A goal gives you direction; it keeps you focussed on what’s to come. An intention can guide how you live, how you act, and how you treat yourself and others during each moment of each day. Your intention is ongoing, and you can start living it right now.
Depending on what you have planned for 2016, one over-arching intention could guide all of your resolutions, or you may need a couple of intentions appropriate to your resolutions.
Here’s a really simple example of how a goal and resolution can work hand in hand - if we were to put this into yoga context, a goal might be to kick up to handstand without assistance, or to master one-legged crow. The accompanying intention could be to honour your physical limitations on each given day; or to be grateful for what your body is capable of; or to move with confidence in your own strength.The goal is a clear, well-defined objective, whereas the intention is the approach with which you work towards that goal.
Another example - perhaps your resolution is to lose five kgs and keep them off (a classic new year’s resolution!) The accompanying intention could be to treat your body with love and respect.
Or, if your resolutions were to improve your relationship with a loved one; and to commit to your own health, you might find that one broader intention could accompany both resolutions - an intention to treat yourself and others with compassion and kindness.
To be clear, having resolutions or goals in your life is important, as is having a clear plan by which to achieve those goals. Goals enable you to be productive within various aspects of your life.
But remaining conscious of intentions can be just as important. Intentions are the inbuilt compass providing integrity in your life. Intention helps to align your practical goals (whether they’re centred around your career, your health or your family) with your higher purpose. Your intention enables you to live according to your values.
If you have a resolution for 2016, and you’re not sure how to create an accompanying intention, consider what may be holding you back from achieving your resolution - in particular, any emotions that may be getting in your way.
If you think fear is is an obstacle for you, develop an intention based on confidence and inner strength. If sadness holds you back, ground your intention in joy. If anger prevents you from living life how you want to, craft an intention based around forgiveness.
Positive, heartfelt intentions will help keep you on track as you work towards achieving your goals. They’ll also help you to be kind to yourself when you momentarily deviate from your plan of action.
What are your resolutions and intentions for 2016? I’d love to hear about them!