I had always believed that setting goals was instrumental in staying on track and getting things done. Goals are always related to a future result. They helped in advancing my career, improving my relationships and especially in creating a life of financial well -being. To achieve a goal, we know we need to make specific, measurable steps towards a desired outcome.

Goals can be tricky, though. They are easily sidelined by everyday life. Goals, while moving us toward what we say we want, can take us out of the moment and create a feeling that what we have isn’t enough. A background feeling of unease can come over us if our goal-oriented life discounts our present moment. In short, while goals can move us forward, we can also feel victimized when we aren’t moving towards achieving the goal as expected.

I once set a lofty financial goal of having a certain amount of money in my savings account. I strategized, re-worked my budget and was determined to save as much money as I could. My focus was completely centered on a number. Over the next several months I experienced a few setbacks including an unexpected vehicle repair, and unforeseen medical expenses. Within a short amount of time I felt discouraged and demoralized. In this case, the future result that was opposite of my goal–I was exasperated. I almost decided that it would be easier to give up on the possibility that my future would include any version of financial security than to focus on such a goal.

Living your intentions, on the other hand, is much different than having a goal-oriented focus. Being intentional allows you to focus on how you want to be in the moment, independent of whether you are winning or losing. Allowing intentions to guide your moment to moment focus, means you are living your values and what matters most to you.

Focusing on our intentions does not mean we give up our goals or desire for achievement. By partnering goals with intentions we enjoy the journey as much as the destination! Here are three differences between goal setting and intentions:

  • Goals are focused on the future. Intentions are in the present moment.
  • Goals are a destination or specific achievement. Intentions are lived each day, independent of reaching the goal or destination.
  • Goals are external achievements. Intentions are your inner-relationships with yourself and others.

Instead of setting a specific goal, had I set my intention regarding my savings account, I could have focused on feeling financially aware and empowered rather than frustrated and defeated. Even though several emergencies had taken actual dollars away from my goal, I could have focused on my intention of being empowered–I was able to pay those bills!

When our intentions are aligned with our goals we can experience a life of authenticity. What better gift than to spend our lives in being true to our core values and beliefs!

I am excited to share the power of intention at the “Be Intentional” Evening Retreat and hope you will join me there.

This will be an opportunity to shift your focus to what is possible when we connect with our inner values, allowing our intentions to be the guiding light to living in the moment.

Click here for details and registration information.


Today’s Author: Jane Helm is the Principal of Money Mentor Group. As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives. She is an Affiliate Coach with the Wholistic Woman Retreat group and co-founded the Bring Your Own Business Success networking group. Jane can be reached via email at [email protected]