Living in the Now: Setting Intentions vs Goals

A new season ((helloooo Fall!)) often means new beginnings + fresh starts, making it the perfect time to set new goals. While setting goals can be beneficial, often times goals are too broad + end up being unattainable. If you find yourself making the same *goal* list with little luck in actually achieving these items, try setting monthly intentions instead.


Goals are often specific items which can be crossed off your list once achieved. Intentions, on the other hand, do not have limits + instead are about self-reflection + how activities make you feel. In a general sense, setting an intention means doing something to become who you want to be.  It isn’t a checked off item that’s completed each month — it keeps growing and building, allowing you to reflect + adapt.


At the beginning or end of each month, take time to sit down + write out your intentions. Grab a piece of paper [or a journal just for intentions + reflection] + a pen. As you get into the flow of intention writing, you’ll figure out what time // day // flow works best for you, but here’s a *flow* to get started with —


Watch a movie, take a bath, put on a face mask, drink some wine, get in a workout, etc. This activity doesn’t have to be a stereotypical “self-care” act — do whatever calms you + helps you unwind.


Put on some music [again, whatever you enjoy] whether that’s acoustic + calming or t-swift. Whatever you choose, it’s best if it’s something you know the words to [or if there aren’t any words] as this will help you concentrate on your thoughts rather than lyrics!


A personal mantra is a phrase or saying you can repeat to yourself when you’re feeling down // out of touch or *off* to remind yourself of your intentions. Your mantra can be a quote you love or can be personal to what you feel you need to hear in these tough moments [my personal mantra is *I believe in the person I’m becoming*]. Write this mantra down at the top [or anywhere you’d like] of your intention paper + repeat it to yourself as needed throughout the month.


Some questions to get you started:

When do I feel most calm?
When do I feel happiest?
What is one thing I’d like to try?
What is one thing I could work on?
Simple task I should be doing but don’t: ex: make bed, drink water
What word would you like to focus on this month?

The answers to these questions will turn into your intentions for the month. For example, if you’re happiest when you’re reading a book — read more can be your first intention. As opposed to having a goal of *finish a book*, setting an intention of *read more* gives flexibility + takes away the pressure of finishing a goal.

Instead of focusing on finishing your book [a goal] , you can instead focus on the feeling of happiness you get from reading [any activity] + set out to obtain this feeling more this month.


When you’re finished with your intentions, stick your paper on your desk so you can see them daily. If you have a notebook dedicated to your intentions + check-ins, bring this with you to work // school — making sure it’s visible to you throughout the month. Whatever your preference, it’s important to come back to your intentions during the month to self-reflect.


At the end of the month, reflect on your intentions. How do you feel? Is there anything you improved on this month? Is there something you want to do more of? Include these reflections in your next month’s intentions. There’s no need to feel guilty over not accomplishing an intention since intentions are not meant to be *completed*. Instead, focus on the things you gained this month + how you can improve in the upcoming month.

What intentions do you wish to set for the upcoming year? Share them with us on insta using #inCHAARG! ++ Remember, we believe in the person you’re becoming < 3

++ Ashleigh B. // PittCHAARG [ashleigh_inchaarg]

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