I am sure that you have heard multiple times from teachers, coaches or even your parents telling you to have or set goal(s) in your life. Easy to say, but what is actually the best way of setting and, more importantly, achieving your goals?
A goal is something concrete and specific that you usually set to achieve within a certain amount of time, a deadline. For example, completing your studies, moving to a new place or even losing weight by your wedding day!
I recommend you to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal process and set a goal which is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This way you avoid the tendency that most people have to set vague goals, which makes setting specific steps towards achieving them more difficult. It’s also important to set a goal that is realistic, so you are more likley to achieve it and avoid disappointment, and that is meaningful, so you are more committed to achieve it within the given time. Well, again though that’s easier said than done.
To keep your goals S.M.A.R.T. and achieve them, you need to set intentions. Firstly, we need to clarify the main difference between goals and intentions: Goals are focused on achieving something specific in the future; intentions are set in the present, your every day, and they might or might not be connected to a specific goal, but they certainly can help you achieve it. So their main difference is the time-frame when goals and intentions act and change your life.
When you have a specific goal, you need to identify the steps and the actions that will get you there. You have to be precise and detailed. This is how you can set your intentions. Intentions are the little daily actions, the little wins, that make you feel one step closer to your goal. If you approach your goal setting without milestones, it’s very likely that you won’t achieve it.
Life coaches usually recommend to set intentions that are pure, which basically means that you need to have a clear picture of where you are aiming to go and have a plan of how to get there. If you set and accomplish your daily intentions, you will learn to use them to feel good all the time, even after you achieve your goal, which otherwise could leave you aimless.
But remember, similarly if you set intentions without a specific vision or desired outcome, they might not be as effective. Also, before you set your intentions and goals, make sure that you have identified why you want to achieve them and how they can make your life better. Answering our whys always gives us clarity and motivation. However, if in some cases you are not 100% clear on exactly what you want to achieve, or at least not yet, you could go a different way and specify what you don’t want to happen in the set future. This way you will avoid setting the wrong intentions. Be careful though not to set negative intentions! For example, if you do not want to stay in the same position at work in the future, this should not be your intention; this will help you specify what you want. In this case your intention could be “I want to get a promotion” or “I want to make a career change”.
It is also important to acknowledge that a goal that is too big can become overwhelming and affect your actions towards achieving it. This is where intentions can help you break down this very big goal into smaller specific actions that you can accomplish in small steps. Creating a ritual that is unique to how you want things to be done and easy to follow even on a daily basis will make you feel closer to your goal every day. For example, if your set goal is to write your thesis and complete your studies, setting smaller steps can make the process easier. If you break down your plan into monthly, then weekly and then daily actions and intentions, this big task and important goal will be achieved without feeling overwhelmed, losing motivation and perspective.
Finally, sharing your intentions with a friend or your mentor can help you stay focused. Trying to articulate something specific to someone else always helps to think more clearly and to be more determined.
And here is a video that can help you set your intentions in order to achieve your goals:
Enjoy and good luck!
PS Oh, and if you wish to discuss your goals and intentions with me, please get in touch. Simply book a free consultation call on my calendar here.