Intention setting is an important part of manifesting what you desire, so what’s the right way to set an intention for manifestation?
Setting an intention is simply declaring what outcome you want to manifest. It’s simple, but it empowers you to take control and call the very best into your life. Deciding yours is the first of three steps to manifesting your desires.
Your intention shifts your mindset and your energy towards what you want, it puts you into receiving mode so that the universe can deliver it to you. Because the Law of Attraction says like attracts like, to manifest your desire you must match the vibration of that thing. Setting your intention is the beginning of the journey.
The good news is that it’s not hard and you don’t have to overthink it.
An intention should be thoughtful and guided by your intuition. It can be for something like manifesting a new job or intending to be more present with your loved ones.
There are a few different methods you can use, I suggest experimenting with each and seeing which feels most in alignment with you.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Using them gives me a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
Why Manifestation Works Best When We Set Intentions
Your intention is like the destination you plug into your GPS. If you don’t know where you want to go, then the GPS can’t work.
If you don’t have an intention, then the universe can’t deliver what is aligned with your highest good.
You can just drive around hoping you’ll get somewhere nice, but you end up allowing life to happen to you instead of taking charge and deciding what you truly want. It’s like settling for a lousy 2 star restaurant you randomly find instead of a 5 star one that you know has your favorite dish on the menu.
Know Your Why
Before I learned how to set intentions I had a lot of goals but I mostly didn’t achieve them. I certainly wanted to, but something was missing. It’s one thing to have a goal, but if you aren’t tapped into the real purpose behind it then you’re not really going to be energetically aligned with it.
The terms energetic alignment or vibration can sound vague and confusing, but it really means you’re tapping into the feeling of already having what you want. We only want things because of the feeling it gives us, so feeling the emotion of having it right now moves you into alignment.
Knowing the true reason why you want the thing, the way it will make you feel, is a lot more powerful than just wanting to check off some list society says you should.
Help, I Don’t Know What I Want to Manifest!
If you’re not sure what you want to manifest, that’s totally ok and completely normal! There is a lot of pressure to always know what we want, but how do we know something is a good fit if we haven’t experienced it? There are also so many options it’s natural to feel overwhelmed.
There are two things you can do.
First, you can set an intention to gain clarity about what you do want.
However, it’s important to note that much of the time our uncertainty comes from the fear that we aren’t really worthy of what we want, or that it’s not possible for us, or that we’ll mess it up somehow, or it will be taken away.
So it can be helpful to explore if fear is the real source of your indecision. But of course, maybe you don’t know because you just haven’t found it yet and that’s ok too. Release the need to have it all figured out.
Second, you can choose to just focus on attracting the feeling you want, no matter how that shows up.
This can be such a great thing to do because we often have very narrow ideas of what will make us happy, when there are actually so many possibilities to receive what we want that we never thought of and many of them are better than our limited ideas!
You don’t have to know exactly how happiness will look like for you, just wanting it is enough.
If you release all your preconceived ideas of how happiness must show up, you become open to so many beautiful opportunities. You allow the universe to surprise and delight you without limitations.
That sounds pretty great, right? So if your intention is just to receive a positive feeling, then that’s perfect too.
How Much Detail Do My Intentions Need for Manifestation?
Human Design (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it, I’m not personally a fan but a lot of people are into that right now) will tell you that you are either a specific manifestor (needing a lot of detail) or a nonspecific manifest (not needing very many details).
Don’t limit yourself by thinking you can only manifest one way. Just do what feels good. If you like tons of details then write them down or visualize them. If too many details makes you feel overwhelmed then you don’t need to worry about that.
You may find that details feel good for some intentions and not good for others, it’s never going to just be one thing.
Trying to have too many details can sabotage you if you’re locked into what you want only coming one way, so just be aware of when you could be closing yourself off to other possibilities.
Always do what feels good. You don’t have to follow any one rule.
What If I Change My Mind Later?
You can set a new intention at any time! What you thought was in alignment yesterday might not be in alignment today, and that’s fine.
Setting an intention is not an unbreakable contract! You can want blue shoes today, then red shoes tomorrow, or you can decide you want both next Sunday!
The universe is like an ice cream shop with unlimited flavors, and you can taste as many as you want to.
Just make sure that whatever you desire is truly for your highest good (you might have to do a little soul searching sometimes) and you’ll be fine.
Do This Before Setting Your Intention
You can set an intention at any time in any place, but it can help do these things to get yourself in the optimal mental space to set the best intentions for you.
Get away from any distractions. Put your phone down, turn off the tv, hit pause on your to-do list. Tune in to your body and your breath. Take a moment to just breathe and quiet your mind.
You might set the mood by lighting candles, putting on relaxing music, or even taking a bath. Self-care can be a good way to center yourself and allow your intuition to speak to you.
