Intention Series: How to Create Powerful Intentions

Post image for Intention Series: How to Create Powerful Intentions

by Jo-Ann Downey on September 30, 2010

in Manifesting

To bake a great cake you need the correct ingredients and sufficient baking time. The process is similar with intentions.  To create powerful intentions you need the correct ingredients and ample time.

Intentions can be general or very specific and they can be on any level- physical, financial, social, mental, emotional, etc.  Examples include being naturally in harmony with others, gracefully taking your vitamins every day, or easily manifesting a new career – the list is infinite.

My intention is to gracefully write an inspiring article about how to create powerful intentions.

How to Create an Intention

Below are 8 essential elements, or ingredients, to create powerful intentions:

1)      Meaningful to You
Intentions are what you want to manifest. Authentic and powerful intentions do not try to manipulate or control others or their behavior.  Nor do they wish for something to be different than the way it is.  You accept what is and step into the opportunity to create what you want!  Your intention is YOUR call to action- “I am…”, “My intention is…”. “I now..”, etc.

A meaningful intention is sincere and promotes well-being.

2)     Present Tense of the End Result
An intention is represented in the end result you want to achieve- the present tense of what you want today, and your future, to look like. It is not a “to do” list.  An intention is complete and directs your choices and your energy.

You may wonder if this is not being truthful to yourself because you are not there yet, however, an intention is an acknowledgement that what you want to manifest starts with a thought.  As shared in “Choose Your Thoughts Well”, thoughts precede every action, and action determines results.

3)     Expansive
Since you do not know how good it can be, do not limit yourself to what you can receive!  During the process of setting an intention set aside any limiting thoughts or beliefs. For example, “I am meeting my financial obligations” (limiting) versus “I am easily and gracefully experiencing financial prosperity.”   Go for it- allow for miracles in your life.

4)     Achievable & Believable to You
You should feel that your intention is achievable and believable.  A stretch is good, however, too much of a stretch is self-defeating.   You may experience some emotional resistance (especially in the beginning), however, this is usually your ego getting in your way!  Remember, change is hard for most of us.

You need to believe, feel, and/or experience that the manifestation of your intention can really be true for you.  Can you feel, or perhaps visualize, having the experience you want to have?

5)     Positive
An intention is stated in the positive, or what you want, versus what you don’t want.  It is a new, or fresh, idea and not a redo of the past.  It is a positive mental image of what you want to manifest.  For example, “I am easily and joyfully maintaining a my ideal body weight” versus “I am not overweight.”

6)     Being versus Doing- Call in Grace and Ease
Intentions include how you want to receive the manifestation of your intention.  How will you be with yourself, others, and the universe during the process of manifesting your intention?  How, energetically, will your intention manifest?  You will be best served to use words like easily, gracefully, peacefully, naturally, joyfully, harmoniously, etc.  Why not?

7)     Empowering Words
Since your intention is 100% believable to you, do not use the words “always” or “never” because that is unrealistic.  Also, avoid the word “should” because it has an obligatory essence versus and expansive energy.  As shared in “What is an Intention?  Why are Intentions Important?”, the process of setting and working towards your intentions declares to yourself, others, and the universe that you are serious about your dreams and goals.  Use empowering thoughts and language.

8)     Clear and Concise
Clarity is important. Exactly what do you want your experience to look and feel like? The shorter, the better.  Long intentions tend to get, and keep you, in your head.  The best intentions are clear and concise.  And being brief has a natural way of keeping space open for surprises!

So how long does it take to formulate an intention?  In my experience, intentions take several hours, often over several days, to formulate.  I will start with an idea, write it down, try it on for size, modify it, try it on for size, etc.   You will know when you have your perfect intention because each word, and the sum of the words, will feel perfect to you.  Your intention will feel expansive, light, uplifting, freeing, joyful, and peaceful.

And don’t forget, use intentions for both personal and professional aspirations.

You may also want to read “The Secret Sauce of Intentions”.

