Do you ever get asked the question: What are your goals for the next five years? You hear it all the time, right? In an interview, at the table with your family, sitting around with your friends – whatever the case, you constantly hear that you need to set goals. But, I’ve recently flipped the conversation. Rather than setting goals, should we set intentions, or something that don’t lead to a sense of loss or failure. We’ve grown increasingly custom to setting goals, at work, in life, etc., but goals can lead to a sense of failing, a sense of not meeting that goal, and that feeling of “I did not succeed if I didn’t reach my goal.”
Let’s flip this dialogue – let’s talk about intentions rather than goals. Setting intentions, allows you to focus on YOU – the now, the who you are at this very moment, and begin to discover where you want to go, and how this intention can help you get there. As you begin to think about your future, intentions allow you to provide a daily, a monthly or a yearly roadmap for your near and distant future and allows you to set the tone for that set period of time. Intentions become the path and the fuel that your “goals” need. They align with your values and help you get towards your purpose.
The cool thing about intentions is that they can’t be forced; they have to be something you truly in your heart and soul desire – things you tend to gravitate towards in your life. So, where do you even begin when it comes to setting intentions. Here’s where I can help:
write them down
Writing down your intentions allow them to be more real, tangible and a place where you can constantly be reminded of them. Maybe you place them on your fridge, on your mirror, or slip them in your wallet, so that you’re constantly aware of what you want to accomplish within that period of time you set for yourself. The best way to start is things you “tend” to accomplish within the period of time. Personally, to start, I find it best to set intentions for the month. This way, you don’t feel the stress or pressure to do anything in a short period of time that may put more stress on you without realizing. For example..
During this month, I intend to:
- Prepare my meals 4-5 days a week. I am doing this so that I can fuel my body with nutrient dense foods that make me feel good, and make me aware of what is going in to my body.
- Expand my fitness routine. I am doing this to push my boundaries. I primarily stick to the same fitness routine: running, yoga and barre. I am going to expand and try other studios so that I can become a resource to followers, and become more knowledgable about the fitness industry in Chicago. Plus, it’s fun and it puts your body in to a new type of exercise shock – so great!
- Reach out to friends near & far. I am doing this because it’s easy to let time go, and let distance come between friends when you’re busy with work, and life itself, but I genuinely want to know what’s new and exciting in my friends lives! I want to be a resource and support line for all of my friends near and far.
- Take Jakey for long walks throughout the city. I am doing this because Jakey needs to see Chicago!! I typically take Jakey to the park near my house, but he needs to get out and explore, and meet more puppers!
- Write 4 blog posts per month. I am doing this because I have more to share, and even though life can get busy, I am willing to spend 1 hour a day writing blog posts to share more with our followers.
As you write, aim for all of your intentions to be:
Positive: it’s easy to think about the negative things in your life, and how you want to “fix” them. Invite these new intentions in to your life. Turn the negativity around what you’re intending to do in to a positive, and how you WILL do it, and show yourself how you will get there.
Ever-Evolving: although your intention is for the day, the week, the month, or some period of time, allow it can evolve. As you complete your intention, invite that next step of the intention in to your life to continue growing with that intention.
A Moment for Your Mind, Body & Soul: you can manifest and set an intention of something tangible, and something that you can quantify, but the best intentions are those that are rooted deeper in to your mind and soul. This isn’t something that will come easily, but when you do some soul searching of what you truly desire, that’s when the most amazing intentions flourish.
Accounted for: continue to remind yourself of these intentions. Place it on the fridge, place it in your wallet, make it your morning mantra, your weekly meditation. After you write them all down, place it near your heart, and let that just sink in.
where to start
Don’t even know where to start when writing your intentions? Robin Youkilis recommends listening to one song and meditating for the duration fo the song. After your meditation practice, journal for 5-10 minutes. If you’re blank, and nothing comes through, that’s okay! Try it again the next day. When you start journaling, your own true self starts to guide your intentions. Even just one thing that comes to your mind could be that one intention you need for the next month.
If songs and meditation is not your calling, then maybe just start to write down a few things that come to your mind of what you would like to manifest for the next week or month. Dig deep in to your soul, go to yoga and see what comes to mind – whatever it is, it’s your calling. Surprise yourself.