Setting intentions is quite different from goal setting. When we’re setting a goal, we think realistically. We analyze our current situation and plan out steps on how to reach our goal. Goals help provide direction and are oriented toward a future outcome. We think we are in control of the plan and of all the steps how to get there. But as you know, sometimes life comes between us and our goals. It’s hard to stay on track because there are so many distractions. If things don’t go as planned we sometimes experience stress, anxiety and even depression. That’s because the rational mind is a master at the wanting to control and creating the “shoulds” and stories that surround the “shoulds”. Not a recipe for the ease and freedom we’re seeking.
Intentions are different. They are focused on how we are “being” in the present moment. Creating intentions does not mean we abandon our goals. Goals are the concrete results of our intentions. An intention is not concrete, but energetic – what will move us to take the actions needed to reach our goals. We set our intentions based on our understanding of what matters most to us and make a commitment to align our worldly actions within that larger context of meaning. Staying conscious of what’s most important offers the possibility of being at peace beyond the fluctuations caused by life’s unpredictabilities, distractions and things we think we have control over but don’t.
Keep the following in mind when setting intentions:
- Know what gives you meaning in your life, your values from which you live and from which you make and align your decisions*
- Letting go of control is about trusting and creating space in your life where new and exciting things can happen.
- Intention comes from the heart. It does not come from your reasonable head but from your aliveness.
- When you are in touch with and acting from your intentions, you become more effective in reaching your goals than when you act from wants and insecurities.
- When your goal is not aligned with your values and life purpose you may find that your intentions are actually undermining your goals because your inner critic and negative voice are getting in the way.
Intention is the key to success in reaching our goals and what we want to create in our life. When we remember to consciously set intentions coupled to our goals we’ll notice ease and freedom as well as an increase in productivity and enjoyment in working towards what we want in our life and our business.