Intentions vs. Goals
By now you may given up that New Years Resolution to eat healthy, drink less, you know, something vague and probably unrealistic. Or maybe you're following a growing trend to do away with resolutions altogether. Hey, I get it. The less we expect of ourselves, the less we have to be disappointed about. Except, resolution or not, it's not so hard to find an area of our lives to be disappointed in. Sigh, it's part of being human, feeling like we're not doing enough and that we could be better. Sometimes it's even comforting to have a goal, that feeling that we're working toward something, anything.
Let me suggest a new way to inspire yourself toward change.
Intentions and goals often get confused, here's a mini breakdown.
Goals: They can be very valuable in motivating us to make changes and reach a higher potential. Where goals have the power to trip us is in that achieving them happens in a far away future, NOT in the here and now. To keep up our motivation to work toward a goal, we attach a whole lot of expectation to a desired outcome. This desired outcome is supposed to solve our problems, make our life better, maybe even be a dream come true. The problem with that is that it puts a crappy sheen on our current state. It can make life in the present moment full of disappointment and anxiety. Not a good thing for long term motivation and current happiness.
Pairing long term goals with daily intentions may be just the fix though...
Intentions: Unlike goals, intentions are based in how we want to FEEL, now. They are instantly achievable with a shift in mindset. Where goals require us to create a long term roadmap for a desired outcome, intentions are a call for a desired feeling.
The Dynamic Duo: Intentions and Goals
The way these two can work together is pretty sweet. Like I said, having long term goals is A-Ok. It's when goals take us out of the present moment that they can become unhelpful. To stay in the moment and give ourselves a steady buzz of success and contentment try using a related intention that matches your goal.
For Example: A goal could be "I want to make new friends." A noble goal no doubt. There are physical actions you could take to achieve this goal, inviting acquaintances out for bevs, making your home into a place where people would like to gather etc. Creating bonds takes time though and inevitably along the way of trying to achieve your goal, you may begin to feel disheartened with all that emphasis on what you DON'T have. Enter intentions. It's time to take emotional action to boost up the physical action!
When you think about creating and intention that jives with your goal it opens up a really beautiful thought process about how we actually want to FEEL when we reach our goal. So many times we create empty goals, say, about wanting to lose weight and drink less when deep down what we want is to feel healthy, clear and in control.
If your goal is to make more friends you may have a desire to feel understood, connected and inspired. When you know how you want to feel in that moment when you reach your goal you have the power to feel that way RIGHT NOW! That's what an intention is. A practice in feeling the way you intend to feel when you reach your physical goal.
If I want more friends in my life I would want to practice the feelings of being more understanding of others. I would intend to be more open minded, I would intend to be more inclusive and compassionate. These are daily challenges I could slay on my toward reaching my goal. I would practice being a good friend so that I in turn make good friends.
When we tune our future desires together with our present feelings we create a very powerful shift of energy that can create a far away dream life in the here and now.