Goal Setting vs Intention
Personal and Professional Success Coaching Services Since 1992 - Reaching Your Goals with You for the "Perfect Life" Since 1992
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts

Lead Management vs. Boss Management
Goal Setting vs Intention
Word of the Year
2014 - Time for a New Vision?
Dear Stress, Let's Break Up...

Most Popular Posts

“Sports Fishing Vs. Keepers: How to distinguish between the Marrying types and the Playthings”.
WOW Leadership
Connect the Opportunity Cost to Your Legacy
Cheaper to Keep-Er Than to Get a New One?
Your Elevator Pitch


Business Networking
Choice Theory, Reality Therapy, William Glasser Institute
Customers, Clients, Patients
Enlightenment, Enlightened Being
Image For Success
Lead Management
Leadership, Coaching, Business, Training
Mayan Calendar
Social Media
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
Twitter, Facebook, Social Media
Word of the Year


January 2017
December 2016
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012

powered by


Goal Setting vs Intention

Goal Setting vs. Intention
Goals imply a specific outcome and the word is loaded with ideas of effort, of life sacrifice, struggle and disappointment. Goals seem - and often are - mercenary.  I’d like to wipe the slate clean of everywhere that I have used the word goal and replace it with “intention.”
Goals shrink your life to a very narrow hallway with only one door at the end. Intention leaves the door open to the unlimited. Goals are separated from purpose. Intention is infused with purpose.
Goals are not always healthy, sane or rooted in reality.  When people want to hire me to make a specific thing happen with their life  – like the woman who wanted to manipulate to get a specific man to start talking to her again - I have to turn them down.  Manipulation is not life in my eyes.
It is easy to connect the dots after, not beforehand, to see the milestones in every business and every life. There are objectives and there is intention to guide your energy. While “goals” alone can really close the door to possibility and drain the joy from your life.

This article in Psychology Today shines a light on the failure of traditional goal-setting and the way it can take us out of life:
“In some ways both Santa Clause and The Secret have done us a disservice. Both focused on wishing something would happen and either through the process of writing it down and/or visualization, it is supposed to magically appear. Many management and self-help gurus cite research, reportedly done at Harvard or Yale universities, which describes why only 3% of Harvard MBAs make 10 times as much money as the other 97%–because they write down their goals. The problem with this claim is that no such research study exists.
Max Bazerman, a Harvard Business School professor and co-author of Goals Gone Wild, argues that rather than relying on goals, we should create workplaces and schools that foster interest in and a passion for work.
Moreover, the blind, value-free pursuit of goals without an examination of the consequences of their attainment and the cost of achieving the goals has been questioned by a few management scholars. These scholars argue that the price we pay for overly focusing on goals is a loss of independent thinking and personal initiative. The Ford Pinto, Enron’s climb to success, the rash lending practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the excesses of Wall Street traders, and the lack of environmental oversight of Gulf deep water drilling, all reflect the downside of defining success as the mere attainment of goals.  Work, particularly knowledge work, requires a certain amount of creativity and judgment. Reducing complex activities to a set of goal numbers can end up rewarding the wrong behaviors.
There is an addiction in our culture to “getting more,” the “going for the goals” hype is disconnected from peoples’ authentic selves, and their values.”
Life isn’t meant to be forced.  You can’t push energy exactly where you want it to go, unless you are willing to get pushed back.  It is a fundamental law of physics, Newton’s third law of motion to be exact.  “When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body.”  (Translated: if you push anything, it will push you back.)

Why, then, do we feel we need to push so hard in directions that we do not really belong in order to achieve outcomes we may not really understand or appreciate?

I dropped the goal-setting jargon from my vocabulary when I realized that every single person I admired in every walk of life was driven by purpose and each of them really brought as much of themselves to every one of their endeavors, whether or not there was a specific outcome that could or would be attained. In essence, they all have no real goals, but all have strong intention, purpose and the ability to dig in an actualize things that resonate with their skills, talents and passions. The uber-example: Steve Jobs. In this hyper-surreal commencement speech at Stanford, he sums up the sketch of his enormous life, something he never could have predicted if he were working off a “goal” sheet.  Even if you’ve watched it before, you may enjoy it again. I can never get enough: 

You need Flash Player in order to view this.
Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams an...

Next, relax. Figure out what makes you happy. You can easily realize this by making a list of things you are doing when you feel the most happy. Examples: When do I feel the most accomplished, loved, grateful, alive, fulfilled? Naturally, you will begin experiencing excitement about what the future holds for you as you begin to understand how easy it is to leverage this information for yourself. As you become more aware, experience more of that and then direct your energy with a goal. In other words, begin with the end in mind, because knowing what you really want, will cause you to instantly begin to find ways that naturally bring fulfillment.

Phyllis M. Miller


0 Comments to Goal Setting vs Intention:

Comments RSS

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment