Maia Toll
Wishes rarely come true.

Wishes aren’t the same as intentions. Think about it: can you even remember half the wishes you made as you blew out the candles on your numerous birthday cakes? Did you think about them much after the moment of wishing?

A wish has very little energy behind it. It’s a thought on the wind, a vague hope.

But an intention? Now that’s another story. Or at least it should be.

Let’s start with the basics:

An intention is not the same thing as a wish.

If a wish is a vague hope, an intention is an expertly shot arrow.

Sure, every once in a while a complete neophyte hits the target (and a random wish might, too), but if you want to have any degree of success at this whole intending thing, you need to treat it like art… or like archery:  you must hone your craft and become one hell of a marksman.

The best way to do this?

Use the power of intentions daily.

Intending should be like brushing your teeth; you do it at least twice a day, even when you don’t feel well.

‘Cause guess what?

This whole intention-setting thing is simply about living intentionally.

It’s about focus and awareness: the same skills you need to be a good driver or a good mom.

Intending is a daily practice.

Which means that you’re honing your craft on small things… which isn’t the way we normally think about intentions.

We pull out the intending mojo when we want something big and life-changing: a new love, a new home, a new job or maybe a special trip. We brush off our intending magic when we are feeling a lack: of money, of time, of compassion.

It’s kind of like only praying when someone is dying; you’re suddenly making deals with God… even though you haven’t had so much as a conversation in decades.
Living intentionally isn't about deals. It isn't about pulling it off. It's about daily focus. Click To Tweet

Which, on the surface, isn’t sexy. But when you dig deeper, you’ll find it’s an opportunity to bring creativity and meaning into your life.

Ready to do some really grounded, Earth-based intending?

Start by looking up!

The moon has a cycle. It begins at the New Moon (the dark of the moon) and then the moon grows slowly, night over night, until it’s Full. From there, it ebbs, shrinking down until it’s New again.

Linking to this ebb and flow creates a rich intention practice: when the moon is New, set an intention for growth. And when the moon is Full, set an intention for releasing whatever isn’t serving you.

So, for instance, this past New Moon I set an intention for the garden that I am working on. My intention is simply to step into this beautiful work and build with gentle grace. Note that I did not intend to suddenly get a new tractor.

My intentions are daily-sized!

And what I am doing by setting it is energizing and paying deep attention and reverence to my own life.

Work with simple intentions:

You can intend to go to bed earlier, eat healthier, call your kids more (or less!)… you can energize a project like painting a room or planting a garden.

Do you really want to go big?

If you use the energy of the moon, then over the course of the year there will be 13 new moons with which to align your intentions.

Most of us really don’t want 13 big life changes a year!

Which means many of your intentions will be simple. They will call energy into the dailyness of your life while at the same time working your mojo-muscle so that when you need to pull off the big stuff, you know how to do it.

Here’s the trick of it, whether you are working with the daily-sized intentions or the big life-changing mama-jamas:

Be super clear.

Oh, the stories I can tell about ill-conceived intentions! I tell my students to create a web (we use Spider energy!) and look at the effects on various areas of your life.

Return to the intention daily and recommit to it.

I use a little frankincense essential oil to help me ground and center my thoughts.

Just put a drop on your palm, rub your hands together, and then cup your hands over your nose and breathe!

Speak your intention out loud and listen for anything that rings false or feels incomplete so that you can correct your course.

Release anything that’s getting in the way.

Sage smoke is my favorite tool for this. If you don’t know how, I give more information in this blog post where there’s a download for a cheat sheet at the end of the post.

Take action steps to make it happen.

In my world, setting an intention comes with 3 action steps. Period.

And if your intentions aren’t coming to fruition, ask yourself this: are you treating your intentions like wishes?

Okay, your turn: 1 daily-sized intention, 3 action steps.