/blogs/mindful-moments/don-t-just-set-intentions-rewire-your-brain-heres-how Don’t Just Set Intentions, Rewire Your Brain. Here's How. – Generation Mindful

Don’t Just Set Intentions, Rewire Your Brain. Here's How.


By Ashley Patek

Setting intentions for 2021

According to thought leaders in the field of manifestation such as Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, and Joe Lipton, and research from best-selling author Joe Dispenza, D.C., (Evolve Your Brain, and Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One), how we think and feel creates our state of being. 

For example, let’s say that you wake up in the morning and the first thing that pops into your mind is the battle you had with your child during virtual learning, a disagreement that you had with your partner the week before, or something rooted deep within your childhood. These past events are circuits or memories in the brain.

With each memory, there is an attached emotion. So if you are thinking about your problems or what you don’t have, it evokes emotions of stress, worry, or fear, and these thoughts and feelings dictate your state of being. The opposite is true as well. If you focus on your present and generate thoughts of love, gratitude, and abundance, you will likely feel happy, calm, and determined, which also shapes your being. 

More often than not, this process is unconscious. By the time we are 35-years-old, 95% of who we are is a memorized set of behaviors, emotional reactions, unconscious habits, hardwired attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that function similar to a computer program. And if your program is operating from a familiar past, you will create a predictable future. Plainly put, if you are spending your time today thinking, feeling, and acting the same way you did yesterday and the day before that, you will hardwire these concepts, beliefs, and rituals into your life. And if we keep living the same patterns, we will continue to reinforce the same circuits. 

As co-creators to our life, we have the power to become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to rewire our internal circuit boards, manifesting what we truly desire. 

Here are three steps to rewire your brain

1) Set Your Intention

What would you like to create for yourself and others in 2022?

Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul, discusses the principle of intention - the golden rule which is born from the third law of motion and physics that states that which you put out, you will receive back. 

We are ever creating and choosing what we create. Every minute of every day, we are broadcasting our magnetic feeling nature, so, when you give thought to something and you feel for it, it draws attention to it. 

As you set intentions, be mindful as to the why behind your intention. The energy of the intention will automatically create an equal effect. For example, if you want to create more abundance in your life but often think about what you don’t have, compare yourself to others, or feel an overall sense of lack, you will attract more lack. You can write “I am abundant” on a piece of paper a zillion times, but if you don’t feel abundant, you won't attract abundance. 

Yet, if your intention comes from acceptance of where you are, rather than resistance, and you feel like you are already living your dream, then you will attract the like. Wake each day as if your prayers have already been answered and your dreams are already a reality. When you do this, your subconscious mind begins to believe that what you are feeling for in the future is your current state, and it begins to act as if your dream is here right now in this moment. 

If it feels too unattainable to use "I am" statements, start slowly with saying, "May I feel abundant" or "What if I feel abundant?" as a foundation to work from.  

2) Focus Your Intention

After you recognize your intention, imagine what it will look like using all five senses. What does it feel like when you achieve what you want to achieve? What are you wearing? What is the weather like? Who is with you? Paint a mental picture so clear that it is like looking at a page from a storybook. 

Imagine your vision as if you were living it today. Bring your dream into form through time by emotionally charging it, seeing it with the mind, and believing it with the heart. This delivers a believing capacity and magnetizes what you want to bring into reality. The more clarity you can give your intention, the more lucid it will be delivered. 

Acting as if you already have what you want is not about playing pretend or ignoring your current situation but rather about realizing that the point of power is in how you focus on the present moment and deliberately direct your attention towards what you want.

3) Tune Your Emotional Guidance System

Our bodies are a biofeedback system. If we are in alignment with our intention, we will feel calm, happy, focused, and other pleasant emotions. If we are not in alignment, we feel feelings of stress, worry, fear, and other unpleasant emotions. When we tune in and listen to our body’s natural guidance system - aka our emotions - we can better discern whether we are living in concord with our highest and best, or if we are in resistance with it. 

As soon as we feel off track, we can return to well-being by reminding ourselves with clarity of the picture of the life we want to live so that we can broadcast the feeling for it and feel from that image as if we are already living it. This creates a shift and returns us to the state of receiving.

Here are two ways to put these steps into practice:

1) Choose A Word For 2022

The start of each year often begins with setting a resolution - a goal that you plan to achieve in the breath of the new year. Maybe it is to join a new gym, spend more time with family, or put more money into savings. Usually, these start strong and fade in the facade of feeling unattainable or “too big.” In fact, of the 41% of Americans who make New Year's resolutions, 92% fail to follow through with them. 

An alternative to this is to choose one word for the new year. One word that offers simplicity and focuses on how you want to act, feel, or be in all aspects of your life, influencing a real change through a variety of activities and paths. This one-word mantra may be something such as clarity, action, balance, health, or self-care, to name a few. 

To choose your word: 

  1. Determine the kind of person you want to become/what you want for your life.
  2. Identify the characteristics of that person/of what you desire.
  3. Discover and pick your word. 
  4. Write your word in a journal or on sticky notes to place around your home or workspace to remind you of your word as you move throughout your day.

2) Create A Vision Board

Another tool to set an intention for yourself is to create a vision board. A vision board relates to your life direction, using posters with images and text as a visual representation for your goals. Putting your goals on paper in a visual format in a space you can see often will essentially allow for short visualization practices throughout the day. This has been shown to enhance motivation, confidence, and motor performance and increases the likelihood of manifesting and achieving your goals. 

When creating your vision board, it is important to focus on how you want to feel, not just on the material things that you want. The more you focus on how you want to feel, the more it will come to life. Here are the steps to creating a vision board: 

  1. Turn off distractions and ask yourself, “What does 2022 hold for me, my family, my work?” Quietly listen to the answer as you self-reflect. 
  2. Hold this question in your mind as you skim magazines, pulling out pages that help you pull into focus your intentions for 2022. Spend about 10 minutes choosing vivid and attractive images that draw your attention and bring clarity to your vision. 
  3. Spend the next 10 minutes creating your vision board, organizing and pasting your magazine-finds, and decorating it. Add inspirational note cards or meaningful trinkets to your board to give it the feel you desire. 
  4. Spend another 10 minutes sharing your board with others, vocalizing, and using descriptive words to give color to your vision. 

Your vision board is a powerful way to pull in various senses to bring your intentions to form. Think of your board as a living thing - changeable and adaptable. As you achieve or attune throughout the year, feel free to remove or add portions. 

As we set intentions for the new year or otherwise, focus on what you do desire and feel for it as if you are already living it. Giving gratitude for what you do have helps bring focus into the here and now as you live into your word or vision for your life. We can become anything we dream, so start dreaming and doing the conscious work of manifesting.


Free printables on setting intentions with your children this new year. Inspire mindful living in your home or classroom with children ages 3+.

This two page illustrated printable asks, "How do I want to feel at the end of the day?", a powerful question to pause and consider with your children every morning to inspire mindful living.


For a free set of printable calming strategies and video on how to use time-ins, join our mailing list. Generation Mindful creates educational tools, toys, and programs that nurture emotional intelligence through play and positive discipline. 

Join us and receive positive parenting tools and support in your inbox each week.

Time-in Toolkit in action

GENM's positive parenting course


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