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A Big Move is made with clear intention

By Julie Ann

October 03, 2023

Today I am interviewing Erin Neff, who is a life coach with a focus on working with women wanting to make a big move in their lives. Erin is one of the 15 Women of Influence in the upcoming book. I asked Erin how she helps women who are ready for change but not sure how to get started on big life moves.

The women I work with have the most success because they harnessed the power of intention. Most of the time, people don’t know how to achieve their goals or desires because overwhelm so obscenely pushes its way into our thoughts, smoothers our daydreams and kills our hope. Just thinking about our goals and dreams can be intimidating.

When you dare to think about life outside of societal expectations, it’s frustrating because we as humans are aware of the rejection and condescending questions and comments that come with these thoughts. The weird looks, all of the “Whys” and “Are you crazy” questions people throw at us.

It’s no wonder the larger part of society moves through the motions of life without truly asking, “What kind of life would bring me joy? For those of us who dare to dream, we use the power of intention to create a vision and mold our lives to it.


What would you call a big life move?

I’ve made four really big moves in my life by using the power of intention.  My personal definition of intention is the mindset of utter, complete commitment to yourself and the goal at hand. This goal must be motivated by a desire within your deepest soul, a fire in the pit of your stomach, you can’t go 5 minutes without thinking about it, you eat it, drink it, talk about it all the time because it’s what you want and you’re willing to do whatever is necessary to obtain the gains of this goal.

You might be scratching your head thinking, “I don’t have anything in my life that makes me feel this way” or, “Okay, I know what I want but I don’t feel all of that”. Both are normal reactions. The secret to intention is creating this within yourself.


How can you make intention work for you?

Intention needs to be very specific. This took me longer to learn. Take the time to learn from yourself exactly what you want. The process of finding clarity in your goals and dreams brings the gift of clarity. When you can see it before it happens, and settle for nothing less, when you are unwilling to settle for anything less than the gains of this goal, you create a passion that no one can put out. It’s this level of passion and motivation that you need to help you find fun in the sacrifices that are necessary to achieve your dreams.

First, you have to give yourself permission to dream.

Intention requires you to vividly dream as though your future is now. When you first write your intentions, they are pretty vague. Then you take the time to write out why the intention is important to you and the details you want around that intention. The more articulate the details, the more vivid your goals become. The more vivid and colorful they become, the more delicious it is to dream about them. When you are daydreaming about your next steps in life, it brings on lots of positive emotions and excitement. The faster you can move into the dream phase, the easier it is to accomplish your intentions.

Our actions are directly derived from our emotions and our emotions are derived from our thoughts. So, what you think is what you do. This is why it’s so important to take the time to dream up the details and really envision what you want. This phase of intention is where the magic happens.


Two hands holding onto rock wall


What big moves have you made in your life?

MY FIRST big move was from Ohio to Indiana.

This might not sound like such a big move but for perspective, I was leaving home for the first time. Not just any home but a home where two parents raised 7 children in an occult. I knew leaving home meant I would lose everything I had ever known. It meant I would be disowned and have no more contact with my family for over a decade. I didn’t know anyone in Indiana but what I did know is there was a fire deep inside of me that was growing, and I needed to leave for my own safety and mental wellbeing. I had been planning to leave for almost a year.

Imagine being in a pretty ugly situation and daring yourself to dream, every time I would plot a way out, it was like fanning the fire inside me. It was growing at a rate I couldn’t contain. I HAD to leave. I was planning every little detail. I had been saving my money for two years to afford the deposit on an apartment. I dreamed about the day I could come home to peace and safety. I plotted every detail of sneaking my things out of the house.

This move consumed all my energy. Mentally walking through the process over and over. Then one day, when I walked into work, the president of the company was there, and he offered me a transfer to their headquarters in Indianapolis. It was a clear YES for me. It was better than anything I could have planned for myself and yet, I know that it was all the intention I put into this project that brought that invitation. That’s the thing about intention, when you put your energy into a place that serves your goals, the universe will deliver to you in ways you can’t imagine.

