Intention and Goal Setting

Goal Setting

Lately, my partner Ian and I have been swamped with work and commitments. It is a busy time of year and disconnection from the game plan is all too easy. Daily work schedules take a toll and drain our enthusiasm, simple tasks become an effort and emotions become fractious rather than harmonious. Our intentions were out of alignment and the clashes began happening over the smallest things.

The Yoga rule books (sorry sutras...) proclaim disattachment and an almost disengaged way of working with the future. A goal orientated life being one driven by ego that will not bring enjoyment or bliss. I don't agree. So, today, we did a little experiment.

We went to a tea shop in the city and sat down with each other. Neutral space, no home or work distractions and no dogs interrupting what I hoped would be a good discussion (but I was prepared for war anyway!). We spoke a little about business and what we wanted to do in the short term. That was our usual business catch up, a short-term projection of what is next. I then posed the question, "Any thoughts of the 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plan?" Which was met, instantly with, "We don't have time. Let's do this on holiday." I disagreed and started us off.

The year 1 was easy to work on, some business stuff came up, pathways were discussed and checklists made to set things in motion. We realised we were on the same page and there was a quiver of excitement around the conversation.

Year 3 was interesting. We didn't mention work. We spoke about where we wanted to be living, how we were to be living and our thoughts on family. Year 5 went on to be even more about how we were living life and how we would be together. Nothing about work! I was shocked! All of our conversations are about work! It is not that we don't plan to work in the future, but that it works for us in a way that is smooth and enables our lives to run as we wish. Goal Setting became less of a management decision with targets and financial overheads and more about dreams, intention and happiness. I think we were both surprised about how good it felt to talk about this. To hold space for our vulnerable dreams and put them on the table. The response was "oh! Me too, that is really important to me."

Every class that I teach has an intent. Every day I have an intent. This simple process has given shape to a greater intent, one that will be a driving force from behind, a goal to work to, together. A place born of vulnerability and sharing. It is made more precious as it was not on my radar at all for the day, but I find myself lifting my head from the screen of emails and seeing to the future and the now open pathways that were blocked before.

I encourage you to grab a notebook. What are your dreams for yourself within 1 year, 3 years and 5 years from now. What are the action steps in year one, year 3 and 5 (for example, Saving in year one, buying a house in year 3 and working from home year 5)? What are the big dreams and rites of passage (marriage, children, partnership etc.)?

I hope it gives you the energy to push forwards as it has for me.