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How to Set Intentions + Which Intentions to Set for Your Life

Have you ever tried setting intentions to help you focus on what you want to achieve?

If you have a hard time setting goals that are meaningful to you, you need to read this!

It doesn’t make sense to pursue goals that don’t align with your passions and desires. That’s why intentions are so important!

Without intentions, you don’t have a purpose to fulfill or a destination to reach. If you’re aimlessly setting goals without a reason for them, you should rethink your intentions and try to figure out what you truly want.

Keep reading to find out how to set intentions and which ones you should focus on in your life.

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What is an intention?

An intention is a principle you live by. It’s based on your values and the things that matter most to you.

When you set an intention, you declare what you want. Your desire is no longer just an abstract idea in your head. You define what you want and establish a motive to attain it.

If you want your intention to manifest, it has to be certain. A lot of people struggle to get what they want in life because they don’t have a crystal clear picture of their desires. Intentions will help you get the clarity you need.

What is the difference between goals and intentions?

Intentions and goals are two separate things. In fact, an intention is more powerful than a goal. That’s because intentions are the “driving forces” that motivate you to achieve your goals.

An intention comes from within, whereas goals exist outside of you. Here’s an example:

  • Intention: I intend to prioritize myself.
  • Goal: I will practice self-care for at least 30 minutes every day.

Because the intention exists within your mind, it allows you to be successful right now instead of having to wait for the external validity of achieving a goal.

Setting an intention means defining who you are now. It helps you set goals that align with your inner desires, and it puts you in the right mindset to achieve your goals.

Intentions usually come from feelings instead of specific results. Another example:

  • Intention: I intend to feel beautiful.
  • Goal: I will wear more clothes that I feel great in.

Because intentions come from the inner desires of your authentic self, they stay more constant than goals do. Goals are surface level. Intentions come from within.

When should you set intentions?

You should set intentions whenever you’re ready to make a change in your mindset or life. You can set intentions daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

Right before bed, I usually set intentions for the next day, or I’ll do them in the morning if I’m too tired. Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of journaling every day. I like to write my intentions down in my journal so they become stronger.

You can also set your intention during the New Moon, or the start of a new lunar cycle. Because the New Moon is symbolic of a new beginning, it’s a powerful time to set intentions.

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Which intentions should you set for your life?

This is not supposed to be an easy question. It’s okay if you don’t have the answer right away!

To start the brainstorming process, ask yourself this:

“What do I really want out of life?”

“What do I need to change about myself to get what I want in life?”

Think really hard about the above questions for a while. Open up a notebook and jot your ideas down. After you answer the questions, try to figure out which intentions you should set to live the life you want.

Here are some intentions you could set:

I intend to…

…be more focused.

…be proud of myself.

…make more time for myself.

…respect myself more.

…take better care of my body.

…be more creative.

…have a more positive mindset.

…work harder.

…accept myself the way I am.

…love myself.

…manage my time effectively.

…make the most out of each day.

…be grounded in the present moment.

And here’s how specific intentions might match up to the way you answered each of the questions above:

Example 1:

“What do I really want out of life?” – I want to start a successful business.

“What do I need to change about myself to get what I want in life?” – I need to find more time to dedicate to my business plan.

Set the intention to make the most of my time.


Example 2:

“What do I really want out of life?” – I want to live a balanced lifestyle.

“What do I need to change about myself to get what I want in life?” – I need to take better care of myself.

Set the intention to prioritize my needs.


Example 3:

“What do I really want out of life?” – I want to be an amazing parent.

“What do I need to change about myself to get what I want in life?” – I need to be more understanding of my children.

Set the intention to be more empathetic.

How do you make intentions work for you?

You’re not done once the intention is set! There are still a few steps you should take after setting an intention if you want it to manifest. Use these helpful tips:

1. Make sure your intention is positive.

It’s important to make sure your intention fits in with the positive mindset you’re trying to maintain. Use positive language in your intention instead of negative words. For example:

Negative framed intention: I intend to get rid of my unhealthy habits.

Positive framed intention: I intend to make better choices for my physical and mental health.

With positive framed intentions, you will be more loving and supportive of yourself in your personal growth journey.

2. Repeat your intention aloud to yourself often.

Try to repeat your intention to yourself at least once per day. The repetition and constant reminders of the intention will help you stick to it.

3. Keep your intention written down somewhere.

I’m a firm believer that every statement becomes more powerful when it’s written down. Intentions are no exception! Write your intention down in your planner or journal daily to truly make it a part of you.

4. Incorporate your intention into a ritual.

This tip will help you get into the routine of repeating your intentions daily. If you make intention setting part of a morning or evening ritual, you will never forget to do it.

Related reads!

1. How to Stop Dreaming and Start Doing

2. How to Establish a Routine

3. 35 Tough Questions to Ask Yourself for Personal Growth

Which intentions do you plan to set for the rest of the year? Let me know in the comments below!

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