How to Set Intentions for Beginners


Intention setting is quite effective for a grounding practice. There’s a  lot of confusion around intention setting and how to go about becoming a practitioner, but that’s mostly because there is no wrong way to do it. The most important thing is that you set aside time to reflect on your intentions and put those thoughts to paper.

Intention setting requires us to dig deep and to do a lot of inner and often times intense self-reflection, pulling out bits an pieces of ourselves where we’d like to make changes within and shifts in our mind set.

To begin, we must understand what an intention is as it is not the same a goal. Intentions are more like values and passions - less about the destination and more about helping to make choices or navigate obstacles as they appear on our journey. Simply put: they’re more about WHO you are, not who you want to be. Majority of this has to do with the language in which we vocalize said intentions, but as we know, words and our use of words can have a massive impact.

For an example:  you wish to eliminate caffeine from your diet, but you’re an avid coffee drinker and although you love the taste, you don’t like the way it makes you feel (jittery, hyper aware, stomach aches, etc).

Goal: I want to quit coffee.
Intention: I nourish my body with ingredients that make me feel energized and vibrant.

The difference is the goal has a destination, but then what happens when you achieve it? The intention allows you choose something in its place because it aligns with your values. Intentions act as a roadmap and are easily integrated into your lifestyle because they are ingrained with your values. They will last until your values change or you develop a new passion that takes you in another direction.

So how do we start practicing setting intentions? Everyone will have a different opinion on this, but in essence, an intention setting practice is setting aside the time to evaluate your passions and see where they are or aren’t in alignment with your current lifestyle.

Writing your intentions down is a powerful tool in self-reflection that ensures your thoughts will result in the reality you want to create. Our thoughts create our reality in the same way our intentions create the road map to get there.

To help you on your journey, we’ve come up with a Guideline how to start an intention setting practice.

Use the Moon Phases to connect with your inner moon goddess!

Use the Moon Phases to connect with your inner moon goddess!

1. Create a Timeline

Progress is perfection, and consistency is key. Creating a timeline during the Lunar Cycle is a great place to start, but for those that aren’t into Lunar Cycles, pick a timeline that works best for you: the first of month, daily or even yearly.

2. Pick your intention(s)

Personally, I like to create 3-5 intentions to work with during the Lunar Cycle. Some people opt for 1-3 intentions and invest their energy in smaller numbers. You can also change it up so that you can work on one intention a month and the following month you work on 2 or 3. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to this.

3. Write in the first person and in the present tense.

Write your intentions as follows: I or I am

I am present
I am creative
I am capable

Writing in the first person and present tense is a powerful technique to remind you and put out energy of abundance rather than lack. Keep in mind that the more we focus on one thing, the more we attract it. “I want” indicates something you don’t already have or a sense of lack within our identity, so we’ll want to manifest what we already have or value from within.

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4. Check in with your intentions

The point of setting intentions is not to set them and then forget. We must be accountable and work with our intentions and check-in to see where things are. Maybe its daily, or weekly, but set aside time to reflect on your intentions and add some notes of areas of resistance or ease.

5. Reflect

Looking back and seeing how we were able to manifest or working in accordance with intentions can surprise you at how effective intention setting is! This usually acts at a motivator to keep practicing.

6. Make it your own

This is super important! Remove all comparisons and embrace what it feels natural to you. If you’re a creative and you love to paint, then paint! If you want to incorporate healthier foods into your lifestyle, make it a point to alternate foods that fit in your intentions!

Let us know in the comments what intentions you plan on setting!


Blog Curated by Quinn Gordon, Founder of BMWB

Quinn is a Lifestyle + Wedding Photographer, Content Creator and Writer out of New Orleans. Considering herself a Visual Storyteller and Content Creator, Quinn specializes in documenting love, life and art through her photography and personal blog.