Forget about Goal Setting..

Why setting intentions is important

As the year begins to wind down, it is normal to start looking back over 2022 to see what you have accomplished; or maybe, you are ready to look forward to 2023 to set new goals or resolutions. Statistically we know that resolutions seldom make it past February and goals are often too lofty to maintain, or sustain, for 12 months. Insead, I invite you to consider setting intentions this year.

Having clear goals are important and can bring clarity to your life and path. At the start of any journey, clear direction is critically important to successful completion. Knowing where you came from and where you want to end up is the first step! What makes setting intentions different from setting goals, is taking into account how you want to feel while accomplishing your goals. Knowing this will help you with the smaller steps to move you toward your big goal.

Goals are powerful images of where we want to be, but it does not take into account what the experience toward the goal will be like. Phrases such as “no pain, no gain” or “turn your pain into power” can be motivational, but to experience pain, or to struggle for prolonged periods of time in pursuit of a goal is demoralizing. Setting intentions takes into account the full journey. 

Setting intentions takes into account the vision you want, how you want to feel doing it and the smaller steps to move you toward your goal.

  1. The vision – or ultimate outcome you want. 
  2. The journey – how you want the experience to be.
  3. The steps – you will take to move you into the direction of your vision.

Here is a quick outline of how to set intentions for ultimate success:

Step 1:

Know where you came from

Look back at the last year or two and be realistic about what you have or have not accomplished.  How did the year feel? What were some of your big successes? Be honest about your failures. Some things are a result of our own doing, or lack thereof, and some were completely out of our hands. 

Step 2:

Look forward

What is your ideal outcome? With a clear understanding of where you came from, now consider where you want to end up. Think through the different parts of your life. Consider relationships, work or income, social responsibility, home life etc. This is the more traditional goal setting. Be specific and realistic.

Step 3:

How do you want to feel doing it? Are you really ok with “no pain, no gain” for the next 12 months? Depriving yourself of food or comfort to reach a goal is not healthy and not sustainable. Instead consider how you want to feel during the process.

Step 4:

What are the small, doable steps that you can do everyday to move you into the direction of your goal? Think about small changes that you can begin to make that will help you stay consistent. If it is hard for you to figure this step out by yourself, get some help from a professional or someone who has done what you want to achieve. Learning from their experience or expertise will make the experience easier and more enjoyable for you. Support is important to any success story!

The act of thinking through this process will begin to clarify what you want. How you want the experience to be, and how you will move yourself in the right direction. 

The process of setting intentions brings clarity to your vision, your journey and the steps you’ll take to get there!

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