Setting Goals With Intention

 L045Most of us probably set meaningful New Year’s resolutions a few weeks ago, and many of us have probably already gone off the rails by now and given up on them.  Can you relate?  Were your resolutions unrealistic, unattainable or stressful? Or maybe you set a goal but did not properly identify the intention.  Or possibly just the opposite occurred—maybe you had the intention, but didn’t properly prepare the goal.  Goals and intentions go hand in hand.

 Setting intentions VS setting goals—What’s the Difference?

It’s time to understand the key distinction between an intention and a goal in order to shift your perspective toward not only a better outcome, but also a better experience.


Intentions are about who you are being ….

Your intentions are at the core of all your goals and desires.  By starting with your intentions, you get to the source of what you truly want to experience.  Your intentions are authentic experience of who you want to be—the real you.  They come from the heart, not your mind like your goals.  Intentions feed your goals.  Being certain about your intentions is the most powerful partner to goal setting and the best way to get to what you want in all areas of your life.


Goals are about the outcome…

Most people set goals.  When setting goals, we analyze, plan, reason and take steps toward the finish line. Goals can be effective, powerful, specific and measureable.  They are simply your intentions transformed into tangible outcomes.  They can also make you feel frustrated or discouraged as they can crumble from the challenges of life and can take you off course from your real intentions.  Count on your goals changing, but count on your intentions remaining constant.


How does it work?

Let’s look at a real example:

 A resolution may be:  To be more organized in 2013!

 That may feel inspirational, but there’s no specificity or vision to it.  How will you know you’ve been successful?


The goal may be:  To incorporate three new systems to manage my calendar, e-mail and paper filing by 6/1/2013.

 It’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and has a time element.  It’s a good SMART goal.


The intention can then be:

I intend to touch a piece of paper only once in my office, and then make sure it is filed in the correct place.

 Your intention is to behave as an organized person who uses their systems consistently.  Your intention, if truly embraced by you, will not change.  You will have the intention of following that behavior because it’s who you are or who you are choosing to be.

Your goal may change.  You may decide to set a goal of achieving a paperless office by December of 2013.  This is still a noble goal, and your intention of touching paper only once still applies as you scan the document for electronic storage.


Revel in the process…

While you are sorting out your intentions from your goals, remember to enjoy the process while you’re aiming for the outcome.  Partner with a family member, friend or coach to help hold you accountable—it can make all the difference in the world.  Finally, you’re allowed to make mistakes in the process.  Remember, your intentions are what you want in the long run.  Most importantly, it’s always about the human BEing, not the human DOing.