The motivation of an intention coin

Every once in a while one or the other of my kids comes up with something so brilliant it amazes me.

My daughter just e-mailed me to let me know she’d created an “Intention coin,” and, curious about the name, I went to her Etsy site and read her description.

And I loved the concept. I love the power of taking something ephemeral and making it tangible, putting it in front of yourself, and using it to improve your life.

I also loved the post on her blog. Take a look at what she wrote and tell me what sort of intangible you want to make real this year. Put it into words that would fit on your Intention coin.

I’ll do a random drawing Tuesday, February 1st and buy an Intention coin (no, I don’t get ’em for free ๐Ÿ˜€ ) for each of five winners. And I’ll cover shipping, too.

As for me, TAXES are still ongoing. [shudder]

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

369 comments… add one
  • Sherrick Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:40

    The words for my Intention Coin would be “No More Regrets.” That would sum it all up in my little world. Get up, get moving, do the work, send it out. Don’t look back and regret where the hours slipped away. Don’t look back and regret the lack of discipline. Don’t look back and feel the regret of not having lived this life to its fullest. “No More Regrets.” Period.

    • Gerrykay Feb 1, 2011 @ 15:32

      That’s wonderful. I tie myself in knots because if I do differently then I will be open to criticism along the lines of “Why didn’t you do this before?” And I know I’m the one that would be saying it. Thanks.
      “No regrets”
      PS Now I’m reminded of “No shame, No blame” from a money management book I have forgotten the title to. But “no regrets” covers it all

  • Michelle Lord Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:26

    My words would have to be:

    Purpose, completion and success.

    What a wonderful idea and she is very talented.

  • Orlando Ramos Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:23

    Some are better swimmers than others. It must be, because when the waves of life roll over us some are able to swim right through them while others, like me, struggle to survive. It seems the most we can do is maintain our heads over water to stay alive. But every now and then an amazing thing happens and we are proud we fought the waves, proud we survived so well, proud we learned to maneuver ourselves to swim so well through the massive waves. That inspires us to not only keep our heads above water, but to swim for the prize of life. To be recognized, noticed for our achievements, memorized for our imagination. To keep your sights on that prize and ignore all other waves is my motivation. My coin would read “In my write mind.”

  • Jeffrey Allan Boman Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:15

    The simplest of things – in this case a coin – seem to be excellent for motivation.

    I’ll have to get one made for NaNoWriMo 2011.

  • Roland Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:13

    I loved this!

    What an awesome reminder of being aware, not just of your goals as a writer, but of life itself, your everyday surroundings, in business, out of business, family, church, and everything in-between- be aware of the “juice” and energy in life, where the inspiration for writing comes from. Check your totem and know where you are!

  • jadeharpy Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:13

    My word has always been, and will always be ‘IMAGINE’

    I did what most adults who drop out of university to work say they will do… go back and finish their degree when they are older. I found a silver necklace in this tiny little store that had ‘IMAGINE’ stamped onto a tiny little piece of silver… and I mean tiny, it’s about 3/4″ long and about 1/8″ wide. It made me stop and think about what I wanted to do… and that was when I went online and started looking at universities…

  • Ashleigh B. Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:13

    This is a really awesome idea! I think, “It’s your story, finish it already,” is what I would want. I saw some of the stuff your daughter did for your book and it was incredible. She’s pretty brilliant, isn’t she? Wish I was as crafty with my words as she is with her own work. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for the opportunity, Holly.

    ~ Ashleigh

  • Nancy Tubre Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:09

    Having something of a social phobia, my plan for this year is to expose myself more and build on the good that I am capable of giving to others. I have determined that doing so will give wings to my desire to become part of the ‘answer’ and less of the ‘problem’ we suffer with in today’s world. Our country and multiple parts of the world have suffered immeasurably with natural disaster and social injustice. Living in Louisiana magnifies that truth. We have been broken but we are healing. On a personal level, I have wanted to do much more but have felt somewhat restrictive due to my level of discomfort when dealing with the public. How selfish of me! Therefore, my mantra this year is “REACH OUT”. I have such a sweet life. I want to share it. I want to help to make another person’s life more comfortable, more blessed, more hopeful. I’m so excited!

  • Amazing Blair Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:09

    Hi Holly! Your daughter’s clever. I think most of us creative types are in the procrastination camp, and the talisman idea is a good antidote.