Comments and intentions welcome!  The name you type in the comment section (for example, Jo-Ann, Jo-Ann Downey or Jo-Ann from Boston) will appear on the site.  Your email address will NOT appear.  If you provide a website URL (for example, your business or your blog URL),  it will be linked to your name so others can learn more about you.

photo credit: inkyhack

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jo-Ann Downey September 27, 2015 at 10:12 am

Thank you! Jo-Ann

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Mar February 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Thank you for your Braces story, for showing the tool of Intention with all of it’s aspects to practice. When I see “Very Smart Girls” in my inbox, I anticipate happily to read it and BE in that wonderful ‘space’ of Jo-Ann Downey grounding gifts. Bless you for the Peace and understanding your sharing brings.
Tenderly, Mar


Jo-Ann Downey February 4, 2015 at 6:04 pm

I am so deeply touched by your sharing. My traffic statistics show that people come to my blog, however, it is input from kind souls like you that keep me writing. Blessings be, Jo-Ann


ryno January 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

Hi there – the reality of the power of intention should be drilled into EVERY SINGLE child born on this planet, it is the ultimate spiritual tool in the right hands. Intention nursed with emotion and perseverance delivers like ringing a bell


Jo-Ann Downey January 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm

ryno- thank you for your positive energy regarding intentions and for adding your valuable input about perseverance and the emotional element! Jo-Ann


Danielle June 4, 2012 at 5:32 am

I am so happy to have stumbled upon your site! I am a transformational healtha nd wellness coach that helps to empower spiritually minded women to heal blocks in their lives so they can access their true virtues createing the lives they are meant to live with purpose and joy! I have a client in this morning and want to start with having her create intentions. They are so important and the first step to clarity. Thank you for this informative guide, it will make explaining the “how” to create an intention so much easier! I will be back to visit often and thanks again! Good luck with all you are doing, you have something really great here!


Jo-Ann Downey June 4, 2012 at 7:28 am


I’m so glad to hear that you like Very Smart Girls and I acknowledge and applaud what you are doing! I went to your website and it is inspiring. Joy, abundance, and radiant health to you and your clients.


wendy January 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

Understanding intentions is so important. It has helped me to manifest many things in my life. Your explanation of an intention is wonderful. Thank you for your insight :)


Jo-Ann Downey January 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thank you for reading my blog and being a great example of the power of intentions – let’s spread the word! Jo-Ann


Ryan Malone October 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

JD – You always write these articles at the most opportune times for me. I had started spending some time on intentions in my own life and how I start my day. I even hung a sign on my office wall that reads “You’ll never know what tomorrow will bring, but you can choose whether you win or lose today.”

Thanks for always writing stuff that makes me better.

you rock.



Jo-Ann Downey October 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm


Thank you- my intention is to easily, gracefully and joyfully assist you and others! I acknowledge you for your dedication to leading a conscious life- great work!


AAN October 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

i have subscribed your article,..your article so inspiring me..especially the topic of thought and intention..
I have a question , can the intention work in relationship ? like to attract a girl or to try to build a new relationship . i hope could use intention to build new relationship, can it work ?
I also share with you my favorite quote to you , hope you like it..^_^
Mind precedes all mental states
Mind is their Chief
They are all mind -wrought
If with an impure mind
a person speak or acts,
Suffering follow him like the wheel
that follow the foot of the ox

Mind precedes all mental states
Mind is their Chief
They are all mind -wrought
If with a pure mind
a person speak or acts,
Happiness follows him
like his never-departing shadow

Dhammapada 1 :1,2


Jo-Ann Downey October 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Yes- intentions work to manifest relationships! Intentions are very personal, however, you may consider something like “I am easily and gracefully co-creating a joyful life with my life partner” or “I am joyfully 100% present and available to receive my life partner relationship.” Just some food for thought to get you started. The fact that you are thinking of creating an intention actually starts the process, so you are on your way! Thank you for sharing your favorite quote- it really reasonates for me. You might find my next blog interesting and related to the quote you shared- stay tuned 😉


Jo-Ann Downey March 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Thank you!


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