Last week, on a decluttering campaign, I found a piece of paper which was dated March 2012. On the top of the page I’d written What I want … and it was followed by a long series of bullet points. The list felt rather random: it covered a wide range of things relating to many different aspects of my life. The thing that gave me pause was that, without exception, every single one of them had come true.
I was really struck by this and even more so because I hadn’t made a conscious effort to ‘make all the things on the list come true.’ I hadn’t stuck the list up on the wall, or attached it to the fridge door with magnets, or incorporated it into a dream or vision board. I’d written the list and seemingly forgotten about it. But the thing was that I had written it. I’d set the intention. This may sound ridiculously simplistic, but there’s a great power in getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
There are lots of famous examples of this. Before he hit the big time, Jim Carrey walked up to the Hollywood Hills and wrote a cheque to himself for ten million dollars. He carried that cheque around with him and now gets paid that amount and more for a movie. When Noel Edmunds was out of work several years ago, he wrote down that he wanted a hit TV show and he wanted it by October. He got the call about hosting the TV show ‘Deal or No Deal’ in August of that year.
We’re only six weeks into 2014 and so this could be a great time to set your intentions for the rest of the year. You could write a list of bullet points as I did. Give the list your own title and then just start writing whatever comes into your head. Try not to over-think this or analyse too much. See if you can give a voice to all those things that you’d love to be, do or have that might have become forgotten or submerged over the years. If something comes up and you feel an emotional reaction to it — from fear to excitement — put a star by that one. It’ll be one to pay attention to.
Another great way to set the intention is to project yourself into the future and write a paragraph describing how things will be when your life is the way that you want it to be. Make this description as vivid as you can and, most importantly, write it in the present tense as if it’s already happened. There’s something incredibly powerful about this exercise and the very act of writing it in the present tense has a way of making what you wish for so much more real.
If you’d like to explore this further, there’s an excellent book called Write it Down, Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser. In her introduction she writes: ‘Setting your intent, focusing on the outcome, being clear about what you want in life can make your dreams come true … The first step is to write down your goal’.