Ok, yes, I’m going to join the masses in starting this post asking you whether you stuck to your New Year’s resolutions? 

Well done if you have.

Don’t fret if you haven’t; something like 80% of people don’t stick to their resolutions and fall off the wagon in January.

Why is that such a steep figure?

Setting GOALS isn’t always the answer. Let’s explore setting INTENTIONS instead.

A goal is defined as, “…an objective or target that someone is trying to reach or achieve…. an aim or objective that you work toward with effort and determination.” Source: Dictionary.com

An intention on the other hand is more deliberate, an action, or a behaviour. “what one intends to do or bring about… a determination to act in a certain way…” Source: Merriam-Webster

You’ll notice that both definitions include the word ‘determination’… 

In a nutshell, a goal is an end result, whereas an intention is more about the actions it takes to achieve that end result. With me so far? 

A couple of examples occur to me. It’s a goal of mine this year to strengthen my connections with people, friends, clients, peers etc. I want to see people in person more often, so my goal is to do so. My intention is to schedule two in-person coffee shop catch-ups per week. 

You see how the intention is more tangible? 

I’m not suggesting that you do not have goals. I’m saying that often having a goal is not enough. If you want to strengthen your chances of achieving said goal, you need to focus on those intentions. 

A great strategy is to reverse-engineer your goal. So, look at your goal and set your deadline. Then look at the actions needed in order to achieve it and work backwards, setting milestones along the way. Of course, you need to allow some wiggle room in there, nothing is ever set in stone, but this is where your determination comes in – or your purpose, as I’d prefer to call it. 

It’s easy to lose sight of our goals when we aren’t reminding ourselves of our purpose regularly. You need to connect to your WHY as often as possible – daily even! What purpose does this goal have, why do you want to achieve it, and what benefits will it yield? Then you simply focus on your intention for that day. 

So yes, dream big! Don’t put limits on what you can achieve. Take action each day towards your goal by setting your intention and fulfilling it. It’s far easier to climb a ladder when the rungs have less space between them – that’s how progress is made.