If you set the wrong intention, you'll feel like you're going somewhere without actually going very far. Setting the wrong intention leads to unsustainable effort.
Without the right intention we won't be able to set the right priorities, and without the right priorities effort will be made in all the wrong places.
It's the reason why so many people set the intention to get in shape every year only to return to their old lifestyles within a few weeks or months.
It wasn't a lack of effort or inability to commit that eventually turned them away from getting in shape. It was that getting in shape was the wrong intention and as a result they set the wrong priorities. The thing they felt was so important quickly became not important enough.
Often something that we consider important becomes not important enough because we set the wrong intention. (It's not "get in shape" that we should be focusing on, but rather "change my lifestyle".)
Changing your lifestyle takes a bit more work than signing up for a gym membership, but that's why the former often results in transformation while the latter results in wasted time and money.
If we set the right intention, we'll set the right priorities and our time and effort will propel us towards our goals. But how do we set the right intention? I believe it starts with taking a look at the bigger picture and understanding the why. Why is this important to us?