Setting Intentions vs Setting Goals

Setting Intentions vs Setting GoalsHave you heard the phrase before that you are the creator of your reality? When I first heard that, I thought it was a fascinating idea, but I never understood how the process actually works in reality until I came across the idea of setting intentions for myself. Everyday this process amazes me and the results are so exciting.

I’ve shared this insight with several of my clients and came across the same question. What is the difference between setting an intention and setting a goal? There is a subtle distinction between these two that makes a huge difference in the outcome and in the experience.

When we’re setting a goal, we think realistically. We analyze our current situation and plan out steps on how to reach our goal. Setting goals is based on reasoning and creating a plan. Setting a goal is very cognitive process of analyzing, planning and reasoning. We are in control of the plan and of all the steps how to get there. But as you know life comes between you and your goals sometimes. Something happens and you can’t do what you had scheduled. It is hard to stay on track because there are so many distractions. Can you identify with this?

There is another way of getting to where you want to be. Setting an intention is a similar process like setting a goal, but the difference is that you don’t plan out the way how to get there. You just intend the outcome and surrender the process to the universe. It is like making a wish. One requirement that the intention has is that it comes from your heart. It has to be something you really want. It does not come from the reasonable you but from the alive you. It is not created out of fear but our of love. If you’re aware of the battle inside of you between the heart and the mind you know that many times what the heart wishes for the mind destroys with many reasons.

Setting an intention is like setting the reasons on the side for a while and just intending with your heart the outcome of certain situations that would be exciting and inspiring for you. Try it out with little things first.

Think of the day/week/trip ahead of you. What are some of the situations you will be facing?

How would you like the outcome of these situations to be for them to be exciting and inspiring for you? Don’t worry if you don’t know how it could happen. Just think of what’s the most exciting outcome.

Intend it, write it down, put it in safe place and then let it go. Release it in your heart to the universe and don’t worry about how it will happen. Just know that the process will be successful. Then you can go about your life having fun and not stressing about every step.

Seems so easy right? It is that easy, but some of the challenges that come up for people with setting intentions are really knowing what it is they want and letting go of the control over the process of reaching the outcome.

What is it that you really want? We have so many thoughts and reasons in our heads, influenced by the constant influx of information, people’s opinions, self-judgment and other factors. Sometimes it can be hard to know if we want something because we want it or because someone else said we should want it. So how do you know the difference between the two?

There is a simple tool to figure out what is your real desire and what is your “I should.” What you want and desire is exciting and inspiring. It comes right out of your being. What you “should” causes stress, anxiety and even depression. It comes from a judgment of how things should be rather than your creative self. So if you are setting an intention or a goal stop and really listen to your emotions. Your emotions and your heart, not your mind, is your guide to know what is right. If something feels right you’ll know right away.

Another challenge is letting go of control. We are so used to thinking that we are in control of our lives. We fear the unknown and create safety nets around us preventing us from falling down. These safety nets become so tight that pretty soon we feel like we’re stuck in the reality we created. But we are afraid of letting go because even though they choke us to death we know they are safe. Does that sound familiar? We want to be in control of every step on our way to our goals and this creates a lot of stress if things don’t go as planned. Letting go of control is about trusting that the universe will fulfill your intentions.

In the beginning it can be very hard, especially with our skeptical mind and all the reasons that it creates. But as you try this process more and more your trust in the goodness of the universe will grow. You won’t be feeling like you’re taking risks by letting go of your safety nets and you will understand that life is a great adventure and fun. Letting go of control creates space in your life where the magic happens. Then there is no more stress, no more worry. There is only peace and lots of love.

So get out there and start creating your life! Set some extraordinary intentions for yourself and enjoy the ride!

by Sarka Ruzickova
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