The difference between Values, Intentions & Goals
You might ask…why does this matter? Aren’t they all the same thing?
Let me explain how knowing and understanding the difference can help you to create happiness and fulfillment in your life.
The words values, intentions, and goals are often thrown around a lot. In some cases, they are even used interchangeably when really, there is a big difference between them. Understanding the difference between values, intentions, and goals and being able to implement each effectively in your life can make a huge difference in how satisfied you feel in your life.
With the New Year just rolling in we can often look to make new resolutions, set new goals and dream for our next 12 months. So...let’s get to creating the best version of you and see how this manifests into your best year yet!
A wise woman said “Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is in reverse. You must first BE who you really are, then DO what you need to do, in order to HAVE what you want.” – Margaret Young
What are Values?
What do you value? The key to you…
Defining your values is the first step in unlocking your success and happiness. Values are those things that really matter to you – the ideas and beliefs you deem to be the most important in your life.
A range of factors, including your background, upbringing, spiritual beliefs, life philosophy and events that you’ve experienced or witnessed will all shape the values you hold. Values have a major influence on your behaviour and serve as broad guidelines to make authentic choices that leave you feeling more content, happy and satisfied as life unfolds. When your actions aren’t in alignment with your values, you find yourself without a sense of achievement or feeling out of control.
The best day of your life is the day on which you decide to own your set of values and live by them. Do you know what you values are? Are you living your life accordingly?
Your values are the things that are most important to you in life; they are your personal expression and prioritisation of the universal needs of all humans. By choosing to live in accordance with your values, life will feel more satisfying and meaningful to you. When you live according to the values of others, you will feel like you are merely surviving, going through the motions, and/or checking goals off a list but never really getting where you want to go.
Values don’t get marked off as "done" like goals do. Instead, you commit to them as a daily, moment-by-moment practice, never reaching a final destination. When clearly defined, your values will simplify your decision-making process and will create nourishment for you to flourish.
Values are typically defined with single words or phrases like these: Family Happiness, Wisdom, Wealth, Self-Respect, Health, Connection, Generosity, Acceptance, Freedom, and Courage just to name a few.
Most people have a between six - ten values that are very important to them. When you drill those values down even further, to the things that you prioritise above all else, you have your personal core values. I suggest that you select your top 3 values and write them down. Commit them to memory, as they will now act as your decision – making blueprint. You also need to define the single value that is most important to you.
What are Intentions?
Intentions provide a framework for you to set priorities, use your time wisely, and align yourself with the resources you need to manifest your goals, happiness and fulfillment.
A well-crafted intention starts with your values and becomes a statement about how you want to show up in the world. They are guiding paths for who you want to “be” and how you want to show up, instead of what you want to “do” or accomplish.
So, let’s say that one of your core values is well-being. You might set an intention that looks like this: "I choose to nourish my mind body and soul". This is something you can be successful at right now, in this moment. You don’t have to wait to accomplish a goal in order to choose well-being. And as long as you value well-being, that intention will inform how you treat yourself for the rest of your life. You don’t check “well-being” off of a list and move on to something else. It’s a practice. Your intention defines your value-driven practice.
What are Goals?
You’ve probably picked up on it by now but goals are different than values and intentions because they are something that you can achieve and check off. They are tangible outcomes that you can work towards achieving and then move on to new goals once they are complete.
The more connected to your value-driven intentions your goals are, the more meaningful and satisfying your life will feel.
For example, using the previous example of having an intention to choose well-being, you might set the following goals:
• find and join a community who are passionate about well-being
• take a class on holistic wellness
• practice gratitude daily
• nourish your body with wholefoods at each meal
Notice how these things are very tangible; you either do them or you don’t. They are things you want to “do” and are in service to who you want to “be.” Once you cross these items off your list, you will likely continue to value well-being and intend to continue the practice with passion and fulfillment.
Your values and intentions don’t go away once your goal is achieved.
The key difference between values, intentions, and goals as you can see, is who you want to be in this world vs. what you want to do in the world.
You can see from my examples above that they go hand in hand together. One flows into the other and all three are essential to living a life that is rich with meaning and fulfillment.
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me to make a time to connect via a FREE 30 minute online consultation.
Yours in wellness,