What is intention setting and how does it work?

What is intention setting and how does it work?
What are intentions? How do you set intentions? How do they work?

As many of you know, I run monthly and quarterly workshops with Sara of Moonlight and Manifesting where we not only practice yoga but set intentions. I wanted to give a little background on what intentions are and how we set them so that you can decide if this might be something you want to explore or work with us on.

What is an intention?

Intentions are a little different from goals. An intention is how you want to feel. If you sit down and consider how you’d like to feel what comes to mind? Satisfied/content/confident/free?The feeling might be specific to a particular area of your life such as your career or relationships, or it could be how you want to feel overall. If you find it hard to know how it is you want to feel, a good way to work it out can be to pause long enough to work out what you’re spending your time running away from! Probably what you want is it the opposite of that. Consider an area of your life where you’re dissatisfied or frustrated – how would you prefer to feel instead?

How do we set intentions?

We set intentions using these feelings and turning them into strong statements such as “I am” or “I will”. For example, if you want to feel confident to be yourself then your intention is “I am confident to be myself.” When we repeat this intention to ourself it is clear, and it becomes a declaration of who we want to be, and who we know we can be.

What’s the difference between goals and intentions?

For me, the two are intimately linked but quite different. An intention is about who you want to be. It’s about the feeling you want to have about yourself. A goal is the step you might take in order to get there.

For example, if your intention is “I am content,” then it might be that, for you, one of the things you need to do to feel content is to set up and run your own business. Running the business is a goal. Feeling content is the intention.

Another way to work out your intention if you still feel unsure about how to do that is to start with the goal. Let’s say, you’re spending all your time working towards setting up your new business. Ask yourself, how is it I want to feel when I’ve got this all set up? Take this feeling and make it an intention. Then, each time you’re working toward your goal, instead of that feeling of contentment being a year away and only possible in the imgained future once you have your business set up and running, it becomes something that is present now. Whenever you spend time working towards what you want you’re creating the causes to feel the way you want to feel and already feeling that way.

How does this work? Is it all hippie nonsense?

The truth is I don’t have a scientific answer to this question. But here’s how I think it works having played with it a bit. When you wake up and say to yourself, “I am confident,” or “I am successful,” or “I am content,” (insert your own intention here), you aren’t lying to yourself. What you’re doing is committing to a particular way of being and feeling. You’re telling yourself how you want to feel so that during the day you can keep coming back to that intention and let it guide you throughout the day. For example, when it gets dark early and I lose motivation to continue working on the things I know I need to do to feel the way I want to feel, I quietly and kindly say to myself “I want to be successful” and the way I get there is through continuing with this task. That gives me the motivation to keep going because I know that short term and long term I’ll feel better about myself if I continue on.

In those moments where you’re called on to make a choice you remember how it is you want to feel about yourself and you can make the choice that is in line with your highest good. It’s like magic! If that sounds like hippie nonsense then I’m down with being a hippie ?

If you’d like to get involved in our yoga and intention setting workshops join my emailing list to be kept up-to-date with new workshops and courses, have a look at the booking page for New Moon or Solstice/Equinox workshops coming up, or join one of our online courses.