The Secret Recipe for Getting What You Want

03/05/2015 02:19 pm ET | Updated May 05, 2015

In New Age, new thought circles, one hears a lot about intention. "Set your intention. Be clear about what you want. Ask for the what, let God figure out the how."

And like most things, we do it and have mixed success, yes?

But here's the thing. Intention isn't enough.

I can have the intention to learn how to ride a bike or to lose 20 pounds. I can think about it, visualize it and imagine it but unless I'm willing to take action towards achieving my goal, it'll never happen.

Am I going to learn to ride a bike from saying I want to? Not likely. But I'll master it if I get on it and practice. It's the same for losing weight. I can write down my intention or say it out loud but unless I do something, nothing will change.

I first heard Marci Shimoff talk about a secret formula for success in her book Happy for No Reason. In it she says she learned this from performance consultant, Bill Levacy. To me, it encapsulates exactly how to use intention and harness its power to create results in your life.

And the best part, it's really easy to remember.

Here's the formula: Intention, Attention, No Tension.

How does it work?

1. Intention
The first thing we have to do is set an intention. Just like above. What do I want?

a. I want to lose 20 pounds
b. I want to have a successful massage practice with 20 clients a week.
c. I want to get As in all of my classes.

Make sure to be specific. Once you're clear about your intention, write it down. Say it out loud. Hang it up somewhere you can see it. Now it's time to activate step 2.

2. Attention
How am I going to achieve my goal or intention? What actions, steps, and imagery can help my intention to manifest? Try to make these specific too.

a. Losing Weight: Researching diets or finding a local support group might be a great first step. Once I have some help, the next step is changing eating and exercise habits, slowly. Set goals that are realistic, safe and feel attainable.

b. Successful Massage Practice: Have I tried advertising my massage business locally or attended a networking event? What about referrals from other health care practitioners? Have I made a brochure?

c. Getting all As: Am I utilizing a planner to ensure that I get all my work done? Do I have a quiet place to study? Have I scheduled time to get work done?

Putting attention on what I want to accomplish focuses the mind, emotions and actions towards the goal. Think about step 2 like action steps to get a desired outcome (intention). We can write them down and check them off one by one.

Now for step 3. Some people think this is the easiest step while others think it's the hardest!

3. No Tension

What's that? Another way to say this is relaxing into the process. I relax, knowing that all my thoughts, visioning and actions will produce an outcome.

We can't push the river. Instead, we have to surrender and allow things to unfold in divine time not on our timeline.

If you're anything like me -- who wants everything done yesterday -- it's often difficult to wait and allow things to develop naturally. Sometimes when I'm in the middle of striving for my goal it can be hard to grasp why it's taking so long. Yet, despite my impatience, when I do get results, I always see the magnificence and perfection in the timing.

When I remember to NOT push the river, I can actually float down it, knowing that divine action is moving me exactly where I need to go. And it feels infinitely better and more fun than being uptight, annoyed and irritated that I'm not getting results fast enough.

Step 3 is about learning how to relax and enjoy the ride, enjoy the wait, enjoy the process. After all, this is what life is, a process.

So try this great and easy to remember formula for success. Use it to manifest what you want. Be sure to let me know how it goes!

Shakti Sutriasa is the Founder of, a personal development company committed to empowering people to live more connected and fulfilled lives through coaching, counseling and workshops. Her unique approach combines modern psychology and spirituality to support people seeking positive change and self-transformation. Shakti is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and has an MA in Education. Learn more at