Intention Loves Goals, A Perfect Relationship | In-Between the Pages

Intentionality Keeps You Rooted in Your Goals (Image: Shawn Ward)

”A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee

Your intention is your why and your goals are the how. Many make the mistake confusing the two as one and the same. In this last of the series for this month on goal wellness I wanted to end with the explanation of the two. You should be about almost two weeks into your resolutions by now, and this a good pause time to really make sure they stick.

Here’s the definitions of a goal and intention:


  1. (in football, soccer, rugby, hockey, and some other games) a pair of posts linked by a crossbar and often with a net attached behind it, forming a space into or over which the ball has to be sent in order to instance of sending the ball into or over the goal, especially as a unit of scoring in a game.“the decisive opening goal”a cage or basket used as a goal in other sports.

  2. the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.“going to law school has become the most important goal in his life”


  1. a thing intended; an aim or plan.“she was full of good intentions”the action or fact of intending.“intention is just one of the factors that will be considered”synonyms: intent, intentionality, deliberateness, design, calculation, meaning; Morea person’s designs, especially a man’s, in respect to marriage.plural noun: someone’s intentions; plural noun: one’s intentions“if his intentions aren’t honorable, I never want to see him again”

  2. MEDICINEthe healing process of a wound.

Both are nouns, but very different. A goal is the object of your focus. While intention defines itself as the deeper purpose behind your aim or plan. Putting them both together, for me running a marathon by June 2017 (the goal) is really about creating a healthier me (intention).

When you look at the year and why you choose what you choose to focus on, intention lives at the root of all your actions. It’s your mantra. It can and will change as you evolve and move through it over the next 12 months. Your intention can be incredibly simple. For example, I want to make everything that I go after as simple to achieve as possible. My mantra is to take things through a simple intention filter to make my goals easier to achieve. I learned it from The One Thing by Gary Keller:

”What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary”

This simple focus of intentionality or that mantra makes me prioritize things so much better on what’s important and what’s not, so my goal and aim doesn’t get clouded. I become much more successful at creating habits that I want to stick that will help me reach my goal. If I didn’t do this frequently and often I’d be stuck chasing two rabbits at the same time, never really catching one as I let myself zig and zag all over the place.

Your goal cannot live for very long without your intention behind it. So, you have to visit your intention often. It can be a very simple question like this:

What is my intention for achieving this goal?

I’ve set 3 months of milestones up for myself towards running my first marathon. They ensure I keep one foot in front of the other along the way. Again, they are not to be confused with my intention. The milestones or goals are there to ensure my aim is true. They are very specific, I can measure them easily, they are not to far beyond my means to achieve, I get a incredible reward from achieving it, and there is a very clear line of sight to the start as well as the finish.

If they diverge all over the place, then I need to ask myself my intention question again. Maybe my intention is evolving and changing? Stay close to your intention and always keep it with you. It’s great fuel when you need the perseverance to continue. Meditate on it.

The best part about creating some milestones is it teaches you long term planning and why this is important to you in the first place. Take a time out and imagine you finished all those milestones. What would be the things when you’ve finally hit the goal you’d think you’d feel? Write them down. Putting yourself in a future state keeps you focused and again intention becomes your best friend.

I’ll leave you with this quote:

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just pases the time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel A. Barker

Hope your new year of goals is moving along nicely. Live in the moment and be present as you go along with your intention, it’s a great narrative that will serve you well for a long time to come.


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