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The difference between intentions and goals

I have set the challenge of a lifetime for myself: to speak Dutch fluidly in one year, and to understand what is said on TV, and in social and business situations.

I have just moved to The Netherlands one month go, July 2019, and this is my new challenge.

This takes me to an important distinction: the difference between setting an intention and setting a goal. Intention is a word that is used mostly in the personal development/coaching space, while the business world uses mostly goals and the word intention is frowned upon as not tangible enough (not S.M.A.R.T. enough if you know what I mean).

I am here to tell you that you could use both and increase your chances of success.

Intentions utilise the power of your subconscious mind (the one that experts say we use 80% of the time), and goals work mostly with the conscious mind. I think we need both.

Learning Dutch for me is a perfect example. I have set an intention that I will not be one of these people that spend 10 years in The Netherlands and can only say "thank you" and "please" in Dutch. All my respect for those who have made that decision, but my intention is to be fluid. Intention is a firm decision. In that decision you don't have a HOW or exactly WHEN but your decision is firm and doesn't change with time. It normally has a vision associated with it.

The way intention works, it will direct you even when you are not consciously thinking about it.

You will find yourself taking action when you have not intended to, in order to fulfill your firm intention.

Goals have a timeline associated with it and are more tangible (again, they are S.M.A.R.T, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound).

A Goal for me could be to watch a Dutch TV programme with Dutch subtitles every day for the next seven days.

Another goal could be to enrol in a presencial Dutch language course and another one could be to do whatever homework this course sends me at a certain time every day.

I need to work with my conscious mind to carry out those goals.

However, the amazing autonomic nervous system, would do my job for me on a daily basis one I have integrated my firm intention.

What is one example in which you could combine an intention and a goal to achieve success?

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