Intentions Personal

Goals vs. Intentions

We’re a bit more than halfway through January now. Did you set goals or make resolutions at the beginning of the new year? If so, how are you doing on them?

I used to fall in line with the “make New Year’s resolutions” thing. I was taught it was what you were supposed to do. Did I keep those resolutions? Not often. Sometimes I forgot I’d even made them; sometimes it wasn’t feasible for me to keep them; and sometimes I just plain didn’t want to keep them. And then, when I realized I wasn’t following my resolutions, I would start crap-talking myself for not following through. Obviously that wasn’t helpful.

Several years ago, after following some coaches online, I decided to set goals instead of making resolutions. I figured goals would work out better. They were a specific thing with specific action steps, right? It would be easy to follow through.

Nope. Not even close to easy. I wrote down my goals, so at least I didn’t forget them, but sometimes they weren’t specific enough for me to be able to follow through. Sometimes things changed and the goals were no longer relevant. And sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to begin working on them. (I’m great at seeing big-picture things; I struggle to figure out the small steps to take to get to the big picture, though I’ve been working on that.) So I wouldn’t meet the goals, and again, I would start crap-talking myself.

This year, I decided to try something new. Instead of resolutions or goals, I set intentions.

For me, the difference between a goal and an intention is that a goal is a specific, concrete, measurable thing (“I’m going to sign six channeling students by the end of 2022”) while an intention is more abstract and more about mindset and thoughts than actions (“In 2022, I intend to celebrate each client and student who signs up to work with me”). No matter how specific goals are, if you’re struggling with your thoughts and perceptions about yourself and the things you’re setting goals on, you’ll struggle to meet those goals.

But if you set intentions, you’re starting with the foundation of inner work. Of thoughts and mindset. Of finding the inner pieces that are holding you back.

Intentions, for me, are easier and feel more beneficial. If I set a goal of signing six channeling students and only sign three, I might be happy about the three but still kick my own ass for not getting six. I might feel like I failed because I didn’t hit the goal. But if I set an intention to celebrate each and every student who signs up, the number of students doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m shifting my thoughts from dwelling on how many students I *don’t* have to being excited about the ones I *do* have. And that excitement is the energy I want to put into my business.

If you made resolutions or set goals for 2022, I invite you to set a couple-few intentions as well, or even change your goals into intentions. See how that feels for you and how it helps you progress.