Regulars and Shorts

Coach Jeannette: Got Intentions?

By Jeannette Maw

Train your attention toward what you want. Set your intention in advance.
by Jeannette Maw.
Rachel says she’s got challenges when it comes to dating and romance. Although she eventually manages to meet men who seem like they have potential, time after time she discovers after a handful of dates that she was mistaken. He either turns out to be egocentric, an irresponsible playboy, or just not interested in her.

Rachel specifically mentioned three dates in the last three weeks that turned out to be duds. (She thought things were going great with one guy, but his “goodbye” at the end of their hour long coffee date made it clear it was a permanent parting.)

I asked what her intention had been for that particular date. “Well, I … umm … I guess … I thought … uhh … what’s an intention?”

Checking in on what your intentions are beforehand can be extremely effective in ensuring things go your way.

I learned that the hard way after returning home from my first online dating experience. It was so ridiculously awful that I laughed through most of it, wondering if I was being punked by girlfriends who had warned me not to turn to the internet for romance.

But, there was no such mastermind behind the disastrous date. Just me and my lack of deliberate intention.

In hindsight I realized I had approached my first online date with a “let’s see how this goes” attitude – completely non-deliberate! Which, if I believed in shame, that would be the time to for the law of attraction coach to hang her head.

Luckily I believe in laughter over beating myself up, so I quickly got back on the horse and met up with a new prospect the following week.

This time, though, I didn’t leave things to chance.

I set an intention that we had so much fun my cheeks hurt from laughing, that there was instant and mutual attraction between us, that the conversation was truly enjoyable, that I definitely wanted to see him again and he made it very clear he felt the same way.

That oughta do it.

Indeed, our lunch date was that and more. The conversation was stimulating, we had lots of mutual interests, he was smart and hot (well-employed to boot), my cheeks hurt from laughing, and by the time I got home from lunch he had sent a charming email making it clear he was very interested in getting together again soon.

That’s more like it!

The difference?

Someone who wasn’t privy to how the world works through vibration and energy might say the difference was the men. Surely that was a big difference, but what allowed for that difference was the intention created in advance of it. The new energy paved the way for a completely new result.

Life follows our thoughts, so when we don’t get specific and deliberate with them, who knows where we’ll end up? (Actually, we know where that takes us, right? Maybe some of us have been there more times than we care to remember.)

How much more powerful it is when we train our attention toward what we want, by setting the intention for it in advance!

What’s an intention?

An intention is simply “the act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.” Dream Coach Marci Weider writes this about intentions:

“A working definition for intention is: ‘to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.’ Lacking intention, we sometimes stray without meaning or direction. But with it, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible.”

I tell folks an intention is simply holding in mind what you want. That’s what allows you to point your conscious awareness (your vehicle for all creation) in the direction of what you would like to have, be or do.

In short, setting intentions is a good habit for getting what you want!

Rachel, who got a kick out of hearing even the manifesting coach can have a bad date, asked the process for setting an intention. In honor of her, as well as everyone else who has had something go sideways on them, here are short and sweet steps for setting an intention. (Whether you do it on the fly or create a more formal ritual for it, the important part is that you do what feels best!)

On-the-Fly Intention Setting (for when you’re right in the moment and don’t have a lot of advance prep time)

1) Focus your thought on the result or experience you want.

2) Let it go.

Could it get any easier? The only thing better than how simple it is is how effective you’ll find it! On-the-fly intention setting is perfect for taking or making important calls, meeting new people, hosting or attending an event, receiving some sort of service (restaurant dinner, car in the shop, tax preparation), traveling, etc.

For times when you’re extra nervous or doubtful, or for things that feel like a big deal, you might engage a more ritualized process for setting an intention:

Formal intention setting

1) Write your intention down.

2) Let it go.

When it feels better to get more official with declaring your intention, you can write it down (or even say it out loud) instead of just thinking it in your head. There’s something about the power of the written and spoken word that is especially fun to invoke when it really counts. Developing a habit or ritual around the process will increase its power for you.

You can develop a ritual by keeping a particular journal where you write intentions, or having a place (a box or drawer or even a book) where you keep the papers you’ve written your intentions on.

Some choose to keep their written intentions in a place where they see them regularly (bulletin board, bathroom mirror, wallet, etc.).

If you’re speaking your intention instead of writing it, get in a peaceful state before declaring it. If you choose to share it with another person, be picky about who you let in on it to ensure you get support instead of ridicule or doubt.

As far as how to word your intention, there’s no wrong way to do it, but I recommend playing with various structures in order to find your rhythm – then stick with what feels best. Some start an intention by addressing their higher power, some start it with “I am,” some simply say what’s going to happen. (That’s how I do it: “We have a great time, we’re totally attracted to each other, he quickly makes it clear he wants to see me again.”) Experiment, be creative, and pay attention for what “clicks“ for you.

When to use it

When is a good time to practice setting a deliberate intention? As mentioned above, there’s no bad time to use it. Anytime you care about what happens or simply want to ensure you get what you want is a great time to get intentional.

Some might think this habit of creating our future takes the fun out of life. After all, if there’s no flirting with danger, doesn’t it get kind of boring? That’s for each of us to answer ourselves. I suspect there are some times when it’s more entertaining to let things play out however they’re going to go, and other times when it’s much more rewarding to have a hand in managing those outcomes.

I, for one, didn’t find my second (intentional) date any less fun because it was exactly what I asked for. Quite the contrary!

However, for those times when I do want to be surprised or not see the adventure in advance, I’ll simply set an intention for a pleasant surprise or fun experience. Still leaves room for fun, but doesn’t leave me at risk for something I don’t want.

In truth, most of us hold intentions more often than we realize. The problem is those intentions aren’t usually conscious or deliberate or pointing us in the direction of our desire.

For example, my sister-in-law recently went on a job interview that she “knew” wouldn’t pay what she wanted. As she drove to her interview, she imagined that they would like her, would want to hire her, and wouldn’t be able to afford her.

Guess what happened? No surprise she got exactly what she held in mind. They liked her and offered a salary well below her requirements.

By purposely setting an intention, we get a chance to redirect our thoughts in ways that allow our desired end result to come to fruition. We get out of our own way and stop sabotaging our happy endings!

As usual, though, don’t take my word for it. Put it to practice for yourself and let me know how you like it!

Jeannette Maw is a Law of Attraction coach and founder of Good Vibe Coaching in Salt Lake City.

This article was originally published on June 29, 2009.