How to set an intention for manifestation

How to Set an Intention for Manifestation

The word intention gets used in a bunch of different ways these days. When it comes to how to set an intention for manifestation we need to be sure we understand what the meaning of intention is and be sure we are using them in the right way for maximum results.  

Setting an intention for manifestation has become widely popular in law of attraction circles in recent years. The word intention has permeated the language of many. It’s become so widely used that it’s also become super confusing because different people also use the word in vastly different ways. 

In order to make an intention effective in manifesting what we want, we need to know what is an intention, how to set an intention correctly and that we are using them properly. Otherwise, they can actually take you even further off track. So, what is an intention and how does one set one? Let’s break it down. 

What is setting an intention

Setting an intention is meant to focus your attention and energy on what you’d most like to have in your life. Right now, it’s likely you could list at least a half a dozen things you’d enjoy adding to your life experience. Be it in the area of relationship, finances or career and business. You probably don’t have to think too hard to identify something you desire. By naming it – setting an intention – the energy behind that desire begins to build and ultimately (theoretically) it will eventually manifest in your life. 

The trouble is intentions can just as easily go awry if we don’t get it right. Let’s take a look at the common ways we misuse intentions and how to set an intention for manifestation properly.

Calling a goal an intention: This is the absolute most common mistake made when creating an intention statement. It is all too common for the word intention to be used interchangeably with the word goal. They are not the same thing. So, the first thing that needs to be cleared up is what is a goal vs what is an intention.

A goal is pretty easily identified. It generally has a date, a deadline or a destination clearly identified. Such as… I will do “x” by “y.” I want “x number” of “y” by “z date.” It always has a tangible, identifiable, material based focus.An intention on the other hand is more focused on you rather than what you achieve, accomplish or acquire. It’s based on who you want to be, how you want to show up, and what you want to experience on the way to said goals. Frankly, this is the true secret to manifesting. 

Choosing from what you think you should want: Us humans spend an inordinate amount of time comparing ourselves to one another and thinking about what’s missing in our lives. Need proof? Check out the beauty industry advertising budgets. If you aren’t thinking about it, they are going to do their best to make you think about it. In fact, all advertising is based on compelling you to connect with your “not enough” thoughts so you’ll “need” their product.

This along with other familial and societal expectations sets up a never ending list of things we think we have to be, do or have in order to be noticed, be happy, be loved. Capitalism is built on the more, more, more principles driven by what we think we are not. However, true fulfillment is only accessible through who we really are and what we really want. Not what our parents, partner or priest wants for (or from) us. Getting past all those external and internalized expectations is paramount for how to set an intention for manifestation.

Creating from a space of lack: Too often we choose an intention based on what we perceive is “missing” in our lives. This  inadvertently infuses our intention statement with lack right from the start. The energy of “wanting” that goes along with an improperly created or executed intention can actually lock the absence of your desire in place. As long as we are focused on what’s missing it is likely to remain missing.

That’s because in order to manifest with an intention we must first shift our internal experience in order for what we desire to enter our sphere. That’s how you set an intention for manifestation. Consider that whenever we are attempting to create from lack or what’s missing our energy can’t help but contract. In a contracted space it’s pretty hard for something new to enter. 

Your intention is too complex or complicated: A past client once emailed her intention for feedback on if it was in alignment for her.  It was three paragraphs long. Sorry to say, that’s not an intention statement; that’s an essay. Diffused attention creates diffused results. The Universe needs precise instructions. Help it work on your behalf by focusing in from the start. 

The more clear and concise, the more powerful the intention statement. Effective intentions are short and simple. If you can’t memorize it in less than two minutes, it’s not the one. No “and” or “with.” No “this” before “thats.” If there seems to be steps to the manifestation of your intention, first consider if this is even the right intention for you – at least at this time. If it still feels right, break it down to the thread that runs through all the pieces and start with that one. You can always add another once the first becomes a reality.

Putting your intention out “there”: Most of the magic in creating an intention statement that works is in the embodiment of the experience – here and now. It seems counter-intuitive. How can we have something when we don’t yet have something? Yet that’s the way it works, energetically. We need to create the experience in advance of the evidence.

