Pin It

30 Power Words To Activate Intention Setting

by Evelyn on January 14, 2010

Setting new year resolutions appears to be passe amongst spiritually-aware personal development experts. More people are recommending using intentions or themes to guide our directions at the start of a new year.

Since two years ago, I have also personally found it more helpful to be setting intentions rather than be engaged in traditional resolution setting. In fact, I have found that the use of power words and phrases – to encapsulate the essence or the meaning of the intent – very effective.

Difference Between Setting Intentions and New Year Resolutions

What is the difference, you may ask?

Well, my perspective comes from personal experience. For the most part, new year resolution setting has been pretty much a left-brained activity for me. My resolutions were externally driven or were chosen because they would make me look good. In fact, it was easy to simply adopt a few – if not one – from a pool of widely known ones. Well, as far as I could remember, I never quite stuck to my New Year Resolutions as soon as I have made them.

On the other hand, picking the right intentions involves our intuition. It requires an awareness of our inner desires, the stirring of our heart. It is about bringing ourselves into alignment. The alignment is with a desired aspect of life that we are working on. Because it is about aligning ourselves, setting intentions also comes with addressing our resistances. Inner work may be required when we observe that we are out-of-alignment. Throughout the year, based on our ongoing experiences, it may be necessary to make any changes to our intents as appropriate.

The process does not generate any sense of perceived “failure” or not living up to our resolutions per se. Setting intents is not a once-a-year activity; rather it is a process that naturally unfolds as we evolve. Because of this, I keep an intention-setting journal by my bedside to keep track of changes arising throughout the year. It is interesting to note how my intents have shifted to today’s.

Power Words for Visioning

From studying the the science of visioning, I learn that it is a good idea to keep our intents or vision statements short and snappy. Having a power word, phrase or motto – that sums up the essence of what we desire – keeps us focused.

Indeed, the use of power words can serve as an ongoing mantra or motto. The Vision Board Book shared about the one compelling word for the Shroyers family that helped in achieving a life of their dreams. Keith Shroyer sprayed a wall – ten by twelve foot – in his living room with the word “freedom”. “Freedom” served as their guiding vision, motto and statement all rolled into one. Eventually, Keith moved from a dead-end job to a life of financial freedom. His family now lives in a boat.

While intention setting comes from within, it is not that we have to come up with something new. More importantly, choosing the appropriate power word or phrase to adopt for visioning must be able to elicit an emotional response from us. Power comes when we are able to connect deeply with the meaning behind the word, phrase or motto.

To help ignite inspiration, I came up with a list of 30 power words for those who are new to intention setting. I also provide some examples of actions that can be taken to support and activate each vision.

30 Power Words: A-Z Guide

1. Power Word: Abundance
Power Phrase: Inter-align with Abundance, Living in Abundance.
Power Action: Be expansive, let go of resistances and have a reverence for life.

2. Power Word: Action
Power Phrase: Just Do It, A thousand-Mile Journey Starts with a Single Step, Inspired Action.
Power Action: Take inspired action, avoid procrastination.

3. Power Word: Authenticity
Power Phrase: Authentic Expression, Be Who I am, Use My Voice.
Power Action: Connect to the truth of who I am.

4: Power Word: Balance
Power Phrase: Balance is Key to Wellness; Yin and Yang.
Power Action: Make time for priorities in life, restore inner and outer balance, study feng shui elements, go for yoga.

5. Power Word: Be
Power Phrase: Just Be.
Power Action: Focus more about being than doing, practice patience, just breathe.

6. Power Word: Clarity
Power Phrase: Insight, Be Awake, See Clearly.
Power Action: See big picture, avoid getting too caught up in the content of the story, practice insight meditation, wisdom from insight.

7. Power Word: Courage
Power Phrase: Live My Dreams, Fly.
Power Action: Take risks, be bold, go on adventures, master courage to do things differently.

8. Power Word: Creativity
Power Phrase: Creative Ideas on Tap, Creative Artist.
Power Action: Engage imagination, play and possibility.

9. Power Word: Dream
Power Phrase: Dare to Dream, I Dreamed a Dream, Dream Big, Dreams take Flight!
Power Action: Open myself to possibilities, engage in imagination.

10. Power Word: Equanimity
Power Phrase: Equanimity, Quality of Equanimity, Non-Attachment.
Power Action: Practice equanimity i.e. calm, centered, balanced and mindful awareness of the impermanence of things, sensations and experiences.

