新年2018的到来让人既兴奋又紧张。新年初始，我们会反思过去一年，同时也为新的一年做计划。很多人会给自己定下新一年的目标“New Year‘s resolutions”,比如多运动、吃好吃的、去旅行、徒步游遍欧洲！
建议大家花几分钟用Goal vs Intention的形式在纸、日记本或在手机记事本上写下自己的新年目标，接下来的这年里不断去温习，看自己在这个目标上进步了多少，还需要在哪些方面继续努力。在2018年的道路上，你可能会发现目标在不断地调整，但初衷始终不改。
Goals vs. Intentions: Which Should You Focus On in 2018?
by Alena Charow
(edits by Logan and Zac)
2018 has arrived, and the thought of it can be both daunting and thrilling. For many of us, this is the time of year in which we reflect on the last twelve months and begin thinking about our next loop around the sun. Many people take the initiative to set “New Year’s resolutions”—things they want to accomplish during the new year. This can include resolutions to exercise more, eat better, go on that dream vacation, or even hike across Europe!
Saying you want to lose twenty pounds this year is one thing, but actually achieving it is another matter entirely. According to a study by US News, approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fall apart by the first week of February. So how do successful people make their New Year’s resolutions stick?
For one thing, they understand the difference between goals and intentions.
We live in a fast-paced society that tends to focus exclusively on goals and results. We look at business icons, Olympic athletes, and rising actors, and we instinctively envy their looks, fame, and bank accounts—all of which are the results of the paths that brought those people to their current states of success. Likewise, we set goals without reflecting on our intentions, or inner purpose, for meeting them.
Here’s an example of a goal and its corresponding intention.
Goal: This year I will exercise or do yoga at least three times every week.
Intention: This year I will live a healthier lifestyle and to devote more time to my overall wellbeing.
Put simply, a goal is a destination, and intentions are the journey. Goals are where you want to be and intentions are what guides you to move in that direction. Goals tend to be set and rigid, whereas intentions are constantly developing and being practiced. However, intentions should not be mistaken for a “game plan.” In the example given above, the intention (to focus more on one’s personal health) serves as the motivation for the goal (to work out three times a week). Goals and intentions are equally important; without one, the other wouldn’t be complete. When you need help pushing yourself to accomplish a goal, you can always fall back on your intentions.
Goals encourage us to envision where we want to see ourselves in the future, while intentions keep us focused on the present. Another way to differentiate between these two concepts: goals are often externally oriented, while intentions define an internal, personal purpose. For instance, if your goal is to apply for a master’s program, your intention should compliment that goal and also serve as your personal motivation for applying to the program. A good example of a corresponding intention: to follow your passions. In addition to the stated goal (applying for a master’s program), this intention can also guide you to act upon many other interests, such as writing a short story or learning to play guitar. As you can see, a single intention can help push you to complete many different goals.
Take five minutes to write down a few New Year’s resolutions—in the form of your goals and the intentions that inform them. Write them down on a piece of paper, in a journal, or type them in a note on your phone. Refer back to them throughout the year, checking in with yourself to see what progress you’ve made and what you would still like to work on. As 2018 moves on, you may find that your goals are changing, but your intentions are still the same.
Here are some examples of goals and intentions to inspire you to think about what your goals and intentions are for 2018.
Happy New Year!
Goal: This year I will make a career change.
Intention: This year I will do more work that fulfills and inspires me.
Goal: This year I will write a book.
Intention: This year I will share my message with others.
Goal: This year I will meditate for five minutes every day.
Intention: This year I will allow myself to relax more and be more mindful in the present moment.
Goal: This year I will move to a new country.
Intention: This year I will get out of my comfort zone and explore new possibilities.
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