The only thing better than leaving 2020 behind is living intentionally in 2021. My word for the new year is clarity. This year I’d like to be intentional and clear in my approach to goal setting, lifestyle changes, spirituality, what I dedicate my time and energy to, and the relationships I choose to nurture and grow.
Intentional goals are created with your why in mind and have a deeper meaning connected to your life’s purpose. These goals are harder to abandon or throw by the wayside, because they’re significant to your personal growth and milestones you’d like to reach in life.
Rather than writing a long list of goals to achieve for the year, identify realistic goals you’d like to meet each quarter. This is a way to make your goals more intentional.
Many would refer to this next process as the ‘breakdown’. Imagine taking a microscope and zooming in on every single thing you want to achieve then writing out the action steps you’ll take to get there.
Doing so allows us to take a step back to see what we really want and are actually capable of before moving forward.
Writing down a long list of goals with no intention behind them is like throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks.
When we don’t understand why we are pursuing certain goals it’s the easiest way to abandon them or get distracted from outside influences.
As you write down your goals for 2021, ask yourself, how will your life significantly change if you achieve them?
Creating intentional goals requires an extensive amount of self-reflection.
- How will your goals contribute to your personal growth?
- How will achieving these goals impact the community or others around you?
- Will the goals improve your quality of life financially, emotionally, mentally, physically?
After creating your intentional goals you should be excited to revisit them each quarter to check the progress you’ve made. If thinking about your goals and what it takes to meet them makes you exhausted or bored, then there’s a good chance they may not be intentional.
Each of your goals should spark your passion.
Make sure your goals aren’t too restricting. Assigning deadlines to your goals is another way to make them intentional, but I advise using them as motivational cursors to keep going instead.
Take your 2021 goal ideas seriously but remain flexible. We often set target dates to pace our progress unaware they can do more harm than good.
Missing deadlines can lead to discouragement and self-deprecation overtime. Reserve deadlines for completing tangible action steps. Don’t place limits on what you can achieve due to a set time frame.
Goals should be prioritized but we have to accept that there’s a chance we might not meet them all within a short span of 365 days.
Some goals may take one year while others take five or ten years to reach. Don’t stress or be too hard on yourself in 2021.
You should be able to recalibrate as needed. Follow these steps and Intentional goal setting should be a breeze.
What does it mean to be intentional?
Intentionality is defined as being purposeful and deliberate in our thoughts, beliefs, hopes, and desires.
To be intentional is the direct opposite of doing things on a whim, being reactionary, and setting meaningless goals.
It is the conscious effort we make to align our lifestyles with our ideal values, beliefs, personal goals, and the person we would like to be.
What does living an intentional life mean?
Intentionally living is being true to one’s self, following your dreams, setting boundaries, and strategically spending your time and energy on things that matter most to you.
Why is being intentional important?
Being intentional is important because it provides us with a sense of purpose and elevates our self-worth as individuals.
No one wants to live a life that feels empty.
Hope and the idea that we all have a divine purpose to fulfill is what keeps many of us going, even in the midst of adversity.
Carrying on through life aimlessly rarely begets a positive outcome.
Someone who is intentional in everything that they do has the ability to hyperfocus on their goals to ultimately get what they want out of life.
Their career success, personal growth, and intimate relationships often mirror their intentionality.
A medical doctor who dedicates her weekends to working at a local food bank and spending time with her husband and two kids isn’t a life that happens by chance.
She more than likely had aspirations to be in the medical field, to be a doting wife and mother, and finds serving her community rewarding. Every aspect of her life is intentional.
Once you become clear on your personal goals for 2021, you can be intentional, too.
Related Post: 3 Unexpected Benefits Of Daily Routines
How can I be intentional with my time?
Productivity is 80% time management and 20% self-discipline. Being intentional with your time is ultimately a choice.
Creating a weekly schedule at the top of the week is easy, but determining how to allocate our time effectively is the hard part.
Throughout the day, we should be participating in activities that move the needle in our business, in our lives at home, and personal relationships.
Think about how easily we let time slip away when we’re distracted by Netflix, social media, or talking on the phone.
These activities don’t have to be completely eliminated from our agenda, but we can limit our participation. Or better yet, reserve them for activities of leisure at the end of the day.