    Mine will say “WHY NOT NOW?” Thanks!
    -Amazing Blair

  • Bryden Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:07

    What I aspire to not be afraid. Not be afraid to write, not afraid to be a better wife and mom, not afraid to stand up for myself when I need to. So in short I aspire to be the person I am love and care for the ones dear to me and to write with the passion of a true writer without fear of being laughed at or judged by others, because only then will I truly be myself. I think we fear rejection or judgment from others too much sometimes and it’s silly. Lets be who we are; and not be afraid of what others think. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ingi Jan 25, 2011 @ 12:02

    “Only you can tell it” are the words that make me sit down and write ๐Ÿ™‚

  • SarahTheScrivener Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:55

    The words “inspire” or “imagination” always make me feel writerly!

    Thank you for this offer. It sounds fun!

  • Casey Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:55

    An awesome idea!

    If I had an Intention Coin I think the two words I’d chose would be ‘One Step’. Currently there are a dozen things happening in my life right now, so taking it one step at a time is a good, easy way to confront everything. Also, my dad wrote a song when he was still in a band called “One Day At A Time” – which is pretty similar ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Michelle Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:53

    What a great idea! My word would be “Experiment.” I’ve been learning lately that I don’t have to do things perfectly, and that I don’t have to stick with projects that make me miserable. This year I’m shaking things up.

    The other intention I’m working with this year is to “Write with Joy;” thanks, Holly!

  • Amy L Harden Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:48

    “Tell Your Story 2011” I come from Hungarian Immigrants that after they came here, refused to speak Hungarian, speak of their lives in Hungary and their travel here to the USA…to them they were American and their previous lives were dead. We know very little about our family in Europe and it is sad that our history stops or starts at Ellis Island. I believe it is very important to tell our stories, pass down the history…release not only our histories , but also the creative or gift of the story. So many of my relatives died with their story within them and for some reason I have been procrastinating about telling mine….so, my goal this year is to tell my story and ALL the other stories that whirl around in my brain…it is time. I believe this coin would encourage me every day…remind me “Tell Your Story”. I do not want to die with the story within me.

  • Twila Price Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:43

    What a cool idea. It’s good to have a talisman to remind yourself what you want to do. If I had to choose a word for myself, it would be “Aspire”, with “Dare to risk” on the other side. Because I play it safe far far far too much, and I need to spread my wings and let myself soar.

  • Susan Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:38

    I would like the mantra I picked up while watching Disney’s “Finding Nemo” with my then toddler daughter. Whenever life seems out of control, or when I feel like I’m up swimming against the tide and I’ll never get to where I want to be, I repeat the words of Dory the fish. “Just keep swimming.”

  • Duane Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:33

    We all need tangible reminders of the miss-mash of trash banging around inside of our heads. There is so much information to digest each minute of each day, our brains toss out “irrelevant” information, thoughts, feelings, or goals. We need reminders, those talismans, written words, stories, or as some call it: “power”.

    I have items of power that I carry with me in my travels: A small old brass air gauge that a close friend gave me years ago. It represents the wind. An old tin lighter that I have never used; the flint and wick kind. It represents fire. I have a flat oval rock, smaller than my palm that I found by the lake (Ontario). It inspired me the begin writing and represents the Earth. I found an ancient piece of washed up wood, a slice of a branch I suppose. It matches the rock almost exactly. I discovered it by the lake as well. To me it represents the power of water.

    The coin may be the last item of power. On it I would have stamped, “Sun”. This would complete the five quintessential natural elements with the Sun being the spirit, the leader, the top of the pentagram of life.

    We all need to reflect on these elements of nature, to escape from the temporal demands that cloud and distract us from what gives us life: the Earth, Nature, the Sun, the Universe. When we place ourselves in the context of time, of our place within the universe, we can better understand the workings of things we cannot define. We can believe the unbelievable. We can open our “imaginative eye”, the sight from within, our insight. As we become more aware of this insight, we can create, relate, and live life by placing our insights into a medium of context, of space, and of reality which is timeless. Some write, others sculpt, others paint. Some just think and relate to others who will listen, yet we all need to put out thoughts into that context that we understand: writings, talismans, or items of power.


  • Carla Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:32

    “I am strong”

    The “I am” helps me believe that I already have my intention, and for me, being strong includes everything – health, spirit, direction, mind, ability . . .

  • Ted Parish Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:32

    Great idea. I have a Talisman. It is a stone and when I rub it I think of postive things so I remain optimistic. The word for a Talisman in 2011 would be “Today.” All things begin today. I cannot rely on what was accomplished yesterday, and I don’t know what, if anything, tomorrow will bring. So it is today that I must use to the best of my ability.

  • falwyn Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:30

    If I had an Intention Coin (which is a lovely concept, and a lovely name!), I would put my one word for the year – Capable. Sometimes I think that’s not ambitious enough, but it’s a start.

