how to set an intention for manifestation

How to Set an Intention for Manifestation

To the uninitiated, life is a series of random events. But this is far from the case because you can take charge of your life and design it as you deem fit.

While this might sound like a bogus claim, it is possible to manifest the lifestyle you want if you know how to set an intention for manifestation.

Indeed, life is unpredictable, and things might happen “out of nowhere.” Yes, life can throw you a handful of curveballs every now and then, but wouldn’t your existence here be completely boring without a few surprises and blind spots?

I’ve said all that to say this: you are the creator of your own reality, whether or not you realize it!

However, you must be deliberate about your desires to take advantage of your innate power as a creator. You must understand how to fuel your desires with the right energy to bring them into physical reality.

Don’t know how?

No worries. Keep reading to discover how to set an intention for manifestation.

Intention vs. Goals: Is There a Difference?

boy wearing a superhero costume holding a “Dream Big” sign

First, it is important to distinguish an intention from a goal. Although connected (and quite a lot of people confuse the two), an intention is not the same as a goal.

An intention is the energy you want to embody or how you want to be ― it is an ongoing process. On the other hand, a goal is a static outcome you hope to accomplish in the future.

Here’s an example.

You may have a goal to run for at least 30 minutes, 4 times weekly, to lose 50 pounds in 6 months. This is a definite, measurable outcome that can be checked off a list.

Using the above example, your intention might be to feel great about your body every day, whether or not you run or do other weight loss activities.

Usually, you set a goal once and work until you achieve it. On the other hand, you can set an intention every day to help you focus on how you want to feel about the various aspects of your life.

In more specific terms, here are three major differences between an intention and a goal:

  1. An intention is about your current state of being in the here and now, while a goal is a fixed outcome you hope to achieve in the future.
  2. Intentions are focused on your relationship with yourself and how well you relate with others. On the other hand, goals are purely focused on external achievements or accomplishments.
  3. An intention is not dependent on any outcome, while a goal is a specific and measurable achievement.

Setting intentions and living your life from that place of being means you don’t have to wait until your goals are achieved to feel fulfilled. And this is one of the biggest secrets to manifestation ― feeling a sense of fulfillment (as if you already have your desires) even before seeing any signs of positive outcomes in your physical reality.

How Intentions Turn to Manifestations

To help you fully grasp how to set an intention for manifestation, here’s a quick rundown of what happens when you have a desire backed up with a clearly formulated intention.

  • First, a desire occurs in your thought. This usually happens as you experience the ups and downs of life (which some refer to as contrasting experiences).
  • Next, you attach emotional energy (intention) to the desire. This is the “why” fueling the desire. To fuel your desire, you must consistently focus on the thought of being with your desire until it creates a shift in your energy.
  • Consistent focus creates belief in the possibility of achieving your desire. The manifestation speed often depends on how strong your belief is.
  • Lastly, you receive the real-world manifestation of your desire.

Steps for Setting Intentions

woman sitting on the grass outdoors and writing in a journal

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the meat of the matter. Here’s exactly how to set an intention for manifestation.

1. Identify Your Desire

Intention-setting starts with identifying something you want. There is no limit to what you can manifest, big or small.

It doesn’t matter if your desire is general or specific. The most important thing is to make sure you want to manifest something you truly want, regardless of magnitude.

You can have as many desires as you want, but I recommend focusing on only one for a start, especially if it’s your first time using this process.

Writing down your desire at this stage is fine because it can help you clarify what you want. Still, putting down your desires in black and white while completing step three below is okay.

2. Find the Feeling Behind Your Desire

Feeling is the “magic” ― the secret ingredient ― behind deliberate manifestation!

Identifying your desire and getting really clear about it is essentially setting a goal. You know what you want, but how do you get it?

Here’s how.

Connect with the feeling behind your desire! The feeling holds the energy that creates the reality you want.

Ask yourself why you want what you want. Connecting with your desire becomes easy once you figure out the “why.”

Most people think they are reaching for a goal or desire, but what they truly want is the feeling that comes with achieving their desire.

For example, you desire to manifest the perfect romantic partner, but what you really want isn’t just another person in your life. The real “why” is to experience the joy of sharing your life with someone who truly gets you.

Take some time to dig deep until you find the feeling behind your desire because feeling is what triggers manifestation.

3. Tune Into Your Senses and Describe Your Desires

Once you can place a finger on the feeling you are reaching for, it is time to describe what that feels like.

Grab a pen and paper (preferably your journal), tune into all your five senses, and then pen down what it feels like to be with your desire.

