourself while you fill yourself up with warmth and information, and that is beautiful. However, I happen to think we can upgrade that ritual you have of coffee and Insta, and set the stage for even more greatness…like setting intentions. I personally start my day at 5am with my gratitude practice (find my beginners guide to gratitude here), followed by my affirmations, intentions and meditation. I recommend setting intentions during the morning, since it will set the stage for your entire day and be a perfect way to infuse your day with the energy of possibility. When you start your day consistently with the reminder of what it is that you’re working toward you begin to take inspired action and elevate your success.
I’m not saying you need to do all that I do, or even wake up before 10am if that doesn’t feel good, however I will say that in order to have and experience something you’ve never had or experienced before, you must do something different… and setting intentions is the simplest way to do something different. It’s a fabulous jumping off point and easily done in the first 5 minutes of your day. And here’s a thought… rather than doing the coffee and Insta (aka News) scroll, set down your phone, grab a journal and write out your intentions while sipping that yummy coffee. Your intentions don’t need to be complicated, overly deep or long winded… To start, just write out the same one 3-7 times – in fact take one of the above ones I’ve shared, if you want. As you start to unlock your possibility and your vision of more, start to write out 3-7 different ones… and then introduce your affirmations as well. Then before you know it you’ll be up at 5am… no? …too soon? Ha!!
Visualize your future, set your intentions and manifest your dream life.
So lovely friend, I’m hopeful that this has given you some direction, tools & inspiration on setting intentions and how they can play a significant role in you taking daily action towards creating your dream life. If nothing else, you’ve likely gotten the concept that everything you currently have in your life – people, things & experiences – you have created and on some level asked for…and so I’m challenging you to become intentional about asking for ‘the more’ you see for yourself. You deserve it and the world deserves you to be more, create more and love more. Everything you want is on the other side of fear, procrastination and your lack of belief in your own possibility.
So go ahead, visualize your future, set your intentions and manifest your dream life. …and reach a little further, because everything you can see for yourself is an arms length away waiting for you. You just need to be intentional about reaching for it.
Ps. If you’d like help with your own personal intentions, please comment below and let’s connect!
This was so beautiful! and I could hear your voice while reading! Love!!! xoxox
Thank you!! Love that you got something from this and could hear my voice 🙂 xoxo
I just set an intention for 2019, but I chose 1 word: Equanimity. I’m now going to tweak it to “I choose to remain calm under pressure. I surrender to this moment.” Thanks, Nat! You’ve done it again – helped me get a little clearer.
Awww Shannon, I love this!! Clarity is the key to getting where it is you are going… and surrendering, well THAT is everything. xoxoxo
Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