  • Jim Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:21

    I will most likely be buying one of these, but I also like the idea of letting the universe pick some of us. Loki, I hear you.

    I lost my job at the beginning of the year. It was strange in that I did everything that was asked of me, but lost the job anyway. Again, it felt as if the universe was acting. I’m a computer programmer, but also an Artist. I have straddled this divide my entire adult life. It was a decision I made soon after college, and perhaps I should have chosen differently, but that time passed long ago.

    I capitalize Artist because I make a distinction between art and Art. For me, “art” denotes the graphic arts, the painters with their easels, and such. But “Art”? “Art” is a much larger, inclusive, embracing, and enriching thing.

    Art is that which is common to all artistic endeavors, be it Music, Dance, Graphic Arts, Sculpture, Acting, Theater Craft, Directing, Television Arts, Script Writing, Play Writing, Poetry, Fiction Writing, and on and on. I believe there is something, no, Something that is common to all of the Arts. And that is Art.

    The common seed or source or fountain or pathway or that simply Something is what causes anyone to want or to need to do what an Artist does. What an Artist does at its core is the same, I believe, in any of the Arts. It is a need to describe or share that which cannot be described or shared in any better way. It is that desire to share Artistically, to share the “Why” questions, and the “Because” answers. To think and to act along pathways that cannot be trod any other way except through The Art.

    And that last sentence is important. It is important because it is inclusive of the two things that are necessary for The Art and Artist to thrive: to think and to act. Because if my Art lies inside me, even perhaps in a lively and interesting way, but is not acted upon, is not made manifest in the world, I am only half an Artist. To contemplate is merely to Think Art. To share is to Make Art.

    So my words would be “Think Art” on one side and “Make Art” on the other.

  • Thea Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:16

    I would go with “Erion”. This has nothing to do with the fact that it’s actually an Albanian name, but everything to do with the fact that it’s a word in a language I was making up at one point (it’s funny, what you find out when you google things you make up). It means beauty.
    There are times when I feel like I can’t do anything important, that I’ve fallen so short of the goals that I’ve set for myself. It’s a funk, and I do get out of it, but it’s a regular funk and it’s hard not to let it get to me. I wonder if I could ever make anything beautiful. But I can, and I will. It just takes a little reminding sometimes.

  • Charis Logan Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:13

    This is a wonderful idea. If I had an intention coin it would say “Believe in Yourself” because I find it easy to get discouraged when writing and it would be great to have a little token to remind myself to keep believing in my story. It would remind me that that is how you write something great, one word at a time.

  • Erin Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:07

    Faith. Above all I want Faith, in myself, in my relationships, in the world in general. This is the one thing I have struggled with my whole life. A sister to Faith is Belief, so I’d really like to have both which may be a little greedy but I don’t care. Faith isn’t believing and believing isn’t faith but they walk together and I would like one on either side of me.

  • Kevin O. McLaughlin Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:05

    Oh, forgot to put the words down. For me? Probably “WRITE NOW”. The homophone has an appealing elegance. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Stacey Riley Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:01

    My words are EMBRACE who I am, those around me, my life and my my writing, and the DISCIPLINE to stick to the path so I can achieve my writing goals.

  • Mary Lou Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:58

    Asking myself “What if…” always spurs me to write, especially mysteries.

  • Amanda Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:54

    My word for 2011 is “engage”. It’s so easy not to and still get by, but that’s not really cutting it anymore. I notice that when I do stop and truly engage with whatever is in my path, rather than trying to pass it up or bulldoze through it, the most amazing alchemy takes place.

  • Kevin O. McLaughlin Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:51

    Haven’t we pretty much always used talismans, we humans? ๐Ÿ™‚ We seem to have a talent for investing inanimate things with purpose and intent. The Statue of Liberty, a lucky pen, a wedding ring… Almost every aspect of our lives is painted with these symbols. These talismans.

    They are a powerful tool for us, I think. Our minds use the physical as a trigger to reinforce the idea that object represents. Your daughter’s idea is an excellent one. Ironically, though, the coins you will be giving out will almost certainly matter more than any self-created talisman – fated (random drawing) to pass to their new holders from the hands of a respected part-known stranger, they will take on the power of quest-like objects.

    I think it would be interesting to hear where those coins take their holders, this year!

  • Alexa Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:49

    This is a great idea – simple and effective. Another blog added to my following list, thank you Holly.

    Think my coin would say “Be More”, to reflect that every day and every hour we can all strive to be and do a little more, and really push the comfort zone.

