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Setting Daily Intentions: A Spiritual Exercise for Growth and Clarity

Before diving in, understand that setting daily intentions is a deeply personal and customizable process: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The practice I’m about to share should serve as a starting point for you to customize and make your own. The magic lies in personalizing it to resonate with you.

What is an intention?

An intention isn’t merely a wish—and it’s different from a goal. Setting an intention is a purposeful awareness of how you want to experience something. It can help you navigate your day with mindfulness, ensuring you are aligned with your goals and values.

The Role of Wishes, Goals, and Intentions in Spiritual Development

In any spiritual practice or path toward enlightenment, the concepts of wishes, goals, and intentions serve as indispensable tools. Each has its unique role and function, forming a holistic framework that guides your spiritual journey.

Wishes can be thought of as the initial sparks that ignite the soul’s yearning. Often ethereal and undefined, they’re the raw material of our spiritual aspirations. Whether it’s a wish for inner peace, compassion, or deeper wisdom, these wishes are the primal forces that drive us to seek something beyond the mundane.

Goals, in contrast, are the milestones on your spiritual path. These are quantifiable and often tied to actionable steps, serving as checkpoints that keep you aligned with your spiritual objectives. Be it mastering a particular meditation technique or engaging in acts of kindness for a set period, goals offer a concrete structure that directs your spiritual energy purposefully.

Intentions, on the other hand, are your spiritual compass. These are present-focused affirmations that guide your daily actions and choices in alignment with your spiritual aspirations. Whether it’s an intention to be more mindful, to live authentically, or to connect with the divine, intentions serve to integrate your spiritual practice into your daily life, making every moment an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Thus, wishes set the stage for spiritual quests; goals outline the path; and intentions illuminate the way, ensuring that each step is in harmony with your innermost values and spiritual aims. Collectively, they provide a comprehensive toolkit that can be used not just for personal or professional development, but for transcendent pursuits such as spiritual growth and enlightenment.

How to Set an Intention

Step 1: Choose the Time Frame

This could be for a day, a specific meeting, or even a lunar cycle. The choice is yours. I am currently focusing on setting daily intentions to guide me through each day.

Step 2: Visualization

Close your eyes and think about how you’d like to feel today. If it’s difficult to pinpoint the feeling, think about areas of your life that are going well—or not well—and identify the emotions attached to those experiences.

Step 3: Select Your Intention

Make a list of words that align with your desired feeling. Narrow it down to one or two. These will be your intentions for the day.

Step 4: Ritualize It

  1. Choose a quiet spot in your home.
  2. Light a candle or incense, or hold a crystal.
  3. Close your eyes for a 3-5 minute meditation to clear your mind.
  4. Focus on your intention. If you wish, say it out loud.
  5. Let go of your intention, trusting the universe to receive it. If you wrote it on a piece of paper, burn it or place it in a jar for future reflection.

Rituals and Tools to Support Your Intention Setting

Crystal Infusion

Crystals are known for their unique vibrational frequencies that can enhance various aspects of your life. If you’re new to working with crystals, start by selecting one that resonates with the intention you’ve set. For example, if your intention is to attract love, rose quartz could be your go-to crystal. Hold the crystal while setting your intention, or place it in a spot where you’ll see it often. The visual and tactile connection to the crystal can serve as a constant reminder of your intention throughout the day.

Morning Meditation

Meditation is an excellent tool for gaining mental clarity and reducing stress. Spend 3-5 minutes in the morning meditating on your intention. Imagine scenarios where your intention comes to life; feel the emotions associated with it. This daily practice not only helps to imprint your intention into your subconscious but also prepares you mentally for the day ahead.

Letting Go

The act of “letting go” can be therapeutic and serve as a form of release. Write down your intention on a piece of paper. Then, either burn it (safely, of course!) or place it in a “letting go jar.” This act symbolizes your trust in the universe to manifest your intentions, and it allows you to detach from the outcome, thereby reducing anxiety or expectations.


Taking time to reflect on your intention at the end of the day or at the end of a set timeframe is crucial for your personal growth. This reflection helps you understand how the intention impacted your day, what worked, what didn’t, and whether you need to fine-tune or change your intention for the future. It’s a form of self-accountability that can be highly enlightening.

Using Intention Cards

Another interesting tool for setting daily intentions is the use of intention cards. Some people opt for tarot or oracle cards to guide them. Choose or draw a card and let its message set the tone for your day. Write the message at the top of your journal page and spend a few minutes reflecting on its relevance to your life. This practice adds an element of spontaneity and external guidance to your intention-setting.

Letting Go and Trusting the Universe

After setting your intention, let it go. Add it to a jar or burn the paper on which you wrote it. At the end of a time frame that you choose—a month or a year perhaps—open the jar and reflect on the intentions that manifested.

Our Search for Meaning

Like the choice of picking an intention card, we all have choices in most realms of our lives, and the choices we make today can affect the trajectory of the rest of our lives. The choice can be as simple as setting an intention that highlights something that gives our life meaning.

Setting daily intentions allows you to align with your inner wisdom and infuse your day with purpose. It is a great addition to incorporate into a simple daily practice that can help you on your spiritual journey. Customize the practice to make it your own, and trust the process.

Life is not about following a prescribed set of rules; it’s about being more YOU. So choose your vibe, set your intentions, and watch the magic unfold in your daily life.