Intention Setting vs. Goal Setting in Life and Business

Ever wondered what the difference was between setting goals and setting intentions?


The Webster Dictionary describes it pretty clear. Goals are more clearly defined and have a more precise plan. Intentions are about having an idea or aim and not being so concerned with exactly the “how” in achieving it.  It’s more about aiming in the general direction.

I recently had an incident occur where intentions were set many years ago, no real plan on my end was rolled out and yet the stars lined up and a series of events unfolded right before my eyes many years later.

Before I get into my personal experience of what happened and how it bordered a dreamlike state for me, it is critically important to understand the practical side of setting goals and the discipline behind the success of accomplishing any goal in life.

The statement that says, “The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.” is very true.  Goal setting is easy, just like having a dream. It’s what you do with the rest of it that is the real work. 

There are 3 basic points that should come with every goal to ensure success.

Timeline, Action Steps, Measurement, (T.A.M). If any of those are missing, there’s a risk of failure and not achieving what you set out to do. In fact, it may not be a goal at all. It could be a dream, a fantasy, a vision or possibly an intention.  

Now, there is nothing wrong with any of these, we all have them and need them. They give room to exploration, creativity and help us in the development of deciding our goals.

  • First, to ensure the success of a goal once you’ve made up your mind, you must first give yourself a timeline.  A goal without a deadline is again a dream. 
  • Secondly, you must have very specific action steps on how you will achieve it.  If you just throw out something you want and have not figured out the “how” it’s impossible to expect anything to happen. 
  • Third, you must have a way by which to measure your success.  If it involves numbers such as losing weight or saving money it’s easy.  If however, it has to do with relationships or something less specific, the ability to measure it becomes more challenging.  

So remember, Timeline, Action Steps, and make sure you can measure it when setting goals!

Now here is my story about setting intentions and how life has a way of never forgetting what you wished once upon a star…

Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel

For over 10 yrs I’ve been saying I wanted to travel with Samantha Brown from The Travel Channel. I have been watching her jump on hotel beds for years, eat in little European cafes, and enjoy the adventurous life of traveling like no other. Her free-spirited nature and curious questions to strangers has always made me a big fan.  

Since turning 50 a few years back, I’ve become a huge fan of AARP and all of the membership benefits for the “silver” generation.  I frequently ask for my hard-earned discounts wherever I go out and most recently while at dinner with my kids, the comment was made that I should be an AARP spokesperson. (I think they get a bit embarrassed…I get a kick out of it).

When I was 19 years old, I learned to sail, at 24 I bought my first boat and sold it a few years later so my then husband could attend law school. With my recent life-changes, (divorce), I’ve decided I will find an old sailboat needing love & attention, refurbish it and sail…again.

Next- Here’s how It comes together 

Josi Gago
Josi Gago
Josi Gago…Traveling Her Yellow Brick Road was born in Coral Gables, Florida to Cuban parents with roots from Spain and Morocco. Living in Haiti as a child was one of her most memorable experiences but returning to South Florida as a teenager, getting married and having 4 children was one of the most fulfilling. During her 25-year “corporate grind” in banking she found herself often lost in her work and saw marriage of 24 years gone. She also found that toxic relationships kill from the inside out and decided to make margaritas out of lemons. She worked on herself teaching yoga/meditation and even owned a juice bar for a while. Today she has 4 amazing adult children, has returned to corporate banking (on her terms) and is a happy empty nester with a cat named Sir Harry.

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