If This Is Your First Time Learning About Goal Setting, Take Note of Intentions vs Goals
For most of us, setting goals has become ingrained into our personal development. When something goes awry in our lives or careers, the impulse is to come up with a goal and take steps to achieve it. However, if you have struggled with achieving goals in the past, it may be time to take a closer look at the relationship between intentions and goals.
Understanding the way goals and intentions differ will allow you to better identify each in your life. By understanding these differences, you can better leverage each one as you work toward success.
Goals and Intentions: What’s the Difference?
It’s important to note that both goals and intentions have advantages and disadvantages to one another. However, only one of these two will help you see real change in your life, and that’s your goals.
Goals are the results you’re after. They’re the things you want to achieve and the milestones you mark along the way. To see this in action, an example of a goal is the specific actions you’ll be taking to lose weight or build a better relationship with your partner.
Intentions, on the other hand, are the energy you put into something at the start. They aren’t quite like motivation, but they’re a significant willingness to do something. Intentions include phrases like “I want to lose weight” or “I will be a better partner for my spouse.”
When it comes to timing, intentions are concerned with the present moment in your life while your goals are projections for future achievements. This leads directly to the difference in priority. Goals prioritize external achievements while intentions prioritize the emotions and deeper relationship you have with the task at hand.
Finally, the scope of these two aspects is different. Intentions are broad concepts designed with a vagueness that varies from person to person. Goals are highly specific actions and results that you want to achieve.
Why Goals Trump Intentions in Terms of Success
While both goals and intentions are beneficial to your personal development, goals tend to have a more significant impact in terms of achieving success. It’s worth considering, however, that instead of focusing on one goal over the other, it’s worth striking a balance between the two to achieve greater success.
Goals are manifestations of your intentions into a more concrete plan. You’ll be putting more thought into achieving them, and you’ll be talking about how you’ll get there and how you’ll measure your results. Intentions, on the other hand, are vague and focus on the immediate short-term, making it easy to lose motivation.
It’s worth noting that intentions are often stronger on an emotional front as they can bring more satisfaction to completing goals. Goals, on the other hand, tend to result in an empty feeling, even after completing a major objective.
Combining Goals and Intentions: Striking a Balance
Both goals and intentions impact us in emotional ways, and each can be beneficial if leveraged correctly. If you start with a broad intention and then create highly specific goals, you can balance both to achieve the greatest success for yourself.
For example, if your intention is to grow, your goal might be to post moving content that engages your audience. This approach allows you to use your intention as an affirmation, reminding yourself of why you’re pursuing a given goal.
With this balance in mind, you can set SMARTER goals that will guide you on your path and maintain a deeper relationship with yourself and your emotional states along the way. This will lead to greater feelings of accomplishment and a more grounded sense of direction as you reach your goals.
Both intentions and goals are beneficial to our personal development, and combining the two is a surefire way to achieve real success. By understanding the differences between goals and intentions and striking a balance between the two, you can stay motivated and on-track in your life and professional pursuits.