Intentions Over Goals
For many of us, when we are greeted by a new year we feel obligated to set a goal - something we need to achieve, in hope that we'll bathe in our successes for the months to follow. For this year, and the years that follow, I don’t wish to set any goals for myself. Setting goals gives me an overwhelming sense of pressure to achieve and to not be a failure. Goals keep my focus continuously set on the future, forcing myself only to look forward. They don't allow me to think about where my feet are planted in that exact moment, take in my current surroundings or even appreciate a rainy day.
In the past, the foundations of my goals have always been built upon fear. ‘I want to own my first house by 21’ and ‘I want to look thinner and eat healthier’ are two that spring to mind. As you can imagine, when I didn’t buy my first house by 21, I was incredibly disappointed with myself. In fact, on my 18th birthday I cried because I could feel my goals were not correlating with the timeline I had set myself. My worst fears were coming true, I was not a "high achiever”, I was becoming a "failure". What I hadn’t realised at the time, was that I was neglecting my internal wellbeing and destroying my self worth.
This is why this year, I wish to trade in my goals for intentions. The word intention comes from the Latin meaning for 'stretching purpose’ - a way of challenging yourself with a deeper meaning and with your feelings in mind. Our intentions are authentic desires, which allow us to have a compassionate approach to ourselves, whilst also understanding that we can’t always be in control. Now, I've chosen to stop chasing a dream or goal with a competitive mindset and instead to openly invite new experiences into my life. An example of this may be ‘I intend to feel stronger’ or ‘ I intend to live joyfully and to find fulfilment’ or even ‘I intend to be finically stable and to live abundantly’.
So for now, instead of goal setting, I choose to live my intentions; surrendering to what I can’t change and trusting that I can live fully, regardless of my successes.