As always, the beginning of the year leads to resolutions and vision boards, blueprints and buying new planners. My eyes are crossing from reading the numerous “how to” articles on keeping resolutions, finding love and oh yea, keeping the “love handles” off. In other words, these stories are all about NOT flaking on your goals and having something tangible to show for it months later. I had my own aha moment about the “how to” suggestions talking with an acquaintance at a house party. This woman is phenomenal and amazing as a performer in the entertainment biz. Lately tho’, she’s on a kick about needing a change. I asked her what was her ultimate goal was and she immediately blurted “I want to be on Broadway.” I smiled and could easily see her commanding attention from every corner of the stage. Her voice and presence reeks of “watch me because I’m THAT good.” My next question was: “So,when are you going up to New York to audition?” Surely because that’s where ALL the Broadway shows live, right? She gave me a sour face, shrugged and said “I’m old, tired of moving, and just want for work for whoever will hire me.” Huh? Say what? Basically, she’s already resigned herself to accepting “whatever happens.” Don’t we all sometimes get caught up in “whatever happens” thinking? I’t’s that moment when we refuse to set another goal and take a passive approach to life because it might require more effort than we want to deal with. We know her goals and we know her plan. (Don’t expect any changes) But what about you? Any goals? And do you have any intent to act on them?

One definition of intent is “determined or resolved; having the mind or will fixed on some goal.”

I can’t criticize the lady at the house party too much because the she is me in a few areas of my life. What I mean is, I have conjured up many a goal (writing a women’s book) (losing 20lbs) only to look back and wonder why I have pages but no chapters. I can still wear my pants from last year but my stomach is still pudgy.   We all have great intentions but often they get left on that same page until we dust it off  our journals wishing we had followed through.  The principle is simple but highly effective.  “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” I’ve seen it with folk at work who are content to gripe about how unhappy their job makes them, but they won’t even lift a finger to scan the internet for another possible position that gives them joy or allows them to pursue their passion.

So, how bad do you want “it”? What are what are you willing to get it?  Successful life coach Valorie Burton states so well that when you give up,  you begin to settle. Each time I hear this, I’m reminded that I have a choice. To settle. Or to make a courageous choice.  It might be baby steps, or a big step, but anything  beats just standing still.

I’ll leave you with a couple of thoughts to consider about intent and goal-setting.

  • Examine your goals and decide if they are connected to your purpose or just something you said because it sounds good. If it doesn’t inspire you and ignite an excitement within, reconsider why you’ve chosen it as a goal.
  • Write out your plan with a timeframe  and COMPLETE step one. It’s not how fast your accomplish the goal, it’s did you finish what you started? This is important in keeping your resolve because there will be delays and moments where nothing is happening. But having a plan is essential in reminding you of your vision.
  • Find one person who you can honestly share your dreams with. This person can hold you accountable and even encourage you when things may not move as fast as you like. Two is always better than one and we need to surround ourselves with friends who elevate us, not bring us down.
  • Decide NOT to settle. Not satisfied with your marriage? Work on it with a counselor or attend a retreat. Not happy with your job? Name two things you’d rather do and  take steps (school, shadowing) towards that instead of griping about the boss. Realize that refusing to attempt the smallest effort to change is settling.

Wayne Dwyer says our intention creates our reality. So instead of just working for whoever will hire us, or assuming you have no control over what happens to you, think about your plans, your intent, and decide not to settle. God’s word says I can do all things through Christ Jesus. But it also says faith without works is dead. What are you willing to work for?

I’d love to hear other thoughts on how you accomplished your goals and avoid settling.

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