10 Intentions To Set For Your Most Authentic Life
By Chandresh Bhardwaj
Chandresh Bhardwaj is the 7th generation spiritual teacher and meditation guide who hails from a lineage of traditional Indian gurus.
Graphic by Jimena Roquero / Stocksy
Setting an intention is like drawing a map of where you wish to go—it becomes the driving force behind your goals and visions. Without an intention, there is no map, and you're just driving down a road with no destination in mind.
That said, an authentic intention cannot be forced. You can't set an intention that you don't believe in. Here are 10 clear intentions to consider working into your daily meditation. (Start your meditation with a few deep breaths and observe the stillness within, and then set your intention.)
- I intend to manifest happiness naturally.
- I intend to respond first and then react.
- I intend to witness Divinity in everyone.
- I intend to lead by example.
- I intend to be open to success and abundance.
- I intend to stop taking things personally.
- I intend to forgive others, and myself.
- I intend to love unconditionally.
- I intend to make meditation a more important part of my lifestyle.
- I intend to make someone smile every day.
If you have another intention in mind that isn't listed above, go for it! Just remember to keep these three important points in mind as you set your intention:
1. Keep it positive.
Make sure your intention has a positive tone. If your intention is to have less stress, then say something like, "My intention is to invite peace and calm within myself."
Your chosen intention should always be positive, uplifting, and always in the present tense. You want to refrain from using any negative words. So try to avoid saying something like, "My intention is to fight this stupid stress."
2. Make sure it can evolve.
Our minds are very clever, and when something new comes along, the mind is intrigued. But as time passes, the mind gets bored! If you stick with the same intention week after week, your mind will stop responding to it. The best way to resolve this is to make sure your intention or goal can easily be adjusted.
If your intention on your first day is to invite peace and calm in, after few days, you may change that intention to, "My intention is to enjoy the peace I create in myself." Please be advised, however, that you shouldn't drastically alter your intentions or goals too frequently. The goal is to polish and enhance.
3. Aim for the short term.
It's more practical to set an intention for the short term rather than the long term. You can still think of the big picture—just divide your long-term intention into a few shorter ones instead. This will help you achieve a grandiose goal in shorter, more powerful segments.
If your intention is to become more specialized in your profession, then first figure out the steps involved in advancing in your specific field. Your first step may be to get good grades on your prerequisite exams. Then, the next goal may be landing a lucrative internship, and so on. After successfully manifesting your short-term intentions, you will ultimately reach the actual goal that you had been nurturing in the first place.
Then, once your intention is set, be sure to use it in your meditation. Observe the movement of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Continue to let go of all of your grudges and emotions. Watch your thoughts as they come and go, but don't assign any value to them. Before you finish, take a few moments to be grateful for the intention you have set. Stick to the same intention for a few days before moving on to the next one.