I’ve been a firm believer in the power of affirmations for quite a few years now.  More recently, I’ve started playing around with setting intentions.

Much like affirmations, intentions are a great way to change your environment by  changing your thoughts.

As Jennifer Louden puts it in her book, The Woman’s Retreat Book…

“An intention is not a goal, although you may present it to others as one. Intention is an aim that guides action. A goal, by contrast, is the purpose or objective toward which an endeavor is directed. Intention is gentle and keeps you in the moment, focused on unfoldment. Goal is driven and keeps you in the future, focused on finishing, on doing it all, doing it right. Forming an intention in the shape of a goal would defeat the purpose because it would take you out of being and into doing.”

When setting intentions, keep these five simple tips in mind:

1.  Get clear about what you want to focus on.  Know how you’d like to BE. Do you want to be healthy, wealthy, supported or loved?  Know how you’d like to FEEL.  Do you want this health, wealth, support or love to come to you easily and effortlessly?

2.  Watch your words. Your focus here is to essentially reprogram your brain with new and positive thoughts and beliefs, so think clearly about your choice of words.  Keep your intention focused on the positive and what you want…not on what you don’t want.

3.  Write it down and repeat it often.  Once you know what you want to be or feel, write it down.  Hang it all over the house – on the fridge, in the bathroom, above your desk, on my mirror, on your dashboard.  Put it anywhere and everywhere and repeat it to yourself as often as possible.  Think of it as your own personal mantra.

4. Watch your thoughts.  When you catch yourself sliding into your old thought patterns (and it will happen) or you get caught up in your same old story, or come down with a case of the woe is me’s, just dig up that intention and repeat it to yourself a time or two.

5. Be patient and persistent. You don’t have to believe that the intentions will work at first (I used to “fake it ’til you make it” when I first started), just keep at it.  Repeat your intention over and over to yourself throughout the day and you’ll start to believe it.  Don’t beat yourself up when you have those moments where you slip, just keep on keeping on.