Law of Diminishing Intent


Learning about the law of diminishing intent has revolutionized my life. I first heard of it from Jim Rohn. So what is the law of diminishing intent?

It basically states that intentions are strongest at their conception and if not acted upon quickly they gradually decrease until they no longer exist.

John C. Maxwell puts it like this, ” The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.”

Chances are you have been a victim of the law. You may have planned to exercise more, read a book a week, cook more healthy food at the start of the year for example, but you did not get started and gradually your enthusiasm passion and intentions faded.

Here are some tips to make sure that you overcome the law of diminishing intent:

Be clear about your goals:

When you set goals make sure they are completely clear to you. Ensure that they are at least SMART- specific, measureable , achievable,relevant/realistic, time bound.

Make sure they are your goals

Very often we choose goals because they are popular or because we are pressured by others to make them a goal. If the goal is not truly what you want for yourself, you are less likely to follow through difficult processes to achieve it. Make sure the stated goal is actually what you want.

Document how you feel when you set the goal

Try to document how you feel when you set the goal. Capture the enthusiasm, passion and zeal at the starting point. It will become a reference point for you when you face challenges along the way.

Use emotion to boost action.

As humans we are more inclined to do things when we feel excited, energized, and happy about them. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact I suggest that you use that emotion/energy and enthusiasm and get started right away. The emotion can be a powerful force to get you started.

Revisit the emotion

When the going gets difficult it often helps to revisit the initial emotion, enthusiasm, outlook that you had at the beginning. It may help to rekindle the fire you need to press on.

Rehearse your why

Consistently remind your self of why you are doing the particular activity. What are the benefits? Why is that goal important to you? If your why is big enough and you rehearse it you are more likely to achieve success.

Plan your path of action

As soon as you set the goal or have the intention plan how you will achieve it. If you plan to start an exercise programme in the gym; decide which gym, how you will get there, when, and what you will need to fulfill the intention. If you do not plan how to get to your goal there is a higher probability that you will never reach it.

Do it immediately.

Start immediately. This is one of the quickest ways to overcome the law of diminishing intent.

Assign yourself a 24 -hour action period.

For every goal or intention, set a mandatory 24-hour implementation period. You must initiate the required action within 24 hours.

Develop accountability

Accountability can be crucial to overcoming the law of diminishing intent. Find someone who is reliable and supportive and share your goal with him/her. Ask them to check in on your progress and monitor your journey to achievement. This will increase your likelihood of achieving success.


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