Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Setting a Goal vs. an Intention
and How to Do Each

Each month I set goals. I share them with the world  or whoever clicks on this blog. (Thank you, by the way, for reading this.) Why do I do this? Because sharing my goals is a form of holding myself accountable and manifesting my dreams. The goals I regularly share on this blog are smaller goals that I hope will eventually lead to the life I want to create for myself. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of manifestation and goal-setting. But what's the difference between setting a goal and an intention? The words goal and intention are often used interchangeably, but here's what I think they mean and what the differences between the two are. Below I share tips on doing both. Hope this helps you! (Fun fact: Helping people is one of my larger lifelong goals, so writing this post is a smaller goal that aligns with that.)

Brainstorm and Analyze.
Create lists of what motivates you, want you desire out of life, etc.
Write down words that describe your priorities. Ideas: Friendship, love, money, music, strength, confidence, generosity, admiration, nature, laughter, comfort, travel, family. Identify the areas that are most important and use them to guide your goals.
Ask yourself: What do you want your life to look like? What are your passions?
Write down what you want to achieve. If it helps, break the goals down into categories for different parts of your life. (Career, health, personal, etc.)
Ask yourself why you want to achieve a certain goal? What's the underlying desire?
What resources can you list to help you achieve your goal? (Trainer, friends, books, classes, etc.) Write them down.
What investments (of time or money or anything else) do you need to make? Identify them.

Dream big but make more realistic short-term goals to work toward that big goal.
Try to find a middle ground between setting too easy of a goal and too unattainable.
Leave fear out of the goal-setting process. It has no place in it.
Leave judgment out of goal-setting. You might be worried about what people think. Put your own thoughts of why you want to achieve the goal above all other opinions.
Do you have a goal that you think it's too late for? Repeat this: It's not too late! Write down reasons and ways it can still be achieved.

"If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives." -Lemony Snicket

Be specific.
Write down exactly what you want (when, with whom, and how). The more specific you can be the better.
Start with one or two main goals. Once you have your main goal(s), you can break those down into smaller milestone goals.

Remind yourself of your goal(s) and your "why."
Write them down and display them around your desk, bedside, in your wallet, etc.
Make a vision board or create a Pinterest board.
Set reminders on your phone of your goals.
Share them with friends or on social media.
Surround yourself with people with a similar goal(s).
Meditate or pray about that goal. 

Schedule time for your goals.
Break your goals down to smaller goals and plan out when you can work toward each goal. 
Ask yourself: What small steps can I take today to bring me closer to achieving my goal? What can I do each week? Make working toward your goals a part of your daily to-do list.
What's a realistic timetable for achieving your goal? Write down due dates. 
Practice single-tasking. For each day or each week, consider focusing on just one goal. Focus all of your energy on it until it's accomplished, then move on to another goal/milestone.

Observe the changes/Hold yourself accountable.
Measure your success. This is why I check in with myself with my monthly goals. Where did you fall short and can you break that goal down even further into smaller steps?
Celebrate your successes and don't beat yourself up about the failures. Try again. Adjust in areas where you didn't hit your shorter-term goals, but keep working toward them.
Don't compare yourself to others. This is YOUR journey.
When you're feeling discouraged, think about times in your life that you overcame an obstacle. You can do this!

What's the difference between setting a goal and an intention?

Goals Intentions
Relies on reasoning, logic. Relies on emotion, comes from a place of love (not fear).
Has a time frame. Surrender to the process.
Action plan is put in place. Have faith. Believe in the magic/the universe.

Manifesting/Intention setting:

I credit my yoga teacher training for helping me let go of fear of judgment. During teacher training, we each talked about our intentions. I was afraid. My fear emerged in the form of tears. My heart pounded. I felt threatened. But the response from my fellow teacher trainees had no judgment whatsoever. We all have dreams we're afraid to share. Sometimes we're afraid of judgment when our dreams evolve.

I consider my journal and this blog a safe space. It's an outlet that houses my dreams, adventures and thoughts. It's a daily reminder that I am working toward my intention.

I recently read this quote: "What's on your mind becomes what's in your life. So think the thoughts you want to see." (Karen Salmansohn)

Those words capture perfectly the process of manifestation:

  • Set an intention. Visualize the end result. Meditate on it. Write it down. Feel it!
  • Observe the signs. The universe is listening. You will notice signs everywhere that relate to your intention. 
  • Hold your intention. Default to happy, grateful thoughts.  Act as though your intention has already come true. Keep imagining the outcome.
  • Trust the process and realize your manifestationFeel the gratitude and reinforce your trust in the process.

A few resources on goal-setting:

  • A search on Pinterest yields countless pins on goal-setting, along with many printables and checklists.
  • The journal "Start Where You Are" by Meera Lee Patel is an illustrated workbook journal to help you work on goals and self-exploration.
  • The book "The 52 Lists Project" was recently given to me as a gift, and it contains prompts for lists of everything from goals to your favorite things and things you want to add to your life. Creating lists and journaling can help you identify what you want your goals to be.

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