How to Set an Intention for Manifestation
1. Write Down Your Intention
Writing down what you want to manifest is a great way to declare your intentions.
You can write it in your journal, either once or everyday if you want to. Or you can write it down on a paper and then tuck that away some where.
You can also write a letter to the universe from the perspective of having already received it. Part of manifestation is tapping into the positive feelings you want to experience, so feel that gratitude or excitement right now as you write down your desires.
If you like imagining all the fine details, writing your intentions is a good way to play with manifestation.
2. Set an Intention With a Candle
Using candles to set your intention is more about the ritual than the candle. It’s not that the candle has power, it’s what it represents in your mind and the actions you take with it that have power.
You can really use any candle you like, but Etsy has some amazing intention setting candles at any price point. You can easily find candles that are for a specific purpose like manifesting wealth or love.
First close your eyes and focus on what you want. Make it clear in your mind and feel gratitude that the thing you want is on it’s way to you. Then light the candle and say what you want out loud. It might sound something like:
“Universe, I desire greater abundance in my life. I’m ready to be surprised and delighted by the wealth you have to offer me. I am open and ready to receive this, for the greatest good of all involved. And so it is.”
Then you can stare at the flame as you breathe and focus on your desire, until you feel ready to release the intention to the universe.
Let the candle burn for as long as it is safe to do so. Always practice safety when using candles.
3. Set an Intention With a Crystal
Setting intentions with crystals is very similar to using a candle to manifest what you want.
Despite their beauty, crystals aren’t proven to have any powers. It’s the meaning we give them that has power. It’s a tool to focus your intention on.
Find a crystal that feels right to you. Different crystals have been assigned certain meanings, but it’s just about what feels good for you. Again I use Etsy to get all my crystals, and I have a collection of the best crystals here.
Hold your crystal and close your eyes as you focus on what you want. When you’re ready, say your desire out loud and visualize your crystal holding your intention.
Put the crystal someplace you will see it daily. Let it remind you that your desire is on it’s way. This will tell your subconscious mind to start looking for ways to receive your manifestation.
4. Create a Vision Board for Your Intention
It can be so helpful to actually see a visual representation of the thing you want to manifest, so vision boards are a perfect way to set an intention if you like to see what you want.
Want to manifest greater wealth? Try my gorgeous manifestation checks! I look at mine every day and it reminds me that what I want is possible for me and motivates me to take action to manifest my financial goals.
A vision board can be just for one area of your life like your health of finances, or you can just put every thing you want on there.
Every time you see your vision board you’ll feel inspired to look for ways to get that thing you want.
Learn all about the secret formula for the perfect vision board.
5. Use Tarot Cards
Tarot cards are great tools to help guide your intention. Much like candles and crystals they don’t have magical powers, but they are very powerful tools for accessing your subconscious mind (where your intuition as well as all the limiting beliefs and fears that block your conscious mind’s desires live).
I absolutely adore the Mystic Mondays deck, but find one that resonates with you.
If you’re not sure what you want to manifest, tarot cards can help you draw out those desires.
Close your eyes and take some deep breathes, let your mind get quiet. Then as you shuffle your deck you can ask some of the following questions:
- What would serve my highest good right now?
- What message is my highest self trying to tell me?
- What within me needs to be healed right now?
If you do know what you want to manifest, close your eyes and focus on your intention. Hold it in your mind for a few moments, then shuffle your cards as you ask “what do I need to know or do to aid me in receiving my desire.”
Then pull one to three cards that feel right to you (sometimes a card will “jump” out of the deck, those are meant for you) and contemplate what they mean.
Keep the card or cards out and look at them daily. Ask what lesson you can learn from them, see if they inspire you to take action to create what you want.
6. Use the New Moon to Set Intentions
The New Moon is a time for new beginnings, which means it’s the perfect time to set an intention for what you want to manifest.
Since you cannot see the moon at this time, it symbolizes a blank slate. You get a fresh start to call in anything you desire.
On the night of the new moon use any of the methods we talked about above to set your intentions. You can set intentions for multiple areas of your life or just focus on one thing.
I highly recommend creating a ritual of activities you enjoy. Take a bath, put on something really cozy, light some candles, pull a tarot card, journal, and maybe do a meditation.
Then write down your intentions and tune into the feelings they bring up (excitement, gratitude, love, etc). Speak the following out loud:
“Universe, I desire (your intention)…I am open and ready to receive this or something better, for the greatest good of all involved. And so it is.”
After You Set the Intentions You Want to Manifest…
Commit to taking action when your intuition nudges you. As you receive your desires remember to thank the universe and feel gratitude.
If you feel doubt about your ability to manifest what you want, remember that you are a powerful creation of the universe. We are what we believe we are, so you get to decide that you can receive everything you desire.
You may also enjoy: