As we wind down one year and celebrate the start of another, many of us turn our thoughts to setting new goals for the year ahead. Whether it’s starting that new project we’ve been putting off, eating better or getting into shape, goal setting is a useful practice to support our personal growth and development. 

Where this process can go wrong for many of us though (have you ever made a New Year’s resolution that you struggled to keep?) is that we set goals without also setting the intentions to back them up. There is a critical difference between goals and intentions, which is important to understand to help us to live our best life. 

Goals tend to be lack based. For example, when we set a goal to lose weight the goal is based on having a body that we don’t have currently instead of connecting to the motivation and discipline to maintain a healthy and strong body, where the focus is on how our body serves and supports us on a daily basis. So, when we set only goals for ourselves we can quickly get caught in the trap of focusing on what we are lacking. But when we approach things from the point of view of working towards our life’s vision, our intentions and our goals become very clear and we focus not on what we are lacking but on what exists within us, and connecting deeper to it to live are more healthy and meaningful life. 

Sankalpa is the Sanskrit word for intentions and it is focused on that which already exists within us. Sankalpa teaches us that we aren’t lacking or searching for anything but rather that we are connecting into that which already is. Take the goal of getting into shape, for example. If we focus solely on the goal we can get caught up into thinking about how hard it will be to make the time, have the discipline, etc. But if we focus on the intention of our life’s vision to enjoy a long and healthy life, then we intuitively understand that we need to care for our physical body by moving it, releasing it and energizing it. When we align our goals with our life’s intentions they naturally become attainable.

The concept of stress as we experience it in our modern world is often a disconnect between what we are doing and what we would be doing if we were better connected into our life’s vision. The practice of connecting in, clarifying our intentions and setting realistic goals is critical for laying the foundation for a meaningful and purposeful life. 

So, ask yourself: Have you ever truly sat down and thought about the vision for your life? Do you keep the vision close to you and revisit it? Do you note how each day is another step towards achieving that vision? If not, we encourage you to join our free Digital Discovery program; in the month of January, Digital Discovery members will receive weekly tips on how to start living from a place of focus and intention. And for those that are interested in going deeper, you are invited to join our founder, Karen Brar, on Sunday, January 16th for an Intention and Manifestation Workshop & Guided Meditation

In life the greatest vision we can have for ourselves is of who we want to become. Without this we run the risk of getting caught up in completing to-do lists or chasing goals that are not aligned with our life’s intentions instead of working to live a life that holds meaning for us and the people that matter most to us. So, please join us in the month of January to set new intentions for the New Year and learn how to create a meaningful mission statement for the rest of your life.