You have probably been hearing lots of talk about resolutions and goals for the new year. That used to give me  a bitter mix of hope and heart sink.

I always had a long list of goals that centered around self-improvement and making more money. Even as I was making it out around the turn of the year, I already knew how likely I would be to fall short. And I hated myself for it.

Know what I mean?

Of course, carrying all that self-loathing into the year wasn’t helpful. Nor was all the heavy energy that I carried around the goals and resolutions.  I wasn’t closer to fulfilling them for it, nor was my day to day life improved.

That’s because those goals and resolutions are most often based on false premises, on random points of measurement. They are there to feed the small self’s sense of insufficiency and not enoughness, wanting the approval of some nameless other.

So I finally started doing things differently in the past few years.  I began working through the feelings of inadequacy and getting to the root of the need for external approval.  (These are the kinds of things that coaching is really helpful for. So if you identify, consider scheduling a free call with me to talk about how it would work for you.)

The other change was that, instead of setting goals and resolutions, I now set intentions for myself.

Why is Setting Intentions different? 

We set intentions by listening deeply to the Self (yes, with a capital S). In this case, I am asking what I want to feel, what energy I want to carry, how I want to experience day to day life.  That is the focus of my intention.

The other difference is that setting intentions is like setting a general direction on the compass. Even as we set the compass, we know that Life steps in. As a consequence, course-correction is to be expected.  Unlike those arbitrarily specific goals, intentions are broad. They require that we stay open to new possibilities of their expression that we may not have formerly considered.

My intentions this year are that I: 1) am discerning and wise, 2) am awake to wonder in my life and in the world, and 3) experience alignment with my Highest Self, in partnership with Mystery.  

Can you see how any of these guiding intentions might express in any number of ways: in my creative life, through my work, in specific relationships, and so much else?  

Now You

How would this work for you? 

Take this invitation to create sacred space and quiet your mind and your emotions deeply. Relax your body.  Let that stillness feed you, rest in it, dropping into the part of you that is infinite and all-knowing.   Even though I am using words to make suggestions to you, remember, this can be a wordless process of exploring feelings or energies.

When you have been in stillness for a rich and spacious time, ask yourself what is important to you? What feelings and energies are you longing to experience more of? What would be an expansive, generous intention that could guide you through the year?

These are the heart of your intention. If you want to use words, make a statement, in the present tense, begin with “I intend that I…” 

Share it with me, please!  You know I love to hear from you.

And have a fabulous new year, full of peace and joy, and the unfolding of rich intentions!

Are Goals Really the Way to Go?
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