  • Beth Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:48

    “Believe. It’s Your Turn”

    I’ve always been the caretaker, giving all I had to take care of my kids and my mother. I put my dreams on hold so they could find theirs. Now, it’s my turn. My dream is to write and be published. It’s my turn now.

  • Lynette Sowell Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:48

    My word for 2011 is PROGRESS. My goal is to progress in my writing and not “stay” where I am; my goal is to take better care of my body this year so I can live to be over 90 like my grandmothers; my goal is to get more out of debt this year, so I can have the freedom to get closer to full-time freelancing, and have money left over to bless others. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dianne Maloney Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:47

    I love the coin talisman idea “Believe…It is Time”. I am 59 and have written many things which I lacked the confidence to actually send out. Procrastination is my middle name, as well.
    This is going to be my year.
    I just got a small job ghost editing a Biography and entered a short story contest. Even if I don’t win, just sending it out gave me a tremendous ego boost.
    Your pearls of wisdom gave me the confidence. I’m going to be The Little engine that could.
    Thank you.Holly.

  • Misti Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:45

    I would have to go with either “Faith” or “Believe”. Those are the two things that keep me going when I get discouraged and feel like I can’t do this.

  • Kaelyn Christian Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:36

    This is a brilliant idea! I have so many words I could put on an intention coin, it’s insane.

    The one word that most inspires me to write is this: Dumela. It’s a concept my favorite college professor taught me, and there are a great many facets to it, but basically it means that “I see you, I believe in you, and I recognize the potential in you.” I reminds me to believe in myself, and there are people out there who believe in me too. That I’m not alone.

  • Audrey Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:36

    I Want

    I am reading a book called “The Secret”. (Yeah, I’m way behind on the times) I have been a totally dedicated mom of four since I was 17 and now that they’re (almost) grown at the ages of 18-23, my life is filled with drama every single day as they journey through their own life with self-abuse, wrong paths and toxic relationships. I’m battling to cut the umbiblical cord as they stumble out of the nest.

    The book is trying to teach me to stop worrying by telling myself that “I want” instead of “I don’t want” without much success because my worry-wart personality refuses to accept and process it. I think it’s because I’ve never really had the chance to say “I want” for myself, it’s always been for the good of the family. Come to think of it, I believe I have wondered what I want but the rearing of my kids came first and all my wants got shoved to the back of my dusty shoe closet, somehow. Soooo, in between trying to write, raising grown ups, caring for elderly parents, keeping a marriage strong, AND trying to keep the voices in my head to a whisper, I’m in the process of making a list of what I want in life. Yeah, my personal talisman would definitely say, I Want.

    • RebeccaG Jan 25, 2011 @ 13:26

      ‘The Secret’ is a good launching point, but it didn’t focus enough on TAKING ACTION. The book and film focus more on right thinking, which is great and a necessary first step. Look into “The Power of Intention” and “Harmonic Wealth”. Both of them have their wishy washy (especially “Harmonic Wealth” which isn’t very well written or put together at moments) parts but both are heavy on actually doing something. I think that’s the most important part of the message and it can get lost. It’s great to get yourself in the mindset but you really have to get moving to achieve anything.

  • Raquel Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:33

    I would choose the word “Devi”. It is a Sanskrit word for goddess. It isn’t very specific but instead refers to all the Hindu goddesses. I feel a kinship with most of them, and have encountered them in dreams. An intention coin would remind me to consciously maintain that connection with them and what they bring to my life.

  • Charlotte Lenox Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:32

    This does seem like a unique idea and I could use all the motivation and reminders I can get. Me, I need to finish a first draft of this novel I have been working on for years. I need to tell myself to finish it every day no matter how difficult it is. I have to convince myself every day that it’s worth it and I can’t get myself down. If I had such a talisman, it would read “First Draft.”

  • Amy Kennedy Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:21

    I love everything about this. What a brilliant girl! I’m saving her site and her blog to gently show to my artist daughter who often can’t see her own worth.
    Aah, maybe “Worth” would be a good word…

  • Jenn Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:18

    ‘Life Won’t Wait’ to remind me that if I want to reach my goals, I have to do the work now- not tomorrow, not next year- now!

  • Christy Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:14

    Love the idea of the coins. I’ve made word beads before in polymer clay, but the metal would be more durable.

