The difference between a goal and an intention
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a goal and an intention?
This was a question that was asked in my postnatal yoga circle last Thursday.
Although these two terms seem to be thrown around interchangeably (I have done this myself), I think there is an important distinction between them.
Anything you read about setting goals will tell you to make sure your goal is measurable. There is an acronym in the goal setting world, SMART, which stands for: specific, measurable, relevant or realistic, time bound.
This can be very useful when your goal is productivity or achievement oriented (like in business or fitness training), but I would argue that intention setting is more helpful (at least at first) when it comes to personal development or transformational work. This is because intentions are much more about how you want to feel (and not what you want to accomplish).
Do you see the subtle but powerful difference here? Here is a chart that I made to help you to understand the subtle differences between intentions and goals.
Why setting an intention will help you manifest your goals
So many of us are tired and overwhelmed from doing too much, that our goals can often become another thing on our to-do list that we fail to do, and then feel bad about (which prevents us from taking action).
An intention is not meant to be another thing on your to-do list! It is meant to be an attitude or feeling with which you approach the things you are already doing. For example, maybe you want to feel less guilty, be more mindful in your day-today, or show your body more kindness and compassion.
It's this type of internal work that will lead you to be more kind with yourself so that you will then be able to have to the energy and momentum you need to take on some of your bigger goals.
Setting an intention for your day, week, or month can be a great way to set the tone for specific period of time, without feeling like there is too much pressure to accomplish something specific (here's a reel of how I incorporate intention setting into my morning ritual).
You don't have to be in one of my yoga circles to play along! I invite you to take some time today or this week to get clear on an intention for yourself. You can set a time frame for your intention:
by the end of (insert amount of time here - could be x days, weeks, months), I would like to feel.....
Start off by writing whatever comes to mind, without filtering (I call this stream of consciousness writing). And then go back and read what you've read and simplify it in one statement.
If you're feeling stuck and would like support with this process schedule a discovery call me with today to find out how working with an experienced coach (that's me 😉) can make all the difference in attaining your dreams in 2022.
Lauren is a trained neuroscientist, who after a decade of teaching left her job to start her own business. Her struggle with migraines and anxiety is what brought Lauren to yoga, and kept her coming back as it became a medicine for both her body and mind. Today, Lauren is passionate about teaching meditation and yoga to a large audience as tools to develop more resilience and joy, with less anxiety and overwhelm. Lauren lives in Montreal with her husband and two children, Cedar and Oscar.