As part of our annual summer ritual, I was at the Canadian National Exhibition with my children, three years ago. Parks Canada was celebrating the 150th Birthday of Canada and had set up an exhibition with all kinds of information on the national parks in this country. There was a photo booth that allowed us to choose a backdrop from any national park and create a family photo. We had not visited any of them. I was intrigued by the night sky backdrop of Jasper National Park and we took a family picture. Three years went by. I totally forgot about this story until, this year, I found myself in Jasper at the Night Sky Reserve and Planetarium, witnessing the same night sky that I had used as a backdrop in my family photo. The photo had come alive!
Setting intentions and manifesting dreams can become part of the daily rituals of our lives. Maintaining a planner, scheduling a calendar, writing a journal, having a poster of your favourite place, saying your daily prayers, glimpsing through the pages of a travel magazine or a beautiful homes catalog, and even something as simple as daydreaming are all ways of manifesting.
What is the Difference Between Setting Goals and Setting Intentions?
Setting goals at the beginning of the year is useless if we don’t also set intentions. In the article,“Setting Goals Isn’t Enough: Setting Daily Intentions Will Change Your Life”, Marla Tabaka discusses the importance of goal setting. “Goal setting helps us to see the future, understand what we want, create a plan, and stay on track to get it done.” However, it also makes us present to what we do not yet have and, for some of us, this could make us feel like a failure. Setting intentions is like reverse engineering your dreams and fulfilling them by improving who you are. Marla says that when we set intentions, we are able to meet ourselves where we are now. We become present to the present; we work our way up to meet the goals we have set by creating a road map. It’s not about specific achievements as much as improving our perspective so we are more capable of achieving our goals. A big goal can be broken down into several small steps of achievement by setting daily intentions.
The Benefits of Setting Intentions
Setting intentions is a way of living consciously and purposefully. We shift from wallowing in what we do not have to deciding what we want to create. Being in creativity-mode is about playing with infinite possibilities. What may have started out as a small intention can take on a global scale of impact. It’s like throwing a stone in the pond that creates a ripple effect. Setting intentions is a way of self-expansion. We visualize ourselves as having fulfilled on our intentions.
How to Choose Your Goals and Intentions
How do you choose what goal is worth pursuing, and which are just too unrealistic? There’s no way you can pay off your mortgage in 15 years, right? It’s impossible to go back to college at this age, right? Wrong. Think about what you want most in your life regardless of the size. What would make your heart soar and allow you to leave this planet peacefully? That is what your goal needs to be. The first step to getting there is throwing away your limited self-beliefs and doubts. Dig deep down into your heart and find what you want most.
Now you can be realistic. Decide if it’s humanly possible to accomplish your goal in one year. Many goals can’t be, and that’s perfectly alright. What is the benchmark you can hit by this time next year? Be bold and push yourself. For example, “I will run a marathon at the end of the year” or “I will repair relationships with my family so that the next holiday season is spent together”. Yes, these can be lofty and terrifying to think of right now. But, with the right rituals and intentions, you’ll see how much you’re capable of.
How to Achieve Your Goals Through Intention Setting
When you wake up, take the quiet morning hours to meditate on what you want. Visualize yourself at the end of this year, just having achieved your goal. Picture yourself 15 minutes after your goal has been achieved. How do you feel? Feeling those emotions and sense of accomplishment will help you to manifest your dreams. Visualization is an incredibly powerful tool that successful people in every field practice. Some professional athletic teams even hire visualization coaches to get their players in the right mindset.
You could meditate on the idea of being kind today. Today I will bring joy to those around me; today I will show myself love and care; today I will be firm with my boundaries, etc. Intentions alter your mindset and your attitude so that you can freely work towards your goals. It’s a lot easier to repair broken relationships when your intentions are to be forgiving and empathetic. How can you possibly improve your health if you don’t have the intention to show yourself love? Goals and intentions go hand in hand; you will be more successful if you use both.
Some people find it easier to set intentions by writing them down or reading them from a book. There are plenty of intention and affirmation resources available; use whatever method works for you. If you’re not a morning person, set intentions for the next day before you go to sleep. There are no rules when it comes to your personal journey. Although goals may help you achieve what you want to on this planet, intentions ensure you are the person you want to be along the way.
You can find inspiration for goals and intentions everywhere you look. Many people find that reading books and learning about others’ experiences can help them discover what their true dreams are. For stories of inspiration, resilience, and the power of manifestation stay tuned. New books coming soon!!