Updated: Nov 27, 2019
As we approach the holidays and the New Year, there tends to be a focus on goals:
Should we have goals that span the holidays, or just enjoy being in the present?
Have we met the resolutions we had set for ourselves for 2019?
What goals are we looking towards for the upcoming New Year?
Goals are great to have, both in and out of the club; BUT, they can also be overwhelming at times. They tend to be focused more on the future and on our hypothetical selves (who we will be after we meet those goals.)
How do we balance goal-setting with consideration of our present selves and situations? This is where intentions come in handy!
If goals are the desired outcomes to an actionable plan, intentions can be thought of as the starting point for that plan.
For example, if your goal is to lose 1 pound of body fat, you might start with the intention to fuel your body with foods that make you feel good. This intention focuses on the positive.
Without this mindset, though, you may instead decide to deprive yourself of all your favorite foods and count calories... only to find yourself binge-eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's at midnight. This leads to a spiral of guilt and self-deprecation, when your original goal was formed in order to feel better, not worse!
If goals are something you want to accomplish and do, intentions are the way you want to feel and to be. We are human beings, and not human doers, after all.
I often start or end my yoga classes at CAC asking everyone to think about or reflect on their intentions. Taking some time to get clear with what you want out of a session- whether yoga or lifting- can ultimately help you reach your goals.
More importantly perhaps, intentions can allow you to live in the present moment with more joy, despite and not because of the variable outcomes of your goals. As you think about your goals this holiday season don't forget those daily intentions. It will bring more peace to your present, and your future self will thank you!