Goals vs Intentions

I have been hearing a lot of “setting my intentions for the new year” and “I am writing down my intentions”. Well, while I think it is great to want to make positive change in your life and having an intention is a good start, I don’t believe it is going to keep you motivated enough to make that change.

To me, the words “intention” and “try” mean ‘I am thinking about it but I am most likely not going to follow through.’ As in…. “I intended to go to the gym but I got too busy” or “I tried to meditate every day but I couldn’t get up early enough” or “I intended to quit ______ but it was just too hard”.

I have found that if you really want to make change and have that motivation stick you need to have “drive”. You need to find your “why”. That is everything. That is what will get your ass out of bed 5 am to get that workout in. That is what will give you the strength to say no to to the chocolate bar, the cigarette, the glass of wine….

So how do you find that why?  It goes a little something like this...  

example 1:

  • I want to loose 20 lbs.
  • Okay. Why?
  • Because I want to fit into this dress.
  • Okay. Why is it so important for you to fit into this dress and dig deep because fitting into the dress is not going to motivate you enough to stick to your goal.
  • Hmmmm. (thinks about it for a time) You know what, it’s not so much about the dress as how I feel when I look in the mirror, Or I feel disgusted with how I let myself go, Or I want to be a better role model for my child, Or I want to take care of my health so this body will make it another 40 years….
  • Now, we have a “why” to work with.

example 2: (this is a goal of mine that I accomplished in 2018 and 2019 and I am still working on it for 2020)

  • I want to stick to what I start. Finish something. Not quit.
  • Okay why?
  • Because I really want to prove to people around me that I can do this
  • Hmmm, I think you can do better. Dig Deep…
  • Okay, Because all of my life as far back as I can remember, I have been told “debbie never finishes anything.” so you know what. I believed that and I never finished anything. I quit. I was a quitter. I quit on things when they made me uncomfortable. I quit if I thought it would be hard, if I thought I would fail, or maybe I quit because I was scared I would succeed and then who would I become? I just want to see something through! So this isn’t about other people so much as it is about me. I want to succeed. I want to succeed for me and I want to feel pride.

These last 2 years I made a few huge changes in my life. Those changes didn’t happen because I “tried” or “intended”. They came because when the days got tough, I remembered why I was doing it. When I didn’t want to go down into my basement to workout or when I didn’t want to sit down and study for 2 hours, I remembered what it felt like to fail. I knew that feeling well and it sucked. Then I imagined how amazing I would feel when I reached my goal. Like I really imagined. I saw myself in the bikini on stage at the body building competition feeling pride because I stuck with it and got myself there. I imagined how it would feel to have that certificate hanging behind me in my office because I stuck with my plan.

I did more then try or had intentions. I did it!!!

Sometimes your why might be about something more than yourself. You might find yourself making changes to make life better for the people you love. When I started my recovery from alcohol, I had a few whys. One was definitely about myself but even bigger then me was my family. Particularly, my teenager. When I had a “fuck it” kinda day and wanted to drive to the wine store, I remembered something my kid said to me after a my last bad black out drunk. I remembered the shame I felt and I how I couldn’t look in his eyes. That feeling made me drive past the wine store many times. Today, I find it easier not to drink. I don’t think of alcohol everyday and thankfully my why has changed from digging up that old shameful memory to a why of gratitude for the courage, strength and confidence I have found in myself to keep finishing what I started.

This year, once again I have goals. I have new goals that scare the hell out of me. They make me uncomfortable, but now I realize that it is in the space of being uncomfortable that I will grow. I will grow and have more courage and more strength and more confidence to see things through to the finish.

This year, I encourage you to do more then try, to do more then set just your intentions.

Set goals and dreams that if you actually accomplished them you would blow your own mind!! I know I am. I may not make it. I may fail and that is okay, because I will learn, pick myself up and try again.

Instead of thinking about what could go wrong, I am going to focus and imagine what would happen if things went right. There is where the magic lies. In believing in yourself and what you can do….

Coming soon in 2020


Helping you become the best version of yourself,

the person you were intended to be….

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