Goals Versus Intentions

A church member, whom I encountered yesterday as he was out mowing his lawn and I was out walking, told me that his mother lived to 101 and that was his goal for himself.   He is 89,  maintains the home he and his wife shared before her death, gardens and generally stays active and involved in church, in the community, and with his family.

This gave me pause to think about several things.  I have an aunt who lived to 100, another who lived to 97.  It seems plausible that I might live into my nineties, perhaps to 100.  I don’t think of living to an old age as a goal for myself though.  However, I do think of staying as healthy as I can for as long as I can as a worthy intention.  So then I wondered what is really the difference between his goal and my intention.

My curiosity led me to read about the two. Goals can be described as destinations or specific external achievements in the future. Intentions are lived each day, and are about your values, about your relationship with yourself and others. The habitsforwellbeing website describes the difference as “goals are what you want to DO….intentions are about who you want to BE.”

 Goals have the potential to set one up in a win/lose mind set.  If I don’t lose 10 pounds in the next 30 days and I lose nary an ounce, have I failed?  If I set a goal to walk seven days a week and I walk four, have I failed? 

I would tend to describe this as friend versus foe.  Goals have the risk of making yourself a foe.  Intentions have the advantage of going about your life in a way that is more supportive to yourself, to how you live your life. 

From The Empowerment Dynamic website (Did you know that is what T.E.D. talks stand for??) :Focusing on intentions does not mean you give up your goals or desire to achieve.   Here are three differences between goals and intentions:

  1. Goals are focused on the future. Intentions are in the present moment.
  2. Goals are a destination or specific achievement. Intentions are lived each day, independent of achieving the goal or destination.
  3. Goals are external achievements. Intentions are about your relationship with yourself and others.

By setting your intention first, and combining it with goals, you will become a Creator who enjoys both the journey, as much as the destination.

 May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.  Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus: “The journey towards your dreams begins with intention. Download Free Intention Setting Worksheet to Set Goals at https://www.pinterest.com>pin
P.S. This represents my 100th post in kateshopecafe.net, begun 2 years ago this week!  It was not a goal to keep it going so much as it was an intention to pay more attention to my life, to what is happening around me and to how I am experiencing those things.  But I do take some pleasure in the fact that I have reached 100 posts. 😊

3 thoughts on “Goals Versus Intentions”

  1. Congratulations on having reached a “goalpost” so to speak, Kate., your 100th.
    And thanks for keeping the Cafe up and running, with servings that help me to stay more intentional.

    Liked by 1 person

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