Like many of my clients, when I first started setting intentions, it was from a place of desperation and lacked detail. The fact that I put all my energy into this goal is what got me the gains. Finding the fun in the sacrifice was not easy. I was sacrificing my siblings and family; this sacrifice made my heart sad in ways words cannot describe. When thinking about these things, I had to constantly redirect my thoughts to the freedom and safety I was giving myself, this had to be my focus and forcing my brain to sit in this place that hadn’t yet arrived was crucial to my motivation.  Many people don’t make it to this point of intention and fail to see the absolute beauty of the journey they can create for themselves.

The clearer you can be with your intentions, the better!

 My next big move was from Indianapolis to Las Vegas.

After living in Indianapolis for 10 years, it was time to move. I had worked at a new company for 5 years at this point and they offered me a transfer to their Vegas offices. This offered me time to reflect and think about what this would offer me. I knew it was time to set intentions for my move. I started asking myself, “What do I want my apartment to look like? “What kind of community did I want to live in”? “What do I need in my new home to make myself feel comfortable and safe”? “How do I want to show up for my new job”? “What kind of person do I want to strive to be at the new beginning?” I took the time to answer these questions which greatly benefited me.

These intentions had more detail than the first time around. However, they lack the vivid color needed to create long-term passion.


Erin Neff
Erin Neff

Big Move #3 – From Las Vegas to Austin – Getting more specific

I was ready for my next step in life. I was able to land a remote job and I knew immediately this was going to be my ticket out of Las Vegas. I wanted a different environment, I wanted peace. I wrote out my list of intentions. I kept them by my work computer. I read them out loud multiple times a day. I told them to my friends. I could hear myself getting more and more excited about the new life I was creating. I started living in the dream, it was fueling that fire in my gut and a year later, I was off to Austin to find a new apartment. I fell in love with the city, I fell in love with my new apartment and the best part was learning how to fall in love with myself.

My intentions this time around had more color and direction. They were more specific, and I accomplished all of them and more.

Big Move #4 From Austin to Puerto Vallarta – Vividly Dreaming

I came to Mexico for a birthday trip and like many, I fell in love with this beautiful city I now call home. I had lived in Austin for 2.5 years at this point and when I boarded my flight home, I was already dreaming of living here. I went home and immediately started planning how amazing my life was going to be. This was going to be the biggest and oddly easiest move I had made yet. I had collected a lot of tools and was good at using them. First, I plotted a roadmap of everything I needed to do between July and February the following year when my lease was up. I wrote out my intentions. They were vivid and I started dreaming about my life in Puerto Vallarta.

Before I knew it, I had sold everything I owned and was boarding a one-way flight to the next level in my life.

What I teach the women I work with is how to stop living in fear and what-ifs. She learns how to start dreaming by using these principles of intention. We take the time to create the detail (way more than I have outlined here) of those dreams and learn how to live in the vibration of the life you are creating so when the universe hands it to you, there’s no question as to whether it’s the right thing but instead an absolute “Yes” because you have been expecting it.

Erin Neff is one of the women featured in the upcoming book Puerto Vallarta Women of Influence published by influence Publishing inc and launching on International Women’s Day March 8th 2024. Erin will be the featured writer interviewed by Julie Ann on RadianteFM Asphalt show Saturday 7th October. She can be reached at instagram.com/erinn_lifecoach/



This will be a weekly column where we will be inspiring writers and featuring local authors that live in Puerto Vallarta.  We will be giving you an inside look at the purpose of their writing and how they crafted their story to have an impact on their readers.

Julie Ann is the founder of Influence Publishing Inc, corporation from Vancouver, Canada.  She has lived in Puerto Vallarta for 5 years and is the owner of the Mexican Corporation, Casa de Influencia S.A. de C.V. which is a retreat and event center based in Old Town, Puerto Vallarta.  She hosts writing retreats and writing classes at the center. Opportunities to be a contributing author in one of the many Anthology book projects she is publishing can be found at www.casadeinfluencia.com





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