2019 Word of Intention vs. New Years Resolutions

What is the difference between a goal and an intention?

-A goal has specific parameters, rules; if it’s a good one, it’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound or S.M.A.R.T.; it gives you something that you either very clearly live up to or very clearly do not meet and need to continue working

-An intention is simply a vague picture around which you shape your actions and thoughts; it is a continual work in progress, something you are always working to reflect more fully through your life

Now, I’ve always been a goal oriented person and a perfectionist. These things have gotten me far in life, but they have also built up years of stress and anxiety that I am now in the process of recovering from and finding balance with. I can very clearly see the benefits of a goal over an intention. It seems so much more practical to implement, and it has a clear end goal and timeframe. These things are appealing to most people, but are they realistic with the ways in which we live our lives? Do goals surrounding health behaviors cause more stress and therefore physiological damage than they are worth?

I don’t have all the answers.

I’ve often heard people say that “goal” is a personal trainer word; people come in with a vague idea of what they want to achieve in the gym and with their health, and it’s trainers who ask people to operate in a way with “goals” that simply isn’t natural for most people, causing a communication disconnect. But yet, here I am, a very goal-oriented person, always have been, and I ended up as a personal trainer and health coach. The word goal existed for me way before I ever entered this field. What do I make of this?

I’m not here to over-analyze who I am as a person and how I got here (trust me, I do plenty of this in my free time), but what I am here to say is this:

This year, 2019, I have very intentionally chosen to set a “word of intention” for the year instead of a “new years resolution” or “goal.” And my word is “wild,” a word that very intentionally elicits a lack of structure, a lack of perfectionism, a comfortable messiness, even (despite many many years of setting very careful New Years Resolutions that I have often stuck to and met, what many would consider an impressive success). My aim here is to shape my actions throughout this year around the word wild, to let loose from my normally overly structured habits and patterns (and yes, I will likely get this word tattooed on me at some point during the year).

This is not to put my physical health and fitness goals on the back burner for the year but to make sure that I do not let life get in the way of me keeping fun and play at the center of my priorities. It is a bold statement that mental, emotional, and spiritual health are at the core of physical health, and we need to remember that. Our current world, society, and culture are stressful enough; this year, let’s very intentionally decide to not inflict more stress upon ourselves.  

What’s your word of intention for 2019? Need help setting one? Shoot me a message; I’m always here to help you live your best life.


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About Ellen

Every body is a good body, and my goal is to help you feel your best!