It’s almost time to farewell 2017. Most people start thinking about goals and resolutions for the New Year. These invariably look good on paper, are often unrealistic, don’t take into account big picture thinking and are usually abandoned halfway through January.
I’ve always found the concept of goal setting and planning ahead has motivated me. In fact, planning, setting goals, making lists and everything to do with organisation comes so naturally to me that I don’t even have to think about it.However, this has not always been in my favour. Ticking off goals and lists have made me feel like an automaton at times and shifted my thinking to the destination instead of the journey.
So it got me thinking about how I could help people find a better way to stick to their goals and resolutions. I have learnt that to really get where you want to be and live a life of meaning and purpose simply setting goals and making plans is not enough on its own. As Wayne Dyer said,”Our intention creates our reality.”
Setting your intention is a far more powerful way of reaching your outcomes. So what is the difference between goals and intentions? An intention is an internal reason for doing something or making a certain decision. It is based on values, passion or purpose and linked to the big picture.
A goal, on the other hand, is external as it defines the steps or actions necessary to move towards your intentions which are based on the big picture. Goals are the how, when and where and the intention is the why.
To be motivated to take action we need to have both the why in place and the action plan or roadmap of how we are going to get there. Setting an intention without planning the goals behind it is like thinking of something and never taking action to make it happen. Conversely, setting goals without a purpose or intention has no real meaning. Without the connection, it becomes difficult to find the intrinsic motivation that leads to living with purpose and meaning.
The upside of partnering goals with intentions is living in the present moment, according to your values and what really matters to you. This does not mean you are giving up your goals but rather that you are focusing on the journey while moving towards your destination.
- Set aside some quiet time and start by thinking of your big picture and your vision.
- Reflect on the past 12 months. Did you achieve what you set out to accomplish? Did you live according to your values? Were you in alignment with your intentions?
- List the highlights and lowlights of the past year. What did you learn from the choices you made?
- Set your intention for the coming year in each area of your life: Health, Family, Relationships, Career and Personal Development.
- Write down your goals in each area.
- Break down your goals into small steps and list the activities or actions that need to happen daily, weekly or monthly to help you achieve your goals. Make sure they are specific, realistic and sustainable.
- Remember to have the big picture next to each goal.
Preparation is the key to success, but we need to be prepared psychologically, emotionally, physically and spiritually in order to manifest our intentions. When setting your intentions for 2017, ask yourself what you really want deep down in your heart and soul. Gaining clarity on our intentions and aligning them with your values is the first step and will ensure your goals and actions connect with what really matters. This is how goals are achieved and how life can be transformed.
This month’s mantra is by Carl Jung:
”Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
Who looks inside, awakens.”
Here’s to a transformational 2017
With love and inspiration