Goals VS. Intentions

New Years Resolutions, “my word for the year”, setting goals – it can all seem pretty overwhelming, right? Well now is the time to take a step back and really find a way to make all of these things work FOR you rather than stress you out.

If you want to find success in 2017, you should focus on two things: intentions and goals.

Goals and Intentions – What’s the difference?

First and foremost, INTentions are INTernal while goals are external.

Both are completely necessary to find the success and freedom you’re looking for, but one should always first start with intentions before focusing on goals. Strengthen yourself on the inside and you’ll find it easier to build stamina on the outside.

When it comes down to it, intentions are a state of constant reflection while goals are a state of conscious planning. With intentions, you reflect on your feelings in the present moment, encouraging yourself to grow and by more cognizant of your current state; with goals, you’re following a map in the hopes of reaching your end goal.

Along those lines, intentions are basically that pathway to which you achieve your goals. So, for example, telling yourself that in 2017 you’re going to publish one blog post per week is your goal, learning to better hold yourself accountable to your actions is an intention.

Intentions are typically very broad, again dealing more in the conceptual realm of feelings and living each day as it comes, while goals should always be very specific.

Because of the broad vs precise nature of these things, having good intentions supports you in achieving your goals while having goals with no intentions means lots pressure and stress from the fear of failure.

How to Set Intentions and Goals

When it comes to setting intentions, you can first look to those you idolize – what is it about them that you appreciate? Is it their patience? Their confidence? Their time management skills? Whatever it is, KNOW that you too can be that way by setting intentions and following through with them.

Personally, I’ve always struggled with patience. It’s just not a strong characteristic of mine. But this year I’m setting the intention of being more patient – not just with my kids or my clients, but with EVERYONE. Yes, even the jerk who cuts me off in traffic. It won’t necessarily be easy, but it’s not supposed to be. Intentions are meant to be work, but in a feel-good, feel-better kind of way.

Setting goals comes more from you and your ideals. Where do you want to be 6 months from now? A year from now? Five years from now? What do you have to do to get there?

For example, if you want to be averaging $5k/month by July 2017, what exactly do you need to do to get there? Again, be VERY specific and write out those steps. Each one of those is a goal and requires you to take action.

All in all, intentions are a state of being while goals are a state of doing.

What will you be working on in 2017? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Amber Temerity is an efficiency strategist and blogging mentor for those looking to run efficient (but highly profitable) online businesses. She currently owns and operates ThriftyGuardian.com and EmbracingTemerity.com.