Setting goals at the beginning of each new year is as trick-or-treating is to Halloween or as caroling is to Christmas. Goal setting just seems like the “right” thing to do. After all, there is something about a fresh calendar (or planner for you Erin Condran fans out there) that is so inspiring…the pages and dates are blank slates of possibility just waiting for us to fill them up with future rendezvous, adventures, and plans.
But as I sat down to set my goals for 2017, the process lacked the luster it had in previous years. Something felt flat or stale about the process.
Instead of pushing these feelings aside and trudging on like I normally do, I decided (with the help of a mentor) to spend more time getting curious about why I wasn’t feeling my usual zest for setting goals. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE goals. After all, they are what helped me complete an Ironman, run 100 miles, and form my own business. They also help us Military Spouses survive tough times, like deployments. Upon further exploration I realized that I wasn’t excited about setting goals because they weren’t worthwhile or useful, it was because without a greater purpose, goals seemed so overrated or meaningless. I realized that until I set my overall intentions for the coming year, my goals wouldn’t hold the value I desired.
First, let’s get clear on what goals and intentions are. Goals are desired outcomes and are often times essential for completing tasks; they are the track that guides us to our destination.
Intentions, on the other hand, are overarching values and crystallizations of what you value most. Said another way, intentions are authentic vows or pure expressions that come from the core of your being. Goals focus on reaching a pre-determined finish line whereas intentions focus on why you are running the race how you are feeling during each step.