11. Power Word: Freedom
Power Phrase: Freedom from Fear, Financial Freedom, Freedom to Live.
Power Action: Let go of resistances, free to make choices.

12. Power Word: Gratitude
Power Phrase: Gratitude is Gold, Gratitude Rocks, Gratitude Now.
Power Action: Practice gratitude, count my blessings and share my gifts.

13. Power Word: Harmony / Peace / Serenity
Power Phrase: Let my Breath be my Guide; Love the Moment, Peace of Mind.
Power Action: Make peace with every moment, learn qi gong.

14. Power Word: Health
Power Phrase: Health is Wealth
Power Action: Practice mindful eating, make healthy food choices, exercise, stay healthy mentally.

15. Power Word: Intuition
Power Phrase: Intuitive Awareness, Intuitive Intelligence.
Power Action: Awaken and develop intuitive abilities.

16. Power Word: Joy
Power Phrase: Enjoy the Journey, Live it Up, Celebrate, Live Now, Happiness is Key to Success.
Power Action: Choose to be happy whatever the situation is, be light hearted, celebrate every small thing!

17. Power Word: Laughter
Power Phrase: Lightness of Being, Laughter is the Best Medicine.
Power Action: Look at the humor in each situation, avoid taking things too seriously, have fun.

18. Power Word: Love
Power Phrase: Love Thyself; Love is All Around.
Power Action: Practice unconditional self love and love for others.

19. Power Word: Money / Prosperity / Wealth
Power Phrase: I am a Money Magnet, Multiple Streams of Income, Financial Freedom
Power Action: Shatter limiting money beliefs, adopt prosperity consciousness, worry less but keep vibrations up.

20. Power Word: Oneness
Power Phrase: We are One.
Power Action: Let go of separation.

21. Power Word: Possibility
Power Phrase: Open to Possibility, Dwell in Possibility.
Power Action: Open to receiving, practice non-judgment, try new experiences.

22. Power Word: Power
Power Phrase: Step Into Power, Awaken My Potential.
Power Action: Let go of fears, step up, take charge.

23. Power Word: Presence / Mindfulness
Power Phrase: Live in the Now.
Power Action: Practice mindful awareness, give quality attention to the moment, meditate.

24. Power Word: Responsibility
Power Phrase: Live Deliberately, Take Charge, Power To Change.
Power Action: Commit to inner change, less blame of others, conscious living.

25. Power Word: Share
Power Phrase: Spread Love, Share my Divine Light.
Power Action: Practice loving kindness, lend a helping hand, share my gifts.

26. Power Word: Success
Power Phrase: I am a Winner, Success is Constancy to Purpose.
Power Action: Think success, dream big.

27. Power Word: Smile
Power Phrase: Window to My Soul, Language of Love.
Power Action: Smile to strangers, neighbors, etc.

28. Power Word: Space
Power Phrase: Make Space.
Power Actions: Clear the clutter, switch off TV, meditate.

29. Power Word: Spirituality
Power Phrase: Connect with God/Source/Guides, “I am a Spirit with a Human Experience”.
Power Action: Adopt good values, live consciously, mindful of ego, take wise actions, reverence for life, etc.

30. Power Word: Wellness
Power Phrase: Mind-Body-Spirit Harmony, Self Nurture.
Power Action: Make time for relaxation, de-stress, release negative emotions, let go of old baggage.

Sources for Power Words and Catchy Phrases

Still feeling stuck over what power phrases to use? The world is a huge resource. For inspiration, check out:
– Memorable Songs & Jingles. Look up The Best Songs Ever!
– Favorite Quotes. Use the keyword directory to a favorite quotes website.
– Poems. Hunt at Poem Hunter!
– Popular Advertisements. The advertising industry is great at coming up with slogans: The Advertising Hall of Fame .
– Popular Phrases. Use a tool: Phrase Finder.
– Make your own slogan. Use the Slogan Generator found here.

Less is More

Don’t make the mistake of cluttering your visioning or intention setting process with too many power words (see picture at the top of my post) either! My suggestion is to choose one or fewer than three at any one time. The picture below is a vision board that I made to illustrate the right use of power words….

Decided on yours already? What is/are yours, by the way?

In Loving Abundance,

Credit: Vision board pictures used for this post are made using photoshop software and also, with free textured images available here.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Lisa (mommymystic) January 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Wow, did I get here first? How did that happen, I am usually last to everyone’s posts! Must be the time difference (my kids are in bed, yours probably at school!) Anyway, I love this list and idea. I am more into intentions that resolutions too, but I had never before focused so much on the words themselves like you have here. What you said about connecting deeply to the words themselves reminded me of mantras, and how they are taught to work on multiple levels – not just as chants or even in terms of their linguistic meaning, but vibrationally, sinking deeper and deeper into our psyche. And the symbols associated with them too. So thanks for that, and happy 2010 to you. – Lisa

Armen Shirvanian January 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Hey Evelyn.

This is cool.

Those power phrases are pretty accurate, and they sure are power phrases. Those words sure do send a strong signal when they are used. It is the words we use that tells people what we are thinking, and what our intent is.

Saying “I am a winner” to ourselves is a healthy thing. We have to recognize when we are.

I just realized the list is in alphabetical order, after having read it all. That’s pretty cool too.

Nice creativity to make this.

Lana - DreamFollowers Blog January 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Brilliant post Evelyn, as always. I actually just wrote in my last post that my two words for this year are authenticity and trust. I love this technique! Simple, but powerful.

Miss. Bridget January 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Dear Evelyn

I thank you always for always knowing what to meditate my mind on even when haters try to be the focus of my mind you so pleasantly show me how think in living loving caring manner including having laughter in my life and I thank you.
May prosperity and laughter and life be forever a new year for you and all of us and please continue to dwell on the positive 30 words that you discovered.
Miss. Bridget

Suzie Cheel January 14, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I love this Evelyn.

I started the year with my words/intentions for 2010 being living large, freedom. I have since added love and inspiration. Last week I started a discussion on What Am I Grateful for Today about your word for 2010.
You have now inspired me to expand , write out power actions I love your vision board and thanks for the resource.
In gratitude

Hugh Lawson January 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Dear Evelyn

You know just what to say/right, just at the right time!!

I am usually a very positive person and enjoy my life on all levels, however towards the end of last year (Nov/Dec) it became apparent that my business partner was not sharing the same thoughts and feelings as I do. Her ‘abundance’ which was the attraction at the beginning of our relationship has been replaced by selfishness and greed. This hurt me and has impacted on my own behaviours.

Yesterday, I made the decision to go back out on my own and work the way I want to, with the people I want to and do all the abundant things, which as we know don’t pay the bills – immediately – but bring their rewards in the future.

Your message today was a wonderful reinforcement and I have copied it to a word doc, so I can print of the ‘power words’ and review every day, helping me to have the clear vision that I am aiming for.

With great appreciation, thank you


Wendi Kelly~Life's Little Inspirations January 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Hi Evelyn

My Intention this year is to Live Inspired in all that I do. It’s a big elephant to eat and I am chewing on it one day at a time. Already I am becoming aware of all the areas that this goal is going to blast open some doors. Though I have lived Inspired in some areas, I have some very neglected cobweby places not so inspired as well. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes us all this year.

Oscar - freestyle mind January 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm

This is an awesome list Evelyn, and it’ll certainly be extremely useful for me. I don’t speak english every day but I certainly write a lot in it, so… :)

Betsy Wuebker January 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Hi Evelyn – What a wonderful post! Your vision boards are really ART! Just beautiful! And thank you for the 30 words and their associations. Very inspiring. Wishing you the best for 2010 – it’s teeming with promise and great vibes.

Nadia - Happy Lotus January 14, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Hi Evelyn,

Such a beautiful post!

Setting intentions definitely does make a difference. All thought creates form on some level. I have experienced it in my own life and have seen it in others. Clarity is really key. It is amazing how so many people have no idea what they want and setting intentions helps us realize what we truly desire. We have the ability to do anything…as long as we believe in ourselves and in our dreams!

The A-Z list was just perfect as were the images that were included. Hope all is well! :)

Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice January 14, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Hey Evelyn,

I love this piece and especially your distinction on resolutions and intentions which I feel is abolutely spot on! I love number 17, one of my favorite things to do and something I’ll be blogging about tomorrow!

I would love to contribute to your list and if I could here are 5 that I would add:

1. Inspiration
2. Decision
3. Divinity
4. Appreciation (and alternative to gratitude)
5. Contribution

Have an awesome day!

Positively Present January 15, 2010 at 12:26 am

Love this post! The images you created are great!

Hilary January 15, 2010 at 2:04 am

Hi Evelyn .. what an amazing post .. I don’t do resolutions – but I hadn’t thought of setting intentions either. I know where I’m aiming – however as Nadia says clarity is eesential. The decks are ecoming clearer – though it’s taking longer than I thought .. but changes at the Centre and my Mum are all necessary actions for now.

Thank you – that’s a great list of words, and their relative actions and power phrases .. Abundance Tapestry – you certainly weave your way with words and ideas .. Here’s to your creativity in 2010 –
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Chris Grant January 15, 2010 at 5:11 am

Fantastic posting Evelyn! I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime and I really appreciate your authenticity and purity of intent to share with others. I’ve recently joined Bob Doyle’s Boundless Living Challenge and have referred members to this specific article as we are all working on our intentions for 2010 and beyond.

Thanks for sharing your insights. It is greatly appreciated. Namaste, Chris

Katie West/The Levity Coach January 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

Okay Evelyn..
My word for 2010 is simple —it is vacation. Which when you look up the origin of it means to be free or release. And the root of holiday is “holy day”
This is how I want to live this year…both in taking more time to allow for the space for life to flow effortlessly in and out freely and also to take time to see the “holy” in each moment. When I talk about my levity philosophy, “wonder” is one of the main components.
So Wonder, Holiness, Release, Freedom, Providence. Allowing. and of course, shining joy. and the other word that has really been with me is deepening my understanding of “collective being”
much love

Kelly@SHE-POWER January 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

Happy New Year Evelyn. I love this post and I love the idea of setting a word of intention for the year. I did it last year, but life had other plans for me, so 2009 ended up becoming a year of HEALING rather than CREATIVITY, which is what I had set. In hindsight, I think I set my 2009 word from my head. At the beginning of the year it was already becoming apparent that healing relationships was going to be a big theme for 2009, but I didn’t want my year to be swallowed up by that, so I tried to set another path for myself. I pushed against the tide and surprise, surprise it didn’t work.

This year, however, it’s different. I both want and feel at my core that 2010 is all about ME – my journey, my destiny. Therefore, my word of intention is ME. 2010 is the year to be all about me. After 6 years of putting my family first and slotting myself in a distant second, I’m ready to put ME FIRST and the family can fit in around me for a change.

Thanks for helping me make this clear and focused.

All the best for the year ahead, Evelyn.

Love Kelly x

Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice January 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

Oh I just thought of one more…



Lance January 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

I find this exercise of choosing a word…an intention…to be so deeply fulfilling. The first time I did this was this past year, choosing the word “courage”, and it was a word that manifested itself in my life in amazing ways. This year, I have chosen the word SPLASH! I had come up with three words, and just couldn’t get beyond them – fun, adventure, and action. And that’s when the word SPLASH came to me…and I just knew it was the right word, really touching upon all three of those words. I’m excited for the year ahead!

Evelyn, your choice of the word ABUNDANCE is a word that I know will have deep meaning for you this year. Intentions, spoken from the heart, become beauty in motion…

Farouk January 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm

thanks for the nice list :)

Alex Blackwell January 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Incredible list; plus I like the useful description and relevance for each one.

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work January 18, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Thirty powerful words indeed. I found the whole post very uplifting. My intention this year is: Be Authentically Abundant. I’m inspired to step up the size and scope of my game. Blessings.

Kaushik January 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

Hi Evelyn,
Yes, intentions instead of resolutions–love that idea. I’m a bit of a contrarian so I never really went for the law of attraction and visioning and all that, but I wouldn’t be where I am without intention. Loving ourselves enough to want to be awake, awareness, letting go, allowing…everything else pops up whenever we need it.

Thanks, great article.


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord January 19, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Hi, Evelyn! This was great to read and so thorough. As I went through each one, I wondered if any would jump out at me. More than that, I thought of how useful this would be to share with some friends who are rearranging their lives a bit.

Thank you for putting together such a great resource!

Chris Edgar January 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

Thanks for this Evelyn — I particularly liked what you said about understanding the intention behind our New Year’s resolutions — asking “am I really doing this because I want it?” That can be a good guide, I think, to whether we’re actually going to be motivated to do what we say we’ll do.

Jodi at Joy Discovered January 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Hi Evelyn,
You totally ROCK for making the list of 30 Power Words!! Wow! This is a keeper. I was just reading today on Khuram Malik’s blog about mind mapping and the importance of one word goals. Our mind can make connections and therefore have better memory and application with one-word concepts. Your list is really helpful for this!

I also really love how crafty your vision boards are in this post.
Thank you!

Hilda January 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Hi Evelyn,

I was never one for resolutions, but for the last couple of years have deliberately set intentions instead. And this year I was inspired by Lance to choose one word that encapsulates my primary intentions for this year. So I loved reading this post, it reaffirms to me what already feels like a powerful process. My power word for this year is Connection :-)

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: