5 Ways Setting Intentions Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Last week, we took a deep dive into Creating Mindful To-Do Lists to help us cultivate more awareness throughout our busy weeks. In the piece, we explored the benefits of adding intentions into daily routines to forge connected creations.
It got us thinking…
Do you know the difference between goals and intentions?
In many ways, they sound like the same thing. But, in reality, they are actually completely different. In our success-driven society, you may find that you gravitate towards a goal setting practice. The nature of the “doing” culture we live in is certainly angled towards ticking things off, seeking more and finding “success”. There is nothing wrong with this, but often there’s a tendency to form goals and feel lost in the process of reaching them.
That is where an intention-setting practice can help support goals.
A goal is the desired result. It’s the end post that we are aiming to reach. The intention is then what is done in the present moment to support reaching that goal.
So, the goal might be “I want to be fit and healthy by the end of the month”. This is the vision of what you want and when you want to reach it. The intention each morning would then be “I intend to prioritise my fitness and health today”. Or, it could be more specific, “I intend to move my body in a way that feels good today”. It’s an actionable step that will eventually result in a goal becoming a reality.
It sounds simple, but it is in fact a minor change that makes a huge difference.
Here’s how intentions help you to reach your goals
Intentions make goals more manageable
A goal can often feel out of reach. Due to the fact that it is set in the future, it can make you feel as though it’s something you need to constantly chase. When days go by and the goal feels no closer, it’s easy to feel disheartened and demotivated. That’s where intentions help by bringing the goal into the present. Intentions are the step that is right in front of you, rather than one that feels a marathon away. By setting daily intentions that feel manageable, the goal can come into reach without overwhelm surrounding it. It’s essentially a bitesize version that feels easier to chew.
Intentions tap into the feminine
Goals are rooted in masculine energy… something that there is an excess of in our modern-day society. To find balance in that, bringing in some feminine energy helps offer support. With a softer approach, intentions draw on kinder energy to create inner harmony. Going back to our earlier example, focusing on being a fit and healthy human could feel a little relentless. Switch that to focusing on choosing healthier options each day and suddenly it feels like a much more compassionate way of reaching that goal.
Intentions are rooted in the present
Goals are future-orientated. They feed into our urge to always look ahead and be working towards something. This can often lead to us feeling ungrounded and off-center. Intentions root into the present moment to create a connection that feels comfortable. The benefits of being more present are endless, including limiting anxiety and stress, which in the long run can bring you far closer to the goal you are working towards.
Intentions are internal signals
Bring a goal to the forefront of your mind. Spend a moment sitting with it and ask yourself if it is true for you and only you. Or, on a subconscious level is it rooted in external validation? Often, we get swept up in creating goals that are what we think we should do, rather than what we actually want to do. Intentions are heart-centered and require us to draw them from within. They ask us to be intentional, which is reached by drawing on a deeper inner connection.
Intentions are aligned
The thing with a goal is that every day is different and some days they may be easier to work towards than others. Setting a goal months into the future means that it’s difficult to take daily fluctuations into consideration. Intentions are a chance to treat each day individually and to check in with how it feels to work towards that goal each day. The reality is that we are often guilty of not cutting ourselves enough slack. It’s easy to get caught up in a goal and ignore our needs as a result. By setting daily intentions we offer a reminder to check in first and only work towards our goals in ways that feel aligned.
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