One of the best things you can do to shift your perspective and create an empowering relationship to your process of setting goals for this year is to understand some key distinctions: intentions, goals and actions.
- Intentions: Your intentions are states of being and authentic desires. In other words, you may have an intention to be peaceful, grateful, joyous, loving, successful, healthy or wealthy. Your intentions are your high ideals and are usually at the root of your motivation for any of your specific goals. Most people don't really want goals like a new relationship, more money or a fit body simply for the sake of those things themselves. You want them because of what you believe you will experience by having them in your life. By starting with your intentions, you get right to the source of what you truly want. Intentions are the core and the magic of all of your goals and desires.
- Goals: Effective and powerful goals are ones that are specific and measurable. You want to be able to track your progress and know for sure if you are reaching your goals or not. This doesn't have to be a competition (with others or yourself) and doesn't have to be filled with stress, pressure, shame or guilt. Having your goals as specific and measurable just makes them clear and more likely to manifest. And, the paradox you have to always remember when setting and working on your goals is that you can't be attached to the outcome—it will make you crazy and take you off course from your real intentions. Your goals simply take your intentions and focus them on tangible outcomes in the world.
- Actions: Creating action-oriented practices that support manifesting your goals and intentions is an essential daily, weekly and monthly process of your success and fulfillment. Coming up with action plans that inspire you, connect to the goals you're working on and fulfill your intentions is vital to all of this. This is where the rubber meets the road and is often the place where things break down. The breakdown of actions usually has more to do with a lack of support and accountability (which then allows you to let life take over and lose your focus) than it does with any failure or weakness on your part. Having practices that help you take the baby steps needed to manifest your goals and intentions is such an important piece of puzzle.