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Intentions are the cool older cousin of New Year’s Resolutions – the one you only see once a year because she lives at the beach in California with her free-spirited mom, but they always come home for the holidays.

New Year’s Resolutions are about hard work, willpower, and fixing what’s “wrong” with you. Intentions, though, are about desire: what do you want this year? 

Resolutions work in the realm of the material and mechanical: pull this lever, get the pellet. Intentions work in the realm of energy: embody the vibration of having the desired thing, and you attract it to you.

The Rider and the Elephant

If you’re rolling your eyes right now, that’s ok. So did I… and I also started running intention experiments, just to see for myself. 

The results were amazing and undeniable, and now I’m completely converted. I still do work in the material realm – “pull levers,” such as writing blog and social media posts, coach, do administrative things, etc. 

But I see that effort differently now. Now I think of it as holding up my tiny end of a co-creation partnership, like I’m the rider of an elephant. The real power is in the intention: the elephant, not the reins.

What Moves the Elephant?


Desire is the energy that moves the elephant. She wants the water, the leaves, the shelter.

Can you feel that? It’s not a shallow want, like social validation or self-improvement (meaningless to an elephant!). It’s a yearning from deep within.

That’s where you’ll find the energy of your intention: in your yearning.

What do you yearn for?

Magnetizing the Intention

Once you identify what you yearn for, go deeper still, into the heart of your desire – the real payoff – your emotions. 

What emotions will you experience when you have the thing you yearn for? 

Imagine having it with as much sensory detail as you can muster: what emotions are you experiencing? What physical sensations do those emotions generate in your body? What do you see, smell, hear, taste, and touch when it comes to you? Let the positive emotions come up big!

Then, every time you think about the desired thing, don’t think about not having it. Go back to the success scene where you imagined having it. Feel the having in your body.

That’s the magnet: the feeling of knowing – and enjoying – that it’s already yours.

I think of my desire as on its way, like something I’ve ordered whose arrival date is a surprise. Until it gets here, I just do my work and allow myself to be giddy with anticipation!

The Steps

It’s a New Year! Set aside a delicious hour to focus on what you want to experience this year. Here are the steps to set intentions.

  1. What do you yearn for?
  2. What emotions will you experience when you have what you yearn for?
  3. Imagine having it. Embody it with all your senses. Let the positive emotions get big! Enjoy the scene!
  4. Linger in this success scene as long as you can – 5-10 minutes. Whenever your yearning comes to mind, revisit the success scene with as much embodiment (sensory and emotional experiencing) as you can conjure.
  5. Do your work knowing what you yearn for is on its way to you.

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