Feeling frustrated because your intentions aren’t working and you’re not seeing results? With a few minor tweaks, you’ll be well on your way to setting clear and powerful intentions that work.
At the start of every new year, I’m always eager to make a change and determined to transform my life in a big way. Each year I set lofty goals (and usually don’t follow through) and that renewed “new year” energy starts to wane usually by mid-February.
Year after year I’ve made resolutions that just don’t stick so finally I decided to ditch my resolutions for good and spare me the disappointment.
Can you relate?
Instead, I traded in my resolutions for a word-of-the-year which became my guidepost for decisions and aligned me with my goals. Although I didn’t meet every target, I succeeded in other ways I could not have expected.
The biggest difference was instead of focusing on the actions I needed to take to reach my goal, I focused on the overarching theme which set the tone for my year. Basically, this is what an intention does as it provides an aim and focus to guide your actions and align your thoughts, feelings and behaviours with what you want to attract in your life.
Let’s break it down a little further.
Intention versus a goal: what’s the difference?
Here’s how I like to think about it.
We embody our intentions; we execute our goals.
An intention is the seed; it guides our decisions and keeps us focused. A goal is the fertilizer that helps the seed grow as it serves a specific purpose and can be measured.
You need both; an intention, (a conscious thought driving your decisions) and a specific action (to manifest results).
Now that you know the difference, let’s look at why your intentions aren’t working and the 7 ways you can change that.
Why your intentions aren’t working and 7 things you can do about it.
01 | You’re not focused
It may take a few attempts to quiet your mind and clear any distraction, but you can start with meditation or a breathing exercise to help you get centred. A fully aware and conscious state will make your intention more powerful.
With all of the distractions in today’s world, it can be hard to know what you truly want which is why it’s important to tune in and listen to your own inner thoughts and feelings.
02 | You’re not clear about what you want
Clarity of thought is essential to turn your visions into their tangible form. It’s important to get clear so that you can align yourself with what you want to manifest and focus your energy and attention on creating it.
Take a moment to visualize what you want. Try placing your hand on your heart and asking your inner guide: what do I need to focus on right now?
Trust that the answer you receive is your inner wisdom guiding your journey.
03 | You’re not in the right frame of mind
Your intention’s aren’t working, right? Then it’s essential that you set your intentions from a space of peace and positivity, not from lack, fear or desperation.
If you’re not sure how to do this or you’re not feeling overly chipper or calm right now, a great place to start is with gratitude. Acknowledge the many blessings that exist in your life already and focus on the abundance you do have (no matter how small or insignificant it may seem).
Harness the energy of your highest energetic vibration and your intentions will be on fire.
04 | You’re overthinking it
They should be easy enough that you can recite them in your mind’s eye—or at least feel their essence when you want to align your energy with them . The shorter and simpler they are, the easier it is to remember and focus your attention on. Another way to do this is to focus on the key elements. In my example above, the words, “flow, abundance and spiritual connection” really stand out.
These words help set the tone for my year and give me something to align my thoughts, feelings and actions with. It’s much easier to embody the energy of a few words than trying to remember a convoluted sentence.
05 | You’re not consistent
Setting a daily intention each morning is a great way to start the habit of embodying the energy you want to have throughout the day.
Sit back and take a moment to visualize your ideal day…week…or your ideal life or business then think about the actions you can take to make that happen. Remember that intention is not about doing things robotically out of habit, it’s about making conscious choices for yourself so that you can take action towards living your Divine life’s purpose.
In addition to setting an intention and visualizing it, try repeating a mantra, affirmation or journaling to help cultivate mindfulness and keep your attention focused on what you want to create instead of the opposite. You can also keep a habit tracker until setting intentions is a normal part of your daily routine.
06 | Your thoughts, feelings and actions don’t align
In order to activate your intentions, you must align your thoughts, feelings and actions with what you want to create and attract into your life.
Once you’re clear about what you want, then ask yourself: how can I align myself with my vision and bring it to life? What would embodying my intention look and feel like?
When your intention is to feel calm & peaceful, how do those words influence your thoughts, feelings and behaviour and help you experience calm & peace throughout your day?
07 |You’re trying to force an outcome
Release your intention to the universe without expecting a specific outcome. Trust that you’ll be given exactly what you need—when you need it. Remain open to how your intention will appear in your life because your higher-self always knows what’s best, even if it’s not clear to you right now.
Remain open to the experience (always in the present) and allow it to show up in your life in various ways. There are no forced outcomes or rigid expectations with intention; unlike goals where your focus is on the destination (a predetermined destiny that happens sometime in the future driven by an emotional desire to change).
I don’t have a rigid or elaborate process for setting my intentions—my process is simple: I simply tune into my inner wisdom and ask: what do I need to focus on right now that will bring me closer to the vision I have for my life?
It usually comes in the form of an immediate thought or feeling. I don’t question it, I trust that’s what I need right now. As the year progresses, I may move on to new intentions or change my original intent as I evolve throughout the year. I let me inner guidance guide me on this journey.
Our intentions provide our direction. Get clear about what you want so that you’re always being guided towards it.
Everything begins in consciousness. By thinking it and feeling it, you’re planting the seed of your desire but it takes persistent action to make it grow.