Deciding how you will be intentional with your time is completely up to you. If you want to lose weight, you’d definitely benefit from reserving time in the early morning or evening to exercise and meal prep to keep your healthy diet on track.
Projects you’d like to complete within a specific time frame should be prioritized accordingly as well.
Self-discipline comes into play when you’re choosing between attending happy hour or spending more time on your side hustle to meet your income goal for the month.
Time should be managed and fully aligned with your intentional goals. However, the way in which we spend time will look different for all of us.
Some of us need to be more flexible with our schedules while others may need to cut back on the free time.
The next time you plan your day, be intentional and consider the why behind each event or activity you choose. Download a time blocking schedule template in the Free Resource Library here!
Related Post: Time Blocking – How To Get More Done In Less Time?
How can I be intentional with my money?
What so many of us suffer from on a daily basis is consumerism and money mismanagement. Trust me, you are not alone. America made us this way.
As soon as the money hits our checking account within a matter of days, possibly even hours, it’s gone.
Many people are living paycheck to paycheck these days. Some, paycheck to Monday, because all of their money is spent over the span of a weekend.
Not getting paid enough isn’t always the case. An individual with a six figure income isn’t exempt from poor spending habits. In fact, those who make less tend to budget their money better.
Nevertheless, spending money intentionally takes practice.
Can you walk down the aisle and only place what you need in the shopping cart instead of what you want? I mean, it’s pretty hard to do in a store like Target.
You have to be highly disciplined to leave out of there with everything on your list and nothing more. It’s insanely addictive.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can practice being intentional with your money.
- Create a budget and stick to it
- Pay your bills first
- Only tap into your savings for emergencies
- Deposit your funds into accounts for different goals (i.e. travel, personal savings, family emergencies, etc.)
- Buy what you need instead of what you want
- Set monthly income and savings goals
- Follow the 80/20 rule (save 80% of your income, spend the other 20% on yourself)
- Say no to credit cards!
- Do not cosign on loans
- Shop like a minimalist
Is your intentional goal more income in 2021? Grab the ‘Side Hustle Planner’ and get started today!
How to be intentional with others?
One thing I’ve learned overtime is to keep my friend circle small. Just to be frank, some people are emotional vampires. They suck the energy out of every room and can be down right parasitic if you don’t set boundaries with them.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m a major advocate of boundaries; setting them plays a major part in being intentional with others.
You don’t have to cut toxic friends and family off. In no way, am I suggesting this, but you can certainly limit the time you spend with them.
Who wants negative energy in their life? Reserve your time and energy for people who make you smile, and encourage and uplift you when you’re feeling down.
True friends are supportive, caring, and always kind. You can foster those relationships by intentionally pouring back into them the same way.
How to be intentional with God?
Developing a deeper connection with God and growing spiritually is on my list of intentional goals for 2021. I plan to follow several steps to achieve this goal and am sharing my list below.
- Pray on my knees every morning and evening
- Meditate for 20 minutes each day
- Follow a bible reading plan
- Journal at least once a day
- Recite a scripture or daily affirmation to start the day on a positive note
- Purchase a daily devotional
How can I be more intentional at work?
For many of us, 2021 will be a year of transition, personally, financially, and/or mentally.
After gaining clarity on my goals, my approach to searching for new opportunities in my profession completely changed. I realized I was limiting myself by not broadening my search based on the skill set I developed overtime.
There are so many skills we learn outside of our respective profession that we forget how they can be applied in our current roles. If you’re looking to move up in your company or out of it, take a step back and analyze what you already know and what you can learn in your current position.
Use the company to your advantage and learn as much as you can while you are there, even if it means pursuing another internal role that will get you the skills you need.
In order for you to be intentional at work you have to think long term.
It’s better to know if you’re in a dead end job sooner rather than later, so you can pivot accordingly.
There’s no reason to suffer at a job you hate. Take your career by the reins and improve your skills to get the dream job you deserve.
Hopefully, you’ll get out your nifty notepad and pen to set your intentional goals for 2021 after reading this.
Or at the very least, take away a few tips to live intentionally next year.
Download a copy of the 31-Day Simple Living Challenge here!
Share one of your intentional goals for 2021 in the comments below!
I teach entrepreneurs how to simplify their life and business with less + own their time and maximize productivity towards their personal and monetary goals.