Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Knowing the Difference Between Writing Intentions and Goals Matters

"Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious."
-Bill Meyer

For millennia, farmers around the globe have followed the schedule of the New Moon to plant successful harvests. It is an ancient and energetic time inviting you to reflect, visualize and write. With the New Moon approaching on Monday, October  8--also Columbus Day and Indigenous People's Day--what “seed thoughts” will you plant during this cycle? What intentions will you write on the celestial blackboard of the dark New Moon? 

There's a difference between writing intentions and goals.

In the world of self-help, planning, and visioning, you frequently read the terms intentions and goals. They are often interchanged or used in the same sentence. 

But there is a profound difference between the two terms so knowing the subtleties might better focus the "how" to implement them and provide greater satisfaction once accomplished.

What are intentions?
An intention becomes a simple, short declarative statement about how you choose “to be” vs. what you choose “to do” in the world. These inspiring, value-based words become touchstones of your life’s journey. Written intentions connect the 18” of space between your head and heart.
You might set an intention that looks like this:
I choose to now accept my creativity when writing!
As an in the moment statement, you can take an immediate, inspired action step to feel successful. Say and write your intention. You will start to feel and enjoy the success right now by accepting your creativity when writing. Yes, that simple. There’s no need to plan or wait to accomplish the intention or feel satisfaction. By embracing acceptance, this intention will inspire and inform how you treat yourself now and forever
Most importantly, your written intentions define and inspire your life, writing, messages, and business. You don’t want to ever say, "That intention is complete. Next..." 

Intentions are often a lifelong practice.

What are goals?

Perhaps you've heard the definition of SMART "a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives...The letters S and M usually mean specific and measurable, with letters A for achievable, R for results-focused and T meaning time-bound."
Goals are different from intentions because they can be completed and taken off the "to do" list. As concrete outcomes, you can take action steps toward achieving them, celebrate your success, and then move on to the next goal. 

By connecting your intentions with your goals, you'll enjoy a life that's more joyful and successful. Promise.
For example, using the previous example of the intention to choose to accept your creativity when writing, these goals could be set:
·         find an offline or online community of creatives and writers who are embracing creativity in different ways like my women's Writer's VisionQuest group.
·         journal with an 18 minute-daily habit about your feelings

·         read two books or blogs on creativity and writing; write a blog about your creativity and newest writing project!

·         start using new vocabulary words like glow-getter, luxuriate or coruscate

As tangible things, goals become the action steps you want “to do,” and they  complement and reinforce your intentions "to be."  Once you cross off a similar goal like this from your list, you'll probably also continue to accept your creativity when writing.

With the subtle distinctions made between an intention and a goal, what intentions will you write on the celestial blackboard of the dark New Moon on October 8? Practice now by sharing one or two in the comments. 

To inspire, here are ideas from friends who fearlessly shared their October intentions--not in alpha order because I'm still letting my book write me! 
Be sure to click on the blue link to visit a page:

Jill Celeste I love the Fall, though sadly, we don't get much of it here in Florida. I set intentions so I can tell The Universe exactly what I want. I set them through my goal cards, or more recently, through my New Moon letter. This October, my intention is to practice massive self-care.

Jessica Suzanne Dugas  1. I set an intention each New Moon by saying them, writing them, reading them, and sharing them with others. I set them to hold myself accountable for how I show up energetically for my goals! 2. My main intention this lunar month was to show up wholeheartedly for my health and listen to my body.
Jan Christenson To set my intentions I first try to open my heart and mind and then state the to the universe. My intention for October is to get clarity and get going in my business.

Meghan Humlie My intentions are connected to what I dedicate myself to doing/becoming. My current dedication is to creativity and Responding to her movements in me. I am expecting to be surprised. I, too am a Libra (October 6).

Did you enjoy this blog post? If "yes" please join my free, private women's Writer's VisionQuest group. We intend to practice being supportive, self-accepting, creative and worthy. Our goals are to give and receive information and resources to "transform our words into somewhere brilliant." 

Happy birthday to author Anne Rice (October 4); songwriter John Lennon (October 9) and; author Thich Nhat Hanh (October 11).

Spotlighting my writing sisters even though I'm not in SHINE! Congratulations everyone!


  1. Connecting your intentions with your goals is great advice. I've always done that and it feels great to do so. I intend to continue to put my energy out into the world in order for it to heal in every way possible. I intend to be the caring, compassionate, inspirational soul that I am and I intend to continue to do that through writing as well as being my authentic self. I am working on some beautiful things.

    1. Agreed. Seeing all your intentions now coming true, Heather! Looking forward to reading more of your word wisdom and enjoying your photos. Namaste~

  2. Thank you for sharing Lore.
    Connecting what we have as intention to what we have as goals is very important.
    Very insightful

    1. You're so spot on, Leila! Thanks for the confirmation.

  3. I am more of an intention setter than a goal setter and that seems to take the stress off of me to "produce" instead of "create."

    1. Appreciating the contrast you offer, Barb, with to "prooduce instead of to create." Thanks!

  4. Another excellent article Lore. Inspiring to set intentions and thank you for sharing the subtleties between writing intentions and goals!

    1. Thanks, Debra! Yes, I also enjoy setting intentions more than goals but researching this article helped ME. xo Time for a catch up call!

  5. Oh my, Lore! It's Anne Rice's birthday tomorrow? I've read all her books starting with the The Vampire Chronicles and my favorite vampire was indeed Lestat (long before Tom Cruise played the role in the movie).

    Coming back to your post, I'm a goal setting person at heart who is a student of setting intentions. My intention for the upcoming New Moon is to accept the flow of things instead of trying to force matters to completion and enjoy the moments of being rather than doing.

    1. Happy to share about Anne Rice! Seeing your New Moon intetions now manifesting.

  6. Beautiful! I love how you share the difference between intentions and goals! This is something that is SO important! Great article!


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