The Power of Intention

In October 2008 I sat coughing in the San Francisco Airport waiting for a friend to pick me up and deliver me home. I had gotten a cold back East where I was speaking at a conference and was now feeling miserable. But truth be told, it wasn't just the sniffely sneezies that were getting the best of me, it was sitting next to an armrest-hogger on the plane and lugging my suitcase into crowded bathroom stalls and not being able to look forward to the loving embrace of a special someone waiting for me at baggage claim--these discomforts all combined to point out to me the real source of my unrest. The long and short of it was, I was feeling sick and tired of being a solo traveler, literally and figuratively, and this trip was adding yet another reminder of my desire to share my journey and my baggage (pun definitely intended) with someone I love.

As a coach, I am of course familiar with the practice of setting intentions and writing them down as a way of helping you reach your goals. In fact, I give entire workshops based on this two-step process. I have applied this strategy to my business and helped clients utilize it to reach their own goals and yet, when it came to my own soulmate-searching, I gave it a miss. Surely the process of finding a life-partner became too complex for such a simple exercise, I thought. But there I sat at SFO with time of my hands and yearning in my heart so I began making my list of all I wished for in a life-partner. In the end they amounted to 46 desirables in all! When I tell this story, people are routinely shocked by the size of that list. In response I like to quote Lily Tomlin, "I always wanted to be somebody. I guess I should have been more specific." So let's just say, after years of being what appeared to be too general, I decided to get quite specific.

Three weeks later, after finding each other on Craigslist (of all places!) I went on my first date with Josh. This past month, two years ago to the day from when we first met, we got engaged. When I first shared my list of qualities with Josh we weren't at all surprised that he easily cleared 43 out of the 46 items that ran the gamut from "he helps me become a better person" to "he likes tickling my feet while we watch TV." Since that time what Josh has come to mean to me surpasses any list I could create but I'll forever be grateful for those few moments at San Francisco Airport when I finally decided to become clear about my intentions and set them down on paper.

In the next month I invite you to think of a goal you would like to achieve in the next year and take a half-hour to think about and write down exactly what that goal looks and feels like. And take it from me, don't be afraid to be real specific!

Author's Bio: 

Kirsten Mahoney, founder of Insight Out Life Coaching, enjoys speaking nationally and for the media on the subjects of life balance and stress management. She specialized in empowering burned out businesswomen live more balanced less stressful lives through coaching, workshops, retreats and corporate wellness programs. Her clients include Clif Bar, Wells Fargo, Cisco, eBay and Facebook. To find out more please visit