If you’ve read my post on the importance of goals, you’re probably wondering, so what’s the difference between goals and intentions. You are right to ponder this and they will share some similarities but one important distinction is that intentions can be boundless and goals help us build waypoints to measure our progress through them. Intentions are more focused on “What” and “Why”. While goals are seldom focused on “What”, “When” and “How” and maybe even “Where”. They get their “Why” from the intention.
Still fuzzy? Let’s explore some facets of intentions and if it’s still unclear, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll try to elaborate in a future post or as a reply.
- Intentions are, well intentionally, meant to be broader than goals. They are centered around “What” and “Why” and they must be worthy of us putting in the effort to work on them
- Their boundless nature is meant to drive us to improve even a little bit every day and consequently, we must try to not constrain them with time limits or specific actions i.e. “how”. These constraints can put limits on your mindset and you need to have an open mind to set your intention.
- They must not make us feel diminished or unaccomplished – we are all accomplished and great in our own ways so please don’t be negative toward yourself
- Their purpose is to initiate a change and so they need to be relevant and grounded in reality – we must be able to explain the “why” to ourselves (individual or team)
- They must make us feel better and even excite us i.e. we should have a desire to work on them (it’s okay to not feel giddy with excitement)
- They may stretch us a bit – not too much so we don’t give up from fatigue but enough that our progress meter (remember that from goals?) gives us a feel good feeling from making progress
Goals, on the other hand are bounded and specific, supporting our progress through our intentions. We’ll learn more about them in future posts.
That’s it! Let me know what you think in the comments. I love meeting new people and if you’d like to connect, you can find me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanmas
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