How To Set an Intention for Manifestation: 8 Critical Steps

You know want manifestation is and you’re ready to get started.

The first step is to decide on your intentions.

But what are they?

And how do you set them for yourself?

Since intentions are the cornerstone of manifestation, they’re an important practice to get right. Although it’s a fun activity, it should be something you’re serious about and ready to put deep thought into.

If you’re wondering how to set an intention for manifestation, you’ve come to the right place.


What is an Intention?

When it comes to the law of attraction and manifestation, everyone is talking about intentions. But what are they really?

An intention is simply something you intend to be, do or have.

For example, you can intend to have happy day. You can intend to make more money this year. You can intend to meditate more. When you decide on something you want, you can set a specific intention for it. You can use this intention to guide your daily thoughts, actions or practices.

In essence, setting intensions allows you to get the wheels of manifestation moving. They are a tool you can use when working with the law of attraction.


When Should You Set Intentions?

Before jumping into how to set an intention for manifestation, when is the best time to do so? People set intensions at different times. You can set them, change them or update them whenever you want.

The most popular times to set intentions are:

  • New years— When everyone is seeking out change. You can use this energy to boost your own manifestation and intension setting goals. Or, maybe that’s too cliché for you and you hate New Year’s resolutions.
  • New month— Maybe something happened in the last month to make you realize you can’t wait out on change.
  • New season— As the seasons change, it can be a good symbolic reminder to set your intentions.
  • Your birthday— Every year you grow older, you realize you have less time on earth and probably want to make the most out of what you have left. Setting manifestation intentions can be a good way to make that happen.
  • New moons— Some people believe that the energy around the new moon is a great time to set an intention for manifestation.

Remember that although there’s popular times to set intentions, you can set it whenever you want. If you want to manifest and you’re clear on your intentions, why wait?

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How To Set an Intention for Manifestation: 8 Steps

How To Set an Intention for Manifestation

If you’re wondering how to set an intention for manifestation, we’ll go over the basics here. They include:

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#1 Prepare Your Space

Setting an intention for manifestation is a special activity and it should be treated that way. Instead of pressuring yourself to sit down and write down your goals, see it as a spiritual activity.

To relax, it often helps to create a comforting environment—one that calls in good energy and makes you feel as if it’s a sacred ritual. Here are some ideas:

  • Play soft music
  • Dim the lights
  • Light candles
  • Put essential oils in a diffuser
  • Light incense
  • Have crystals around


#2 Meditate

To get clear on your intentions, it’s probably helpful to meditate. That’s because we have so many thoughts going through our brains each day that it can be difficult to focus. For example, you’ll be trying to think of your intentions while you keep getting bothered about what you need to add to your grocery list. Although this is normal, meditation can help tone down these irrelevant thoughts.

If you’ve never meditated before, it can be challenging—but worth it! If you’re just getting started, try this simple 5-minute meditation. You could also just sit for a few moments and aim to breathe slowly and pay attention to only your breathe. As your thoughts drift, remind yourself to bring your attention back to your breath.

If meditation isn’t for you, you may do another activity that focuses your thoughts. For example, using an adult coloring book, knitting, or doing yoga can all help keep your body busy and let your mind rest, focusing on the activity.

If you think meditation is a waste, consider that it’s been proven to help focus. Having this extra focus can help you set better intensions for manifesting.



#3 Brainstorm

If you already know your intentions, you can jump into writing them. For most of us though, we’ll need to brainstorm what is is that we truly want.

What helps me is to break it down into categories:

  • Relationships— Family, friendships, romantic relationships, dating, pets.
  • Career— Changes, improvements, promotions, side businesses, entrepreneurship, personal projects.
  • Financial— Income, saving money, manifesting money for specific goals.
  • Fun— Travel, hobbies, new things to see, try and do.
  • Self-Improvement— New things to learn, mental wellness, self-care, exercise, health, diet.

Of course, you may not have goals in each category. Maybe you have one category that’s really important for you right now. Whichever the case, it’s ok. These are your intentions and intentions are highly personal.

Choose the category/categories that appeal to you and start writing down what you’d want to manifest. To start, it’s helpful if these are short bullet points. They don’t need to be solid or complete thoughts. You’re just brainstorming right now. Do this until you’re out of ideas or until you feel satisfied with your list.

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#4 Form Intentions

Next step is to actually form your intentions. This should be easy now that you’ve made bullet points in each category. Go over your thoughts and see which ones stick out to you.

