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Let’s talk about intent

What if enjoying the journey and the process was more important than reaching the goal ?

In any goal setting, any achievement, and any project, there is a journey. But what about the intent to get you there?

Reflecting on it brought me awareness and helped me understand some of my behaviors.

I learned that Intent or Intention is not negative things as I believed growing up. It has nothing to do with the “Not good enough” process but yes, with the daily baby steps journey.
I was raised in a severe and robust environment, where I’ve been taught to fight for myself, as a woman in society and as an individual in the professional world. I have been told that having the intention or wanted to do something by “trying” was not good enough.
Why having a goal and say: I will try to reach this goal…? don’t try, just do it and succeed.
As the Intent of raising me this way was to believe in me and trust in my possibilities, I perceived it in a different way
and I felt that if I were not meeting expectations, I would not be good enough.
When setting up a goal, the goal is in the future, and reaching it comes Later, as the Intent is in the present.
Since little, I am very determined, and I have learned to reach my goals, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Nothing will stand in the way.
BUT, two things always happened in this process,
* the first one is that I do not enjoy the journey, as I live in the future, and I am not aware of the Intent.
Of course, I understand now that the intents are always present, as steps and effort to build up a strategy to reach the goal, but I was not conscious of them. As well as I do not celebrate successful intents (because it’s only a step, we are not there yet )
* The second is that when I reach my goal, I do not enjoy the success because it is considered “Normal.”
If Trying is not good enough, and failure is not an option, success becomes a simple thing.

I understand now and realize that Intent is such a vital part of the success and makes the journey much more manageable and likable. It gives sense to the whole process.

Why do you want to get there? How is it essential for you? What difference will it make in your life when you reach?
You might just realize that the Intent is not the right one and will work against you.
Or that your Intent is not aligned with your values, your truth.

As part of my own experience, I’d like to share this example:

At some point in my life, I thought: I am overweight, my life is a mess, I am not happy in my job, I don’t have a social life, once I’ll lose 20lb, it will be easier to socialize, and my whole life will get much better: Losing weight is the solution to my happiness.

So I’ve put a lot of time and effort into losing these 20 lbs. Reaching my goal, after months of deprivation, I still didn’t manage to sort out my life.
Because the problem was not overweight, the problem was that my Intent was wrong.
Goal: losing 20lb
Intent: being slim, looking good, and I’ll make friends easily, I will become popular.

But here is the true reason I could not get a social life
I was working crazy hours. I was not going out, consequently not meeting anyone.
When going out, I was standing in a corner and was not speaking to anyone. I ignored what I was wearing because I didn’t like my body anyway and honestly did not look happy or a fun person to meet.

Result: I did put back on weight.

The 20lb overweight was not the problem. Not for my social life.

Years later, I tried again, but this time my Intent had shifted for: feel better in my body and be able to look at myself in the mirror and appreciate myself.
After a few months of hard work and following my daily Intent, I lost weight again.
And guess what? It made me happy. It showed in my life and behavior. I became more sociable. When going to parties, it was easier to talk and meet people. Soon I had met plenty of new friends who came to enlighten my life. Right Intent!

Ask yourself the Intent behind the goal and state if the purpose does serve you or your client.
Enjoy and share the Intent. The journey should be as lovely as reaching the goal.
Every Intent is worth it, and it is good enough. Meaning is a daily work, a mindset you to adopt, and you live with, a way of processing your goals and habits. I recently realized that I was pursuing a plan for the last 20 years and that every time I was getting close, either I was pushing it back to make it more challenging to reach, or I was sabotaging myself not to reach.

When reading this article called “How you might feel empty when reaching a pretty big goal,” It blew my mind. It was precisely what was happening to me. I was scared to reach my goal and feel empty after it was such a big thing I was focusing on for so long. I had taken it as part of my life and would not let it go. I understand now that I can reach it and accept success. I plan my next goal and will enjoy the journey because I will define my Intent first, make sure it serves me, and bring positive into my life.
I do need to understand a process to be able to share it. I am pleased to have understood the Intent, and it even changed my way to see coaching. I intend to help people lose weight and keep it down, but with an enjoyable journey. Not focusing on the restriction, but reach a way of life that will match their values. Do not be scared of the journey.
The goal is tomorrow, and tomorrow is another day. The Intent is today, and today you can make the difference.
Do not choose a goal with the Intent to keep you busy. Picked your goal with the Intent to make a difference for you or others.


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About the author

Beatrice is the coach of Zested Life, an internationally accredited coaching practice specializing in helping athletes at all levels transition into their post-game careers.