Goals versus Intentions. Which works better?

Happy New Year!

I hope you survived the festive season and have come away with a renewed passion for health and wellness in 2023.
And as we begin a new year, many of us may be setting various goals and intentions for ourselves – whether it’s to lose weight, start a new hobby, or advance our careers.

But which would be better? Goals or Intentions?

The answer might not be so simple.
While goal-setting and intention-setting may seem similar, they are actually quite different and can have a significant impact on our mindset and overall success. And for the best outcome, a combination of the two might be required.

Have you ever thought about what the differences are between setting goals versus intentions? 

Goals are supposed to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific.
They are a destination that we work towards and once we achieve them, we are done. Plus, there are different types of goals.

Here are just 3.

‘Being’ Goals

This is all about the person you wish to be. Like Gandhi once said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
For such a Being Goal, you might determine the type of person you wish to be and which values you wish to live by.

This type of goal isn’t necessarily focusing on what you get back in return. It’s rather determining what type of person you wish to become. Or what you can contribute to the betterment of either the people around you, the animals or the overall situation in the world.

This can be called Value Based Living.

It could also include changes to your Self. If you’ve struggled with self-esteem or if you have never taken the time to work out who you are and what you wish to be, then this can be a journey of self-discovery with a specific goal at the end.

For instance, I made the decision many years ago that I’ll be helping animals by sharing how humans can eat healthily so they can exist on plant-based foods without the need to ever hurt another animal. So that is one of my Value Based Living choices.

‘Doing’ Goals

Doing goals are things that you can control. For instance, I will exercise 3x a week or eat green vegetables 5x a week.
Or it can be a service you offer or a product you want to create because it’s something that you passionately want to do.
And the money you receive for the DOING may only be a by-product [very important though so you have a roof over your head and can eat]

But an important question is, would you still do it if you don’t get paid for it?
Well, I do it, even though most of you aren’t paying any money to me. 😉

Or it could be someone who teaches dancing…Like my friend Cris.
That’s one of her big passions even if at the beginning may not get paid much for it. But for the goal of teaching dancing, she had a plan. She worked hard until she got certified. And now she has the opportunity to teach more people about something she believes will enhance others’ lives.
These are both ‘Doing Goals’ but also living life with a purpose.

 ‘Achieving’ Goals. They could be:

  1. Losing 10 kilos by a certain date. For that, you need determination, focus and knowledge of how to do that. Maybe ask me? I can help with that. But we may not necessarily get to the goal on the date you chose. Bodies are a little fickle in that way.
  2. Earning a degree.  This requires studying hard, having the right teachers and using the right study materials.
  3. Entering the Tour de France [You have to start loving riding a bike at an early age, exercise hard, have the best professional trainers, maybe some sponsors…etc.]

Have you got a specific goal you wish to achieve this year?

So goals are often external, focused on what we want to achieve or acquire. They can be very powerful in motivating us to take real action and achieve success, but they can also create a sense of pressure and stress, especially if you decided to put a time limit on achieving that goal.

On the other hand, intentions are also about the journey rather than the destination.

They are more internal and include planning the stepping stones so that in the end we can be the person we want to become.
Intentions are not always specific and measurable like goals. They are more like guiding principles. And they do not have to be time-bound.

They are more of a way of being. They allow us to focus on the present and the steps we can take to align everything with our values and purpose, rather than getting bogged down in the outcome. And when we set intentions, we are less likely to get caught up in the “shoulds” or “musts” of goal-setting and are more likely to remain in a state of flow and just get on with it.

Here is an example:

A goal would have been: “I will lose 10 pounds by March the 1st”
But an intention would be: “I will make conscious choices to live a healthier lifestyle, including better eating habits and work on my fitness.”

In addition, intentions allow for adaptability in the face of obstacles or challenges instead of throwing in the towel.

When we set a goal, we often feel defeated if we don’t reach it as we set out. However, when we set an intention, we can adjust our actions in case they were not the best and simply continue moving forward without feeling defeated by a setback.

Therefore as you set your own goals for this New Year, consider also setting intentions to guide your actions and attitude.

And remember, it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress and the person you want to become.

Hand holding dumbbells in health and wellness concept

By the way, if you read this before the 16th of January 2023, our New Year Transformation Programme could become a part of your journey. To take part, please signup to join my Vegan Wellness Club where each month we have a different programme to help you achieve your best Self.

You can choose a monthly subscription for £8 or a 3-month package at a fabulous discount ending up at only £18.
I hope to see you over there in the VIP Club.

Meanwhile wishing you all a happy and fulfilling new year…


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