Move Over Goal Setting! Intentions are in the Driver’s Seat in 2018

It’s that time of year – the holidays are quickly coming to an end. I should be fully focused on the merriment of time with friends and family, and I should be relaxing and enjoying my time off from work.

But, I’m an incredibly driven, goal-seeking person. So, here I am reviewing my 2017 resolutions (which, in my opinion is just a fancy word for goals). And, I’ve spent a disproportionate amount time celebrating my wins vs. beating myself up over the goals I didn’t hit <- Why do we do that to ourselves?

Here’s the thing: just about any professional goal I set for myself, I aggressively approach and achieve. However, almost all goals I set around self-care or personal interests require an immense amount of focus, and they seem painstaking every step of the way. <- again, why do we do that to ourselves?

What’s Different in 2018?

I hit a ton of goals this year: I successfully managed to accept a full-time position from one of my biggest clients while maintaining my consulting business; I oversaw a massive home renovation and executed every vision we had for our house; I launched this blog; and I provided mentorship to a few young professionals.

Sounds like a lot of goals met! But, I fell short on one that really trips me up: I didn’t lose the weight I gained after my mother passed away … nearly 2 years ago. I held on to that chunk like a safety blanket. All the while hyper-focusing on a number that would signal a goal being met.

I’ve had enough. Starting in 2018, goals are going to take a back seat; they will be present, but I’m not going to lead with them. I’m going to force myself to think at a much higher level. I’m going to get to the heart of the matter. Beyond goals, there are intentions. And, setting intentions is more about self-care than it is about checking a list of achievements. This is where I suggest we all start our 2018.


Goals vs. Intentions

Don’t get me wrong – I love a goal. I set goals for nearly everything I do in business, and I hold my teams accountable to the goals they set. You see, goals are perfect for business – they are yes/no; did we/didn’t we; black and white; numbers driven; SMART; and all the other buzzwords we use to drive results in business.

The problem with only setting goals in our personal lives is our personal lives are not black and white – they are shades of gray.

So, if I set a goal of losing 30 pounds in 2018, and I only lose 25. Technically, the goal wasn’t met. Even if I drop two dress sizes, firm up and increase my overall fitness, my brain (that I’ve trained over time to be really hard on myself) will note that as a failure unless I work really hard to fight that voice inside me that says, “yeah, but the goal was 30 pounds, and we only lost 25.”

But, if I set an intention to have a healthier body by the end of 2018, I afford myself the flexibility to learn along the way and set mini achievements I want to strive for. Those mini-achievements are, in fact, goals, but I’m not leading with them. I intend to have a healthier body. There are a million ways I can be successful at that. I just named a few: drop two dress sizes, firm up, increase my overall fitness, etc.

Here’s another example. Let’s say you set the goal that you are going to take up knitting in 2018 because you don’t have any hobbies and want one. Now, let’s consider it is February. You’ve bought out the entire knitting section at Michael’s, and you’ve decided you hate knitting.

“Oh no! I’ve spent all this money, and I hate this. I don’t want to do this. I guess I’ve failed at my goal and I’m not meant to have a hobby. Ugh.”

Sound familiar?

What if you had set the intention to find a hobby that you are passionate about in 2018? What if your intention was to find something that gives you time to relax and rejuvenate. And, what if you set a list of mini achievements you want to accomplish to get you there, and testing out knitting as on that list.

Now, you’ve focused on something so much more important than ‘taking up knitting.’ Instead, you got to the core of what you really want: to find something that helps you relax and rejuvenate. That feels better and, again, there are a million ways to achieve that. Knitting is just one that you will try.

Getting Started

If you want to reshape the way you think about things and set yourself up for success and self-care by setting Intentions for 2018, download my Intention Setting Workbook free mini workbook to help you think about things in a different way.

Of course, there are some areas where accountability is key, numbers are important, and the answer is really just yes or no. But, just like in business, I challenge you (and me, for that matter) to think at a higher level this year – get to the core of what you really want to do in your life. Set your intentions, go after them with love and appreciation for yourself and look forward to reflecting on all of the strides you make along the way.

Wishing you a healthy, happy and intentional 2018.

 Xoxo- Erin

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