There are two primary ways we block our intention by putting it out “there.” We’ve already covered the distinction of a goal vs intention. We can’t embody a car, a house, or another person. Any tangible goal is out “there.” The way to resolve that is to identify the experience you feel you will have when you achieve the goal and generate that experience now in this moment.

For example, during a talk at the Oregon Women’s conference years ago, I worked with a gal who had identified her desire as a beach house. When asked “what is it you see yourself doing at this beach house?” Her response: “Long walks on the beach at sunset.”  Further asked “what is it that these long walks will create for you?” Her response: “Peace.” 

Granted this is a shortened version of the actual dialogue but it illustrates the concept very clearly. You see, she thought she wanted a beach house but what she was really after was peace. Why bother having to go through a beach house before we can have the experience of peace? In fact, with all the upkeep and maintenance, in the end a beach house may actually take her further away from peace. So let’s go straight for peace! 

Another way we put our intention out “there” is putting it out in the future. One way we do that is by saying things such as “it is my intention to…” This clearly puts the intention outside of yourself, into the future. It may as well be a wish. Even though we don’t recommend goals, even a goal would be more productive than an intention used in this manner. When the intention is out in the future it keeps us from having it now

What is an intention statement 

To recap, when we talk about what is an intention statement we base that on your desired internal experience. Not just the tangible achievement, accomplishment or acquisition that you unconsciously believe will bring you that desired experience. 

In regards to how to set an intention for manifestation, to be effective we need to bring that desired experience into the present moment in order to manifest in the physical external world. Not the other way around. 

One of the most confusing paradoxes for most in working with intentions for manifestation is how often we repel our desires through how we think about and hold our intention. Meaning, if we’re not careful we could actually be keeping ourselves from what we most want.

You see, the energy of want is strongly associated with the energy of lack. So as long as we are in a wanting energetic state, affirming that what we are after is not here yet (and not sure we believe it ever will be) we may inadvertently be the one keeping everything we desire from ourselves.

So, what is an intention statement that will work for manifestation? To recap: 

1) Your intention must be based in the internal experience you are after rather than a goal.

2) Your intention must be chosen based on the resonance and what your Soul wants for you.

3) Your intention must be clear and concise. No points for extra words. Get to the point.

4) Your intention must be stated in the present moment. 

Intention Examples

At this point you may be wondering what is an intention example. You’re in luck! We’re going to give you a sample of intentions created with participants of our annual Intentional Success Virtual Retreat (which you can learn about under Events and Retreats) over the years. 

  • I trust in the unknown. For facing life changes and desiring to move through them with grace.
  • I know who I am. For a desire to know your true self.  
  • I am divinely connected. For feeling isolated and desiring community 
  • I answer the call. For feeling ready for  uplevel.
  • I am guided to Love. For seeking a romantic relationship.
  • My expression elevates. For desiring better communication or visibility.
  • I stand for my evolution. For being ready to make courageous choices. 
  • I embody my Soul. For being called to turn the wheel over to your Soul.
  • I see my Path. For clarity oo next steps and looking for a sense of direction.

While this is an exceptionally small sampling, what do you notice about all of these intention examples? They are all experience based. They are all present moment focused. They are all internally sourced. They are all already here just in the speaking of them.  

While you can also “borrow” an intention statement from someone else, it is recommended that instead of adopting it as-is out of hand, that these examples are used as inspiration. Notice which of these intention examples create a stir in you, but don’t stop there. Be willing to take a personal inventory including reflecting your own Soul’s evolution. 

It’s hard to imagine, since we are told that they work so well, but consider, could your manifestation list be limiting you? Even the most commonly used tools for manifestation can be undermining our results. It’s also very useful to know why affirmations don’t work and why intentions are better.  Be sure you are using the tool that will get you where your Soul wants you to go.

As we’ve already covered it’s far too easy to look outside ourselves when what’s called for is understanding divine alignment to ensure we are following our own path – not anyone else’s. What you want to be, do or have in your life is always within reach of your Soul.

Since 2011, courageous men and women around the world have chosen Divine Navigation and committed to the extraordinary and transformative experience of Aligning with their Soul-through their Divine Coordinates. We invite you to also explore the journey of Soul Purpose: The Definitive Guide.