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How to Set Clear Intentions to Achieve Your Goals

Priya Johnson
Every new calendar year we make resolutions (mainly to exercise). However, a week later we find ourselves breaking them. What went wrong? Weren't we motivated enough?
Intentions are intangible while goals are tangible. To achieve tangible goals, you need to focus on setting clear intangible intentions. Setting clear intentions is paramount.
How does a goal differ from an intention?
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Me Time
You need to set aside alone time for yourself. It's a time of solitude when you can introspect and have some space to process the past and figure out what you want for the future.
Why Do I Want It?
Why do you want to play that instrument? Do you want it because your friends think it's cool.  Or do you want it because you really want to play it because it brings you joy?
How Badly Do I Want It?
We want many things. We want to be able to do it all. But excelling in something requires time and commitment. Do you want it to such an extent that you're willing to make sacrifices?
What You Don't Want
Besides knowing what you want, it's equally vital you figure out what you don't want. Knowing what you absolutely don't want will help you prune your way to what you want.
Be Accountable
Whenever we set intentions and goals, it's important we decide to be accountable. A trainer, coach, friend or parent can be your accountability partner who can motivate you to continue when you feel like stopping.
Visualize the Process
Spend some time in solitude and visualize the process right from where you are till you achieve the goal. Allow yourself to visualize the challenges and how you would overcome them.
Pen It Down
Our thoughts can be like the waves of the sea, being tossed about in our heads. Writing them down in our journal can help bring clarity. It makes you accountable to yourself a few months down the line.
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Be Practical
Impractical goals and intentions will come crumbling down. Nothing wrong in dreaming big, but it's also important to be practical and not put a yoke that is debilitating on your shoulder.
Don't Depend on Your Emotions Alone
Once you set your intentions and goals, don't stop because you're tired. It's important to remember the process is not going to be a piece of cake.
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Don't Give Up
Yes, there will be a number of times you falter. You will feel like quitting is the best thing to do. Even if you had a hiccup or two, don't stop. Once you cross the rocky parts you will be glad you didn't give up.
Learn to Enjoy the Process
Yes, it will take time before your intention translates into goals that bear visible, tangible fruit. Enjoy each step of the journey. Enjoy working hard and pursuing your goal.
Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself
Leave room for errors. Allow yourself to struggle and don't expect perfection. On the rocky days just try to take the next step. One day at a time!
Focus on Solutions
If you've watched Home Alone 3, you'll remember the time when little Alex sends in his remote-controlled jeep into the neighbor's house with a video camera attached to it, to tape a robbery in progress.
He remotely controlled the jeep from his house. Although he had prepared an extensive map and plan of action, he faces an unforeseen obstacle -Steps! What does Alex do? He improvised! He used the carpet to form a slide for his jeep.
Even with the best intentions and goals, we will face obstacles we weren't prepared for. It's important to improvise at that moment with whatever is available. Focus on the solution.
Own your words. Your words are the maps to your intentions.  - Chris Brogan