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For example, maybe in self-improvement category you want to set an intention for more than one thing. Let’s say you want to read more and you want to workout more. Look at your bullet points about those two goals and form each into an intention.

Another tip is to make sure your intentions are positive instead of negative. For example, instead of saying “I intend to be less lazy” you could say, “I intend to have more energy.” Another one: “I intend to eat less junk food” could be replaced with “I intend to eat more fresh foods.”

Here are some examples of intentions:

  • I intend to get a promotion this year.
  • I intend to start my side business this year.
  • I intend to love myself.
  • I intend to develop healthy romantic relationships.
  • I intend to take at least one vacation this year.
  • I intend to save a portion of my income each month.
  • I intend to be calm amongst chaos.
  • I intend to ask for help if I need it.

Remember that you probably won’t know how your intentions will come true. That’s ok. That’s not your job right now. In this moment, you’re simply learning how to set an intention for manifestation. The “how” piece and the action comes later.


#5 Write Down Your Intentions

After you’ve solidified one or a few intentions, formally write them down in a list. This could be a written list. Or one saved on your phone. Or one on your computer. It’s up to you how you write it down.

I recommend 2 ways:

  1. Original written copy— Write your intentions down by hand and keep it in a special location. This could be in your jewelry box, in a special bowl or in an altar. If you want, you can surround it with spiritual items, like dried flowers, herbs or crystals.
  2. Everyday copy— As each day seems to get busier, it can be easy to forget that we made intentions let alone what they are. To help prevent this, I think having a second copy that’s easy accessible is a good idea. For example, have your small list of intentions saved in your Notes app on your phone. Or as your desktop wallpaper. Make a promise to yourself to try to visit these every day. These will keep your intentions front of mind and could help to boost the manifestation process.


#6 Practice Your Intentions

After you’ve set your manifestation intentions, you should come up with a plan of how you’ll actually practice them. It isn’t enough to just write them down. You have to solidify them in your brain. As this happens, you’re more likely to see or seek out opportunities that align with your desires.

How you practice your intentions is up to you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write each down a certain number of times, as if you’re writing lines in a detention
  • Get an adult coloring book and write your intentions within the shapes you’ve colored
  • Repeat them during meditation
  • Repeat them using mala beads (here’s how to set an intention for manifestation using mala beads)
  • Read them each day
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#7 Take Action

Some people will tell you that that’s it. You set an intention. Now you wait and do nothing. Just wait. Keep waiting. Keep waiting. Keep waiting.

I don’t agree with that. The Secret made the law of attraction seem like a fairy god mother whose only purpose is to grant your wishes. That’s just not true.

As you begin practicing your intentions, you should also be in the real world deciding how to take action. Although some people think the law of attraction works like magic, there’s actually a psychological reason it works: When you think of something enough, you’re more likely to see opportunities and take action on it. This is a critical piece.

If it helps, you can make mini goals/action steps inside each intention. For example, if you intend to start a side business maybe your mini action steps are to:

  • Research the market
  • Test products
  • Set up a website
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Save money for a marketing budget


#8 Update and Reflect

Intentions are meant to be worked on and reflected upon.

When you’re first wondering how to set an intention for manifestation, you’re probably set on the ones you decide. Over time that can change though. Maybe your goals in life change and there’s more important things you intend. For example, maybe driving that sports car seems like an unimportant goal and now you’d rather focus on intending to strengthen your relationship with your children. It’s okay, normal and healthy to change your intentions.

From time to time, sit down with your list. Decide which intentions are still important to you. Decide which ones aren’t. If appropriate, add to your list. If you need to, modify or reword intentions so that they feel better to you.

If you didn’t get what you wanted and you still have that intention, perhaps consider action steps you can take toward it. Or, maybe your way at approaching it was too intense or needy and you need to draw in a healthier energy for it.


Summary on How to Set an Intention for Manifestation

How To Set an Intention for Manifestation

If you’re just learning how to set an intention for manifestation, imagine for a second the world is your oyster. What do you want? After using the tips above to brainstorm a few ideas, form them in official intentions. Store these written phrases in a special place. It’s also helpful to keep the list somewhere you can read every day, such as your phone. Of course, the next step after setting an intention is to get the gears moving by taking action on the opportunities that come your way.


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YoHumanz is a blog dedicated to helpful and inspirational content about being human today—written in a non-bullshitty, (hopefully) more approachable way. We focus on 3 main areas: Heart, Brain and Soul.

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