Here’s a question I’m asked a lot: “What’s the difference between setting a goal and setting an intention?” The answer can be a real game-changer when it comes to personal and professional effectiveness.
I like to look at goals as the final destination, as that specific achievement that we desire. Goals tend to be future-focused, external and outside of ourselves.
Setting a goal is a mental process, one where we analyze, plan and reason with ourselves. Goals, by themselves, can trigger an all-or-nothing mentality within us.
We like to think we’re in control of the goal, and all the steps it will take to achieve it, however, so often life gets in the way of our grand plan. Sometimes it’s just hard to stay on track with all of the daily distractions.
Intentions, on the other hand, are based in the present moment, independent of the final goal. They promote a sense of discovery and expansion and allow us to celebrate the little wins along the way. Intention aligns us with our inner creative intelligence.
Intentions are the energy we hold inside of ourselves as we move towards that which we want. They are created from a place of love, and by releasing the fear of not accomplishing that big goal we’ve set for ourselves.
Here are 3 distinct differences between a goal and an intention:
• Goal = future focused vs. Intention = present moment
• Goal = destination vs. Intention = daily actions
• Goal = external achievements vs. Intention = relationship with yourself
I’ve been hosting lunar inspired intention rituals every month for the past year, and find them to be a potent practice in staying focused on the present moment while I’m striving for a bigger end result.
Together with a morning practice where I set forth a daily intention, focusing on the energetics of how I want to feel and what I want to experience as I take steps towards that larger goal creates greater momentum and more joy in my life.
I like to use this process in the mornings to set my intention for the day. If you’re curious about intention setting, I invite you to give it a try.
- Daydream about your big vision as if it has already been manifested.
- Tap into your inner senses and ask yourself: How will it feel, look, be for me once it’s complete? See yourself moving through your life with your big vision achieved. Who will you be? What will your life look like? Who are you with? What will you be doing? Allow yourself to image it fully.
- Then, think about the daily situations you could experience during your day today. See yourself moving through your day in a way that brings you joy and pleasure. What are you doing? How are you interacting with others? What are you celebrating? Imagine having the best day ever.
- Once you’ve seen the outcomes you desire, thank your inner vision, and release it. Let it go, and let yourself be naturally guided by the way you want to feel, and not by feelings of “should” or the expectations of others.
- The reason that this exercise is so powerful is that research is proving that our brains can’t really distinguish between what we imagine is happening and what is actually happening. Fascinating.
Deepak Chopra, in The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, says this about intention: “Intention operates outside the boundaries of normal space and time; it is the great organizing and unifying force of the universe; infinite in scope and duration. It allows us to imagine beyond the boundaries of what the local mind sees as “possible, to think” outside the box and to believe in miracles.”
Go ahead and set your goals, visualize your intentions, see yourself living the happy, vibrant life you crave.
I hope you enjoyed this mindful moment. I always love reading your thoughts and comments, so don’t hold back.
Infinite ∞ Love,