“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
This poignant quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer reinforces what we’ve been told for years: positive thinking can change your life.
When I was first diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease, my world was turned upside-down. I quickly realized that to be happy and live with purpose, I had to change the way I looked at things. My goals, my vision for the future and all my preconceptions on how life should look had to change.
However, it wasn’t until I listened to Dyer’s inspiring lecture called “The Secrets of The Power of Intention” that I realized changing our thoughts isn’t enough.
Dyer’s philosophy is this: to be happy, successful and flush with abundance, we must recognize one simple fact—the law of attraction exists.
Here’s the caveat: according to Dyer, we don’t attract what we think into our lives; we attract what we are. Imagine my devastation! After all, I want to be healthy. If we attract what we are, does that mean I can only attract more sickness?
Fortunately, Dyer has a solution. We can take positive thinking to the next level by setting positive intentions. If we purposefully and consistently set positive intentions, we will set ourselves up for success. We will become our intentions.
Dyer says that by setting these intentions daily, we will start to become our intentions, bringing what we want into our lives by effectively harnessing the power of positive thinking. But here’s the kicker: the words we use to phrase our intentions are crucial.
Now, you may be wondering, if the words we use matter so much, how do we know which ones to choose? And once we’ve found them, how can we use them to effect real change in our lives?
Here are my five tips for creating effective and powerful intentions:
1. When constructing your intention, be sure to throw out any negatives.
(e.g. “I intend not to be sick.” “Not” is a negative word; it won’t work. Find the positive alternative: “I intend to be healthy.”)
2. Stay in the present tense.
Placing your energy in the past or future will get you just that—an intention that will never be where you are right now. Even though I’m not presently healthy or flush with energy, my intentions are, “I intend to be healthy. I have all the energy I need.” Remember, we attract what we are, so if we want our lives to change, we need to first change how we view ourselves now.
3. Write down your positive intentions, and read them out loud every day.
Hearing them spoken in your own voice makes them feel more real and believable. Some people post them on their bathroom mirror. I have a journal where I write down my intentions every morning. Some stay the same, but others may relate to what that specific day will bring. This is especially helpful when you want to hack something you’re stressing about.
4. Make it a ritual!
Pick a set time every day, and commit to writing or speaking your positive intentions. Personally, I do mine before breakfast, because it’s my favorite meal of the day, and if my rule is that I can’t eat until I set my intentions, you can bet your life I’m going to do it! (Bonus: Doing this in the morning helps you plan for an amazing day, and more clearly defines your purpose.)
5. Be kind to yourself.
Hacking positive intentions (and consequently transforming your life) isn’t as simple as changing the radio station. However, the beauty of it is that we’re quite literally changing neurological pathways built up over a lifetime. So be sure to treat yourself with kindness and celebrate your awesomeness for trying to bring real, positive change into your life. After all, the world doesn’t care if you’re not perfect the first time around. All that matters is that you show up.
Author: Kaitlyn Guay
Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Lauren Peng/Unsplash