Intentions Personal

The Best-Laid Plans

As I discussed in last week’s post, I’m exploring setting intentions rather than goals for my business and my life in general. The primary reason for this is that when I set goals and don’t meet them, it’s far too easy for me to fall into self-loathing and negative self-talk. Sometimes I can’t quite see what I *have* accomplished, only what I haven’t.

With intentions, there isn’t an end-game. It isn’t “I’m going to do this thing and then I’ve met it.” Intentions are ongoing and are about how I think and feel about what I’m doing rather than being about concrete numbers like goals are. There’s no “I didn’t meet it,” because as long as I’m working to keep that intention, I’m meeting it.

One of my intentions for 2022 is “I intend to have grace and compassion for myself if I don’t meet my goals.” I did set a few goals, mainly to keep myself on track with the things I need to do, like offering a certain number of channeling workshops or making sure I blog every week. Those aren’t so much outcome-based goals as “Here’s a thing I want to do.”

I’ve discovered that on a fairly regular basis, I don’t meet goals I’ve set. Sometimes it’s because the goal was based on something I don’t actually have control over, such as how many clients sign up to work with me. (I can’t control whether other people want to sign up.) Sometimes it’s because I get a few months along and realize that the goal is no longer relevant to the direction of my business. And sometimes it’s because, for whatever reason, meeting that goal just isn’t something I’m able to do.

Since I grew up with family members who criticized me for doing things wrong or not doing them at all rather than acknowledging the things I did right (or just keeping their mouths shut), and I’ve still got family members who claim I’ve never done anything to be proud of, when I don’t meet a goal those are the voices I hear in my head. I become the one saying I’ve done it wrong or condemning myself for not doing it at all. And that doesn’t help me progress.

So this year, I’ve made the decision that I’m going to treat myself the way I would treat my kids or my clients and students. I’m going to notice the things I do and be happy about them, and I’m going to acknowledge the goals I don’t meet but be accepting of the fact that I didn’t meet them. I’m going to look at it as “I didn’t get there because of (whatever reason), and that’s okay, at least I tried,” instead of “I didn’t get there and that means I’m a failure.” 

Sometimes, no matter how concrete a goal we set and how hard we work, we just aren’t able to meet it. Life happens. Plans change. *We* change. And learning to be okay with that and to accept ourselves even if we don’t meet our goals is an important step in creating the life we want to live.