The Difference between intentions and goals(DW#28)

A question that often comes up with setting intentions is this: What is the difference between goals and intentions?

Although goals can sometimes be confused with intentions, they are in fact quite different.

A goal is a desired outcome in the future. A goal is something that you set by thinking about a specific outcome that you want. For example, my goal could be to get a certain job, to achieve a milestone in health or to commit to a long term relationship.

An intention is about how we commit to showing up in our life everyday, regardless of what is happening around us. It is the guiding principle or value that we act from, and it is very much based in the present moment.

For example, an intention related to relationship might be "I intend to relate with honesty". This would be a guiding principle in my relationship regardless of whether or not my ultimate goal of being in a committed relationship is met or not.

Having a clear intention means that whenever I stray away from it, I can recommit in the moment and reconnect with my intention. So if my intention is to relate with honesty and I am tempted to be less than honest, or end up being less than honest, as soon as I become aware of this, I can recommit by showing up with honesty in the next moment.

So here are some differences between intentions and goals:

1) Goals are future based whereas intentions can only be met in the present.
2) Goals are an outcome or specific destination whereas intentions are lived each day.
3) Goals are completed when achieved, intentions are not 'achieved' – they stand until changed.
4) Goals can be seen and measured externally, whereas intentions are about your inner experience, about your relationship with your own actions in the moment. Only you know whether you are showing up in line with your intention.

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