Be as detailed as possible, and remember to use words that trigger the right feelings (more on that in step four).

Want to increase the intensity of your intentions and speed up manifestation? Record your intentions on your phone or any portable digital device and listen to it as often as possible, especially before drifting off to sleep.

4. Declare Your Intentions With Positive Statements

Next, carefully formulate a list of manifestation affirmations or positive statements to help ingrain your intentions as beliefs in your mind.

Say your intentions out loud whenever possible, or repeat them in your mind. The aim is to consistently do this and firmly believe in the possibility of having what you want.

Remember to formulate your statements in the positive.

Your subconscious mind doesn’t process negatives, such as not, don’t, can’t, or won’t. For example, “I am not going to fail” may sound like a positive affirmation, but it is purely focused on failing.

A better statement would be, “I am always winning!” The focus here is on winning, which is what you want (not failing).

5. Focus on Who You Have to Become

Here’s where most people struggle with manifesting their preferred reality: They invest in the “magic” part of intention manifestation but ignore the “practical” part of the process.

Intentions are more about being, so you must focus on all the qualities of the person you have to become.

Want to manifest an athletic body? Great! Your intention for this manifestation might be something along the lines of, “I intend to exercise in more pleasurable and fun ways.” If getting a promotion is your goal, a supportive intention could be, “I intend to express myself fully in my work.”

After setting these intentions, ask yourself what energy (quality) you must embody to become the person with an athletic body, the promotion, or whatever it is you want to manifest.

Now get to work on developing those qualities because it is not what you manifest but who you become in the process that matters.

6. Practice Non-Resistance

Think of your intention as a map, guiding you to become a better version of yourself. It is only a guiding light, not a means of controlling your life.

In other words, avoid being too rigid with your intentions ― they are not set in stone.

Intentions evolve as you grow and your perspectives change, so it is okay to adjust them from time to time to suit who you are becoming.

If you are rigid with your intentions, perhaps being too specific, it is a sign you might be struggling with controlling habits and must find ways to be more accepting.

Always remember that intentions are meant to control your life. Once you set an intention for manifestation, you must surrender and let go of resistance, trusting that things will unfold perfectly, even if they don’t happen as you expect.

Here’s something else to remember.

It may seem as if nothing is happening after the intention-setting process. But your intentions are constantly working in the background. Your job is to formulate them clearly and allow them to lift your spirit.

Practice detachment from particular outcomes. Release the need to focus on specifics (what, when, and how), and simply trust that your intentions will bring about the manifestation you want.

7. Reinforce Your Intentions

Repetition is key when it comes to reinforcing a belief or intention. Framing your intentions in the form of affirmations and consistently repeating them can rewire your brain. This is called neuroplasticity, a scientific term for the brain’s constant learning or changing state.

The more times you repeat a thought or belief (which is what an intention is, by the way), the easier it is for your brain to accept that thought pattern as true. And when you imbibe that belief, your behaviors will shift, allowing you to become the person who achieves your desires.

A good time to reinforce your intentions is when you are in a relaxed state of mind, such as right after meditation.

Tips on How to Set an Intention for Manifestation

woman on a swing

Here are a few tips to help you during the intention-setting process:

  • Only set your intentions when you’re relaxed and in the right mood. When you set your intentions, it is helpful to do so in a place where you won’t be disturbed and pick a time when your mind is free from distractions and anxieties.
  • It is normal to get carried away by the rush of life and lose sight of your intentions. However, you can limit this by creating intention triggers to remind you of the energy you want to embody. Consider using reminders such as placing sticky notes on your fridge, computer, or kitchen cabinets. You can set up alarms to remind you of your intentions throughout the day.
  • Set intentions as often as possible. Don’t limit intention-setting to only the beginning of the year or on some special occasion. Think of intentions as the magic wand for creating the life you desire.

Final Thoughts

Humans are constantly manifesting, whether or not we realize it. You can continue to bring things into your reality on autopilot or take charge of your innate power to create the life you want.

Whatever you decide is entirely up to you!

However, knowing how to set a powerful intention for manifestation is necessary if you want to live more intentionally.

While things can sometimes happen seemingly out of the blue, deliberately setting intentions for manifestations allows you to steer your life in a generally pleasing direction.

Remember, you are setting an intention ― creating a feeling-based map for your life. It is not the same as setting a goal involving a specific, measurable outcome.

For this reason, allow results to show up when they do. Don’t fixate on a definite timeline or an exact sequence for things to happen when intention setting. And lastly, always remember to be consistent in taking daily action.

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