Rorie's Guide to Goals and Intention Setting
We’ve made it through the first month of 2018! Usually at this point, most people have given up or are starting to lose hope on their New Year’s resolutions and goals. While I’m not a fan or huge believe in either of those, I do like to have loose intentions for myself, whether it be in my career, personal life, side hustles, or anything else. A new year shouldn’t be the sole reason to push yourself!
I want to quickly go over the difference between resolution and intention, because they are significantly different and can have a huge impact on the way you view your goals.
Resolution implies you’re solving a problem and I don’t like to start out the year thinking negatively. I like to look forward into the year with positivity and hope rather than expectations and deadlines.
Intentions are a more positive word to describe what you hope to accomplish within a year. The word itself is defined as “hav[ing] a course of action or a plan” rather than a definitive set of instructions, the way a resolution would. Planning may seem like things are more set in stone, but instead think of it as an outline. Intending to do something is much less commitment than resolving to.
The easiest way to fail is to over promise, and there’s no worse feeling than failing yourself. It’s great to have a big, ambitious end goal, but to help the process, make smaller ones leading up to the ultimate one. Pat yourself on the back each time you reach a new baby milestone. The journey is almost always more important than the finish line.
The biggest problem with goal and intention setting is that we usually create unattainable goals for ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with setting an ambitious goal, but the path to reaching the goal needs to have measurable moments to validate the progress being made. How do you know you’re absorbing the material in a class? You takes quizzes and tests as a form of measuring your progress and growth in the subject, before taking a final. Apply this same concept on your path to achieving your end goal.
How will you be able to measure your progress? Try setting up biweekly check-ins with yourself to see how you’re doing. Consider if you’re making progress at the right pace for yourself and if it’s manageable long-term. Regardless if you’re on track or not, set soft deadlines for baby milestones so you can measure how you’re doing.
One of my biggest issues is patience... with pretty much everything. I’m putting in all this work, why am I not seeing faster results?! It’s understandable how frustrating it is waiting for the desired results to be physically visible but how much harder is it to wait a week? If you’re someone who needs to see results faster, I recommend taking progress photos or journaling on a weekly basis - even daily if that works for you! This ties in to making your goals measurable as it will keep your impatience at bay. You’ll be able to truly see or record the progress you’re making. When you feel like things have plateaued or you need a reminder as to why you started in the first place, look at the photos or read the journal entries from when you first started. Appreciate how far you’ve come.
It’s too easy to get down on ourselves when things are taking longer than expected or we’ve reached an inevitable plateau. I’m not one for cliches or cheesy sayings but I’ve always believe nothing worth fighting for is easy. Whether your goal is to lose weight, to have clearer skin, to run faster, to write everyday, to save more monthly - whatever it is, these are habits that are new or need more attention to integrate them into your everyday life. Enjoy the process - you’ll be so much more appreciative when you cross the finish line knowing how far you’ve come.