NLP defines ‘intention’ in several ways according to the context. In relation to a goal, a person’s intention is the “meta outcome” of the goal – the deeper something, the “even more important” something which having the goal will bring to the person. Often, the positive intention is several meta levels deeper or larger than the specific goal.

Sometimes a particular goal, action or behavior connected to a positive intention is no longer the best choice when new resources become available, yet it continues programmatically, as if on autopilot. When the positive intention is known and preserved, a person can have greater flexibility, choice and power to follow through on well formed goals and actions.

Another way ‘intention’ is used in NLP regards setting one’s determination to take action. To intend to reach a goal is more powerful than merely to desire it. Intention is active. It has direction and movement. A goal, by itself, is more like the location of a point on a map. It may be worth getting to, but if a person doesn’t intend to get there, it isn’t likely to happen.