You are always creating your future. You bring it forth through your visions, goals, dreams thoughts, actions, feelings, beliefs and values, . You do this regardless of the level of your conscious awareness. Your present moment awareness along with the future that you deliberately create is a deeper reflection of your subconscious programming.

All of your future goals and dreams are not only a reflection of your subconscious thinking, they are also mediated by your Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS is the part of your brain that serves as a filter between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. The RAS, which is located in your brain stem, takes instructions from your conscious mind, and passes them on to your subconscious mind.

Because of this biological function, whatever you are thinking about or focusing upon will seep down into your subconscious mind only to reappear at a future time. Have you ever bought a car, and then you see that car everywhere? That is how the RAS works!

Creating a vision and setting your intent plays a key role in encouraging your subconscious mind to bring your desired goal into reality. In essence, by creating a vision, you direct the mind on a course towards a goal. When you set your intent you are directing your Reticular Activating System to move towards your desired goal and future.

To set your intent and positively program your RAS, try saying what you want in present tense with action verbs, eg, it is no use saying “I hope to own my own business”, that leaves you hoping, but with no clear results or actions. A better version is “I intend to own my own business by 2022”, or “I own my business” as you are expressing an action with outcomes in the present.

Pay attention to how each of these simple changes in language creates a very different experience. For most people, the first will produce some doubt. In other words, multiple images will appear in your mind going through the different possibilities while the second sentence should produce an experience of you owning your business by that date. Intending for something to happen will get your right into the experience of achieving your goal, along with experiencing all the feelings, images and sounds that go with it. That then will have you take actions in line with that experience and the results in your life should reflect this over time.

When you set your intent, you are connecting your subconscious mind with your conscious will to make something happen. It is like you are sending your Reticular Activating System a message that you are “expecting” “this” to happen, and there is absolutely no room for uncertainty.

Setting your intent is a way of preparing your subconscious mind and the RAS for the kind of journey that you will have and the actions you will take to achieve your desired goal. Setting your goal represents the end result you want to achieve and focus on. When you are clear on your intent, it makes it easier to achieve your goal. 

In Systems Thinking, there is a presupposition that if one part of the system changes, then the rest of the system has to change. Setting your intent is a powerful way of directing your conscious energy and attention towards your future goal, which in turn helps your subconscious mind and RAS stay focused on the desired outcome. Your subconscious mind and conscious mind are a system that co-exists within a larger system that we call reality.

How we think, act, and behave has a direct influence on the greater system of our external reality. When we set our intent, we are influencing both our inner reality, and our outer reality in a way that sets a chain of events into motion. We are bringing forth a new chain of events that are directly related to our deeper subconscious thinking, as well as our overall intent for the desired outcome and journey that unfolds. So, when you set your intent, not only are you sending a positive message to your RAS to create what you want– you are also influencing the greater system around you.

Not only does intent setting work well with goals and creating your optimal future, it’s also extremely useful to do throughout the day. For example, you might set your intent to find a parking space quickly and easily when trying to park your car in a crowded area. Or perhaps you have a big meeting with your boss and you want the meeting to run smoothly and effortlessly. You could then set your intent to be calm and to speak clearly throughout the meeting.

Here is an easy process for setting your intent around certain goals and your future:

  1. Clearly identify the goal that you would like to set your intent for, eg, I intend to own my own home.
  2. Set the intent for yourself in terms of the experience that you want to have in that situation, or in achieving your goal. I intend to own my own home so that I can experience joy.
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  4. If there are other people involved, then set your intent for the kind of interaction that you would like to have with them. Perhaps you would like to have fun, learn something new, be productive, feel peaceful, be happy or loving, feel respected, be calm and helpful, or feel connected with others. I intend to own my own home so that I can experience joy, especially when I am entertaining my friends.
  5. Create a mental movie of what you will be like in that optimal, future situation. Notice what you are experiencing in the situation once you have set your intent. What are you hearing? What are you saying to yourself? What are you seeing and what are you feeling? 
  6. See yourself with your goal achieved and look back. What actions did you take to get there?
  7. Put all this into a vision board or document and add visuals/images to represent these experiences, interactions and actions you took. Look at it and meditate on it regularly. Bring up the emotions you identified and get connected to them. Take the actions you also identified.