Have you ever set a goal for yourself and weren’t able to reach it? Or, maybe, you set a goal that you knew you should complete, but your heart just wasn’t into it? All of us have had these experiences at one time or another. Let’s talk about what makes us successful in reaching some goals and not others.
If you have an idea for a goal, but it’s empty – that is, it lacks intention – it will be hard to achieve. The key lies in your intention. Intentions and goals are commonly defined as an aim to achieve a desired result and often the two words are used interchangeably. However, there is quite a distinction between the two.
Our culture tends to be very goal-oriented. All of our major institutions are driven by goals, results and outcomes: education, healthcare, business, finance, politics, etc. Goals are action-oriented, representing the yang aspect of achieving desires in a tangible and measurable way. They are future-oriented and carry the vision for what it is you want down the road. As a result, they can represent a sense of lack in the moment – of something you do not have right now, but wish for in the future. Goals are fine to have, they can activate us to evolve and drive us to accomplishments in our lives. However, sometimes people can feel like a failure if their goals don’t turn out to their satisfaction. If one repeatedly sets goals that they don’t achieve, a person can lose trust in themselves and their capacity to accomplish things in life, which can feel very disempowering. – An example of a goal might be: My goal is to lose 25 pounds by September 1st.
Intentions, by contrast, are the yin counter-part of desire. They are the undercurrent of goal setting. Intentions are the emotional connection to what you want to achieve and why. They represent what you value and your connection to yourself in the present moment. Intentions give energy to your endeavor, which further fuels your desire, your motivation and your commitment, supporting the manifestation of your goals. Intentions are broad words or statements that address more of the quality, or feeling state of what you desire. For example: My intention is to engage in my work with calm, clarity and creativity.
The setting of intentions allows you to create resonance within your physical system, giving you more grounded focused energy. The science of Heart Math has demonstrated this through the study of heart rate variability.
Intentions need to be revisited frequently to keep them activated in your awareness so they can serve as a guide as you live your day. This is much like providing water to the root of a flower in order for it to grow and bloom. By setting intentions, you align with your purpose and heart’s desire which brings greater quality to your daily life.
Here are some tips for setting intentions:
- Take a few quiet moments in the morning or the start of your day to slow yourself down and set an intention for your day. Breathe into it with slow deep breaths, and notice how you feel in your body as you consider it. Notice any images or other words that arise. Write it down if you wish.
- As you proceed with your normal activities of the day, reconnect with your intention and the feelings and/or images that went with it periodically throughout your day – even if it’s only for a few seconds.
- At the end of the day, check in with yourself: How did that intention feel as you carried out your day’s activities? What else did you notice? You may want to journal on your intentions and the impact they had.
Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.
– Dr. Wayne W. Dyer