January is the month of thoughtful intention. The new year represents a new beginning for many, and people initially make resolutions with great ambition and enthusiasm with hopes of making positive improvements in their lives. Yet studies show that nearly 88% of people that make a New Year’s Resolution fail or give up by Valentine’s Day. Why do so many people drop off the “New Year, New Me” train? Perhaps one reason is in the approach…
Let’s start by checking out the top 10 most common New Year’s Resolution for 2013:
- Eat healthy and exercise regularly
- Drink less alcohol
- Learn something new
- Quit smoking
- Improve work/life balance
- Save money
- Get organized
- Read more
- Finish the “to-do” list around the house
These seem pretty reasonable, right? And each item on this list, when approached and executed with a solid plan and determination will lead to positive improvements in one’s overall wellbeing, so what’s missing?
Goals vs. Intentions
Goals involve envisioning a future outcome. They require a plan, structure and checkpoints, discipline and hard work to achieve them. Learning how to set goals is a valuable skill that can assist us in many aspects of our personal and professional lives.
Setting an intention, according to Buddhist philosophy, is different than goal setting because it is not oriented toward a future or final outcome. Rather, it is a practice that focuses on how you are existing in the present moment. Your intentions are unique to you; they are based on what you revere as meaningful and important. Your intention is making a commitment to align your actions with your inner values – your intention is something you live every day!
Intentions and goals are two separate, but complimentary functions to achieving success (however you personally measure success), experiencing happiness and living every day to its fullest. We must first understand our true intentions to become more effective in reaching our goals. When we encounter obstacles and challenges along the journey to achieving a goal, it is the return, or reminder, of our true intentions that enable us to persevere.
I am really excited to dive deeper into this topic by attending Lululemon’s “Visualize You: A Meditative Journey to Achieve Your Goals” workshop. This is a free event, presented by former NFL player Prince Daniels Jr., Wednesday, January 23rd from 6-8pm at the Downtown San Diego Lululemon Showroom.
I hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, stay tuned for my next post as I will share what I’ve learned!
Peace. Love. Namaste.