How Setting an Intention Can Set You Up for Success


I was going to write about intention last week but without too much consideration of the topic I decided it wasn’t enough to grab me.

What does this new buzzword have to do with it all and how did it get so ‘flavor of the month’ already?

Then I came across some old text I had that was about intention, a few hours later an email came to me all about setting intention, and when the word popped up a third time in less than 24 hours I decided to lean in.

I just feel like I have things down pat in that regard. What do I need an intention for? It just sounds like some wordy theoretical thing people are jumping on.

Then I thought about it. I have been working with Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and subsequently have done the work to uncover my Core Desire Feelings, which are





In Danielle’s work these CDFs are designed to help you navigate your day by asking yourself if your actions bring these feelings to you, because if they don’t then you might be heading down the wrong path.

Upon reflection, this is an intention.

So what if, similar to these CDFs, I decide to set an intention for an activity, task, day, trip, date, etc?

It doesn’t have to be some big smashing goals intention; it could just be as simple as deciding my intention for this day is relaxation and restoration. I am going to take a well-earned break and prepare beforehand to allow just that to occur. Then mentally I know the chores can hold till another day, any study is being put away and I can just enjoy. Another day I might set the intention as ‘get shit done day,’ where I dive in and get all the chores done, get my study up to date and clear the plate, and maybe set this up as the day before the rest and restore day.

I am working on setting the intention, now I think about it, of having a healthy fortnight. I have scheduled in two half-day walks, yoga, a three-day juice detox, and outside that some clean and raw eating. I know it has a two-week timeframe so I can commit knowing when I will return to the less structured version of my healthy lifestyle. I guess, now I think about it, setting that intention for that time feels like it has more focus.

I am now thinking there are many times when it can help remind me where and even who I want to be.

Another example is that I have recognized of late I have been caught up in lots of study and reading. I have signed up for a few courses and not allowed myself the time to sink into each one. I have added a chaotic element to my life that is taking over my spare time. I cannot keep up. I hadn’t allowed enough down time and I was giving myself a hard time not fitting it all in. I was seeking personal growth desperately and had gone against one of my lessons already learned, ‘don’t rush things that need time to grow’.

I was losing sight of the parts of me that I wanted to sink into. I was rushed, stressed and didn’t have time for adding the caring touch.

So I pondered this and realized I had unknowingly set an intention before. For my work self, earlier this year I declared I was Abundantly Grateful, Purposefully Focused and Grounded-ly Ambitious.

Which lead me to setting an overarching life intention that kept this part of me in check. As I did with abundantly grateful, I again started listing words that resonated with what I was trying to return to in myself. After listing a number of words, and playing with their meaning, what it means to live my life and my actions surrounding those words, I have arrived at the following statement.


I intend to live


Setting this intention made me breathe a sigh of relief. I knew it was a good exercise when relief came as I could put my finger on what was missing. In naming what was missing I was able to review what was occurring and work on bridging the gaps. Subsequently it meant removing that which was nice to have or good, to leave time to sink into the Hell Yes, and Non-Negotiable of my desires.

I revisit my little intention mantra, now written on a note above my desk, and constantly realign. I gently pull myself back in each time I fall off the wagon with my longer-term focus in sight.

In summary I think I have found a good accountability partner in setting my intention. I can easily give myself a soul check. I now use it to get the most out of my day, an experience or holiday as I set these intentions.

I guess it all comes back to the power of a little planning. If we just do and only reflect afterwards, it is too late for adjustments. Yet if we can take the time beforehand and put some forethought in we can miss out on less and sink into the good times more.

That is something I look forward to, sinking in to all that is good and really soaking it up. That alone has me writing this article on intention, to shed some light on why it maybe is a worthy little buzzword.



  1. a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future.
  2. a thing intended; an aim or plan.


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