You set out on January one with those applaudable, and you hoped, achievable writing goals for 2020. We’re now five months into the new year, so how has that worked for you?
1___Great? 2____So-so? 3____Not at all?
If you checked number one, my hat’s off to you and you can go do something besides read on, but if you opted for two or three, maybe you’ll be interested in the rest of this article.
If you’ve read any of my posts or comments around social media, you may have stumbled on my interest in Eastern philosophy. I have practiced meditation and yoga for many years, and somewhere along the way, I realized I needed to apply that philosophy to my writing.
That’s when instead of only setting goals, I began with setting intentions.
“Okay, stop right there,” you say. “What’s this mumbo-jumbo anyway? There’s no difference between a goal and an intention.”
Well, yes there is. Think about what a goal looks like expressed in words.
- I’m going to write 1,000 words a day.
- I’m going read three books on writing craft this year.
- I’m going to post on four social media platforms daily.
Each of those goals while possible to achieve, are all about how you see the future. What that means is they quite possibly aren’t what will satisfy or fulfill you over time. Once you feel the let down, it becomes harder to slog ahead through the year.
But what if you:
- set that keen and very busily plotting mind aside and just take a seat for a moment?
- stop all that brilliant thinking and go to where you are right now, to what you desire most?
- forget the future. It doesn’t exist anyway, right?
Let’s start with the intention of being awake and aware and in the present moment as much as possible. Or maybe you’d like to bring joy into your writing. Having a few gallons of that on a regular basis, just might buoy those goals of 1,000 words a day, but what if those 1,000 words don’t come for a week, does that mean you have to give up on joy? No. Having joy is possible without your putting a single word on the page. And tomorrow when your joyful self plunks down in your writing space, who knows but that 2,000 words won’t flow from you onto that page?
A quick recap:
- Goals are focused on the future.
- Intentions are your deepest desires at the present moment.
- Goals are a destination or specific achievement.
- Intentions are lived each day, independent of achieving any goal or destination.
- Together they carry you to your destiny.
How's your year going so far? Do you still have those goals in mind? Maybe you've reached some, but are still hoping to achieve others. Does the difference between goals and intentions make sense to you as a creative person?