    My word for the year is Fire. Ready-Aim-Fire suggests execution (non-lethal in my case) and targeting goals. Fire purifies and refines. And I want to be all fired up and motivated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dean Kutzler Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:14

    My goal and dream, all of my life, has been to become a successful, published author. Your daughters’ blog was very inspiring to me, because I too, feel that my life has been hindered by procrastination. It has been hindered, not only by procrastination, but by lack of dedication to work hard and achieve my dream. Her words rang true when she said that this year, she is “greedy for life”. There is no better way to sum it up into words. I am forty-two years of age and it is ‘high’ time that I get โ€œgreedy for lifeโ€ and set foot upon that path to my dream. My intention coin will read: GET PUBLISHED

  • Beth Price Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:13

    Your daughter is absolutely brilliant! I love this idea because, like she said, I am the world’s biggest procrastinator. I have a special ‘intangible’ this year. My husband doesn’t have any children and due to a really bad marriage, I had a tubal ligation. This year, I want to save the money to have it reversed so that we can have a family. (I also want to lose 50 pounds….& never find it again:) )

  • Ralph Couey Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:10

    As the calendar turns from the old year to the new, a lot of us engage in that traditional activity of making resolutions. It seems that at the end of the year, the only things we can think about are what weโ€™ve done wrong. I recognize the fact that we are all human, and at times mistakes seem to be what we do best. But focusing solely on that aspect seems to me to be self-defeating.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, all of us do a tremendous amount of good each year. I think weโ€™re often afraid to think about it out of the fear of being too proud. Humility is a fine thing, yes. But when a person does good things, the results usually produce repeat acts. That’s also a fine thing.

    Optimism is an intangible. Weight loss, education, exercise, earning promotions, those are all tangibles; things we can touch and see. But the aspect from which we view our lives, the mindset through which we live, while intangible, nevertheless drives everything else.

    The news that is reported to us is nearly all bad. People who back causes always talk in terms apocalyptic, seeking our participation (usually monetary) lest life, as we know it, ends. Iโ€™m not saying we shouldnโ€™t pay attention. This is a world rife with injustice, pain and misery. But it is also a place where millions of acts of kindness occur each day, and never make the news.

    To do kind things, you must have a kind heart. To have a kind heart, you must have a positive mindset. Everything good flows from the assertion that one person CAN make a difference. Can one person stop a war? Probably not. But one can offer comfort to those in pain; offer friendship to those who are lonely; offer encouragement to those who have lost their way.

    My degree is in Political Science. Consequently, itโ€™s very hard for me to be positive about what is happening around the world. But Iโ€™m not here to save the whole world. I have a little corner of that world that God, destiny, or random chance has assigned me. Within are the people who are important to me. My family, friends, acquaintances, and the opportunistic zone through which will pass total strangers. That will be the canvas upon which I will paint the mural called โ€œ2011.โ€

    Each person, every situation is a chance to be positive; to do good things. I only need to exercise the courage to step outside the calcified shell that forms the limits of my comfort zone. I resolve to do what I can to brighten my little corner of the world, to join with others also so motivated. Together, we can push back against the anger, the hate, the jaded cynicism.

    One candle can dispel the darkness. A thousand candles will push back the night.

    Let us all light our candles together.

  • Katie Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:05

    Self-understanding and Better Hope. I’ve come to notice that through understanding other people, you can understand yourself, so that motivates me to write my characters as they are (not as they should be). Better Hope as in, I hope for good things, but can I better hope for great things and how does that play into my stories?

  • Karen Jan 25, 2011 @ 10:02

    What an absolutely brilliant idea and how interesting to see the different words that inspire and motivate.

    After much deliberation the word I would choose is ‘fly’. I’m currently having a battle with myself that I don’t have to be superwoman and that I have to go easier on myself (I am a slave driver to myself). A recent health scare has brought all this to a head and I know I have to make lifestyle changes and I’m trying but I find it really hard not to beat myself up when I haven’t made my word count or managed to find more than half an hour a day for writing. Fly will remind me that all I need to do is spread my wings and see where it takes me.

    • Gerrykay Feb 1, 2011 @ 15:35

      fly can be an acronym for ‘finally loving myself’. I learned this and many other things, from

      • Gerrykay Feb 1, 2011 @ 15:37

        Oops! That’s

  • Austen WH Donald Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:55

    ‘Innovation’ and ‘Amazing’ makes me wish to write something, although, it is also true that they can hardly push me fore more then 2 pages to write.

  • Danielle Meitiv Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:50

    My first thought was MANIFEST, since that’s what i call the process of bringing things to life – my life, my character’s lives, the world around us. But put even more simply – and I think the heart and muse like simple words – “Make It Real.”

    Beautiful idea. Thanks

  • Stacy McKitrick Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:49

    I had no idea what I would want on a coin until I read the comments. Lots of phrases went through my mind. Then someone mentioned perserverence. So I would want my coin to say “DON’T GIVE UP”. That best sums up what I need to do if I ever want to get published!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.