While there are many ways to manifest a dream, such as goal setting and working with dream boards, setting intentions is possibly the most powerful and effective method to bring your dreams into reality.
An intention is a statement of intent that is strong, clear, and willed. It adds strength and commitment to your desire and is like a roadmap that guides you towards your desired destination. An intention helps you to focus your attention and energy on what you want to achieve, which in turn makes it more likely that you will achieve it.
One of my favorite books about creating a satisfying, fulfilling life is The Map by Boni Lonnsburry. She says, “Stating an intention moves the desire from a wish to a commitment to create.”
In her book, she outlines the following five steps to create powerful intentions that will bring you results in manifesting your dreams:
1. Get clear on what you want: Before you can set intentions, you need to know what you want. Spend some time thinking about your dreams and desires, what do you want to manifest? What would make you feel most fulfilled?
You might say, “I would love to create a life I love, but I have no idea what that is!” That’s okay. You don’t have to know exactly what you want, just think about how you want to feel, add a positive emotion, and voila! You have an intention.
And if you only know what you don’t want, use the Clarity Through Contrast technique to help you get clear on what you do want.
2. Begin with your overall intention: This is the foundation of all your intentions and the broad stroke of how you want your life to be. This is not the place to get specific, but rather keep it general to set the stage for how the rest of your intentions will manifest for you.
An example of an overall intention is, “I intend to live a joyful, empowering, and prosperous life, a life I love, and to consciously create my reality with fun and laughter.”
3. Next write your core intentions: Your core intentions address every category of your life. This is where most of your intentions will be and might include relationship intentions (romantic, family, friends, co-workers, etc), work intentions, health intentions, spiritual intentions, financial intentions, etc.
To allow room for the Universe to bring you the best possible outcome, core intentions should be unspecific.
For example, instead of saying, “I intend to receive a promotion to manager of my department before the end of the year,” you could say, “I intend to create work that is fulfilling, pays more than I can imagine, is ideally located, and has fun and creative co-workers. I intend that this job will make me feel appreciated, respected, joyful, creative, excited, and prosperous.”
This intention allows the possibility of your current job fulfilling your desire, but if it can’t, the intention will open the door for you to manifest other possibilities.
Stating your dreams as non-specific intentions is more of an art than a skill, and you will get better at it when you realize how powerful it is to let the Universe handle the specifics.
4. Write your immediate intentions: Your immediate intentions are the projects and creations that are your top priority right now.
For example, if you had an interview coming up for a job that you would love that pays well, an immediate intention might be, “I intend to be offered a job with ________ company (or another company even better than that) for great pay and wonderful benefits as soon as possible.”
Notice this intention leaves the door open for an even better company or offer.
Immediate intentions will change often. Sometimes you will move a core intention to an immediate intention and vice versa.
5. Write your closing intention and request: This is where you turn to your Spirit Team (Boni calls them unseen friends) and ask for their energy, guidance, light and love. It’s also where you open to the possibility that Spirit may have something better in mind for you.
Each time you write or speak your intentions, close with this statement:
“I request and intend to receive help from my Spirit Team to manifest all of my intentions even greater than stated, with harm to none.”
Here are some additional tips on writing intentions:
Be clear: Be sure your intentions are worded as concisely and cleanly as possible. Your subconscious mind should not be confused as to what you really want.
Be excited: Having enthusiasm around your intentions is essential. If you don’t feel passionate about what you’re trying to achieve, why bother setting them in the first place?
Be tangible: In addition to intentions for non-tangible things, such as emotional well-being, also include intentions for tangible things that you can measure, so you can tell if you’re succeeding. Money, jobs, partners, children, homes and cars are all perfectly fine things to create.
Be believable: In the book Creating Money, Orin, the non-physical entity channeled by Sanaya Roman, encourages us to think BIG and ask for more than we think we can have. But sometimes a dream might be too big for now, and needs to be broken down into smaller steps.
Your dreams should be a stretch, but if it’s too big a leap from where you are now, you may not believe it is even possible. You can create new intentions for more as your beliefs expand and your confidence grows.
Be positive: Avoid using words like “don’t,” “not,” or “except” in your intentions. Such as, “I intend to create a loving relationship with a person who is not selfish.”
A better way to say this intention is, “I intend to create a loving relationship with a person who is graciously generous.”
Remember to keep your words positive.
Be honest: Take time to contemplate what your real dreams are. If they have anything to do with proving to others, showing others, being better than others or as good as others…let it go. It isn’t your dream. It is your ego’s dream, or your parent’s dream, or someone else’s dream.
Your dream should excite you and feel joyous and fun.
Be willing to keep them up: Because you will always have new dreams (as Abraham-Hicks says – you’ll never get it done), you will never be finished with your intentions. When you succeed at fulfilling an intention, a new one will arise in its place. Intentions work best when you continue to revisit them, revise them and expand them.
How to Work With Intentions
Work with your intentions regularly. You can read them, add to them and rewrite as needed. Pay particular attention to your immediate intentions, and know that these can change often because your life is changing often.
Put the most important intentions at the top of your list. Delete the ones that have manifested and add them to a “success” journal.
By setting intentions and taking inspired action, you can manifest your dreams and bring them to life. With focus and dedication, you can absolutely create a life you love.
If you want to dive deeper into setting intentions for your life, I highly recommend Boni Lonnsburry’s book The Map: To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True!