By Lunarly with Kiki Ely
This article is an extract reprinted with permission from Rock Point, an imprint of The Quarto Group.
An intention is a goal that is in alignment with who you truly are, what you truly want, and where you truly want to be in your life. The ultimate objective of an intention is to bring positive change into your life and to live more authentically as your true self.
Taking the time to live your life with intention means that you have made the decision to have an impact on your life, as opposed to letting your life take control over you. When you consciously set an intention, you guide your soul along its intended path.
WHAT IS INTENTION-SETTING?
When you set an intention, it solidifies the commitment you have to seeing through the intention. Simply put: the act of setting an intention turns idea into action and thought into reality.
The wording of your intention is very important. Intentions are not wishes, hopes, or casual thoughts. Instead, intentions are stated as if you have already achieved your goal. Avoid phrases like “I should,” “I want,” or “I want to be.” Replace those phrases with “I do,” “I have,” or “I am.”
EXAMPLES OF INTENTIONS:
Instead of: “I should be in better shape.”
Try: “I am fit, healthy, and strong and I love to exercise daily.”
Instead of: “I should be more spiritual.”
Try: “I create magic in my life and the lives of others and am in sync with the rhythms of my soul.”
When you act as if the intention has already come true, you more strongly connect to the goal and are able to visualize the achievement of the intention more clearly.
HOW DOES INTENTION-SETT ING WORK?
First, determine your goal. You may have more goals than you can count, or you may struggle to come up with one. To get yourself in the right mindset to identify your goals, think of areas in your life where you would like to enact positive change.
Your goals are unique to you and they are keys to understanding your soul’s purpose. If the idea of achieving or attaining something sounds exciting, add it to your list. You can have a long list of goals, but you should set a specific intention for each one individually. Each deserves your full attention.
If you are having difficulty getting started, think about a topic from the list below.
Once you determine which goal to focus on, you should set your intention around this goal. Write down your intention clearly, specifically, and as if you have already attained it. Then read what you have written aloud with confidence, conviction, and determination. It is okay if your voice wavers in the beginning—that’s natural. As more of your intentions come to fruition, you will become more comfortable with and trusting of the process—your voice will gain strength in time.
When setting an intention, make it specific so that you can hold yourself accountable and track your progress. This also allows you to adjust and fine-tune your intention as time passes and you see what may and may not be working.
YOUR INTENTIONS MIGHT SOUND SOMETHING LIKE:
“I have my dream job. I am able to help others daily, I have flexibility, and I am respected for my creative gifts.”
“I am in a loving and respectful relationship with a partner who makes me feel safe.”
“I prioritize my needs and schedule self-care into my daily routine.”
WHEN TO SET AN INTENTION
The best time to set an intention is in conjunction with the New Moon because it signifies a time of transition and a brand-new lunar cycle. This indicates a fresh start or a clean slate—the perfect situation in which to set a new intention.
This also allows you to work with your intention throughout the entire 29.5-day lunar cycle and use the different phases of the moon to check in with, assist, shift, or accelerate your progress.
This book offers intention-setting rituals for each New Moon. These rituals incorporate a variety of elements—with a focus on self-care—to get your mindset in alignment with the intention you are setting with purpose and specificity.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTENTION, AN AFFIRMATION, AND A MANIFESTATION
This book will be utilizing intentions, incorporating affirmations, and working with the concept of manifestation, ideas that have some areas of overlap and are worth clarifying here.
An intention is a goal you set that is in alignment with your authentic and highest self.
An affirmation is a positive thought or statement, written or spoken, that challenges self-limiting beliefs and replaces patterns of negative thinking with patterns of positive thinking.
A manifestation is a specific vision that’s fueled by positive energy. You identify and visualize something you want with extreme specificity, put your energy behind the belief that it will happen, trust your intuition on whether and when to act, and express gratitude when what you have asked for appears.