Is Setting Your Intent More Powerful than Setting Your Goals?

by on December 22, 2010

Thanks to a post by Mike Martel over at Samurai Networking, this goddess has been thinking about the difference between Setting your goals and Setting Your Intent.

And I have come to the conclusion that Old school goals, with their requirements of precise details and exact time-lines, do not allow for the magnificence of the Universe to work its magic.

Think about it.

Setting a goal for yourself must rely on your present awareness as its basis, and your present awareness is fully and completely determined by your past experiences.

With me so far, scrumptious ones?

But what if there’s More Possibilities to your goal, more ways to achieve it, that you don’t even know exist, which could come in to play and  make the vision of your goal seem woefully uninspired and small?

And what if achieving that little small goal still left your intent unfulfilled?

And since we’re not yet All Knowing, you’ve got to admit there’s always something more out there!

“What’s the view you have of the world? Because how big that window is, how wide your prosperity consciousness is, has a lot to do with with how you’re going to manifest prosperity.” ~ Randy Gage (from this video)

A few examples for you …

  • I always envisioned First Class as the slightly wider seats and spacious leg room of the curtained area that I passed through as I maneuvered my carry-on down the aisle of the plane.
    Then I saw Randy Gage’s video on the suites on board Air Emirates, complete with full size bed and shower! Oh great heavens, be still my beating heart!
    And then I realized that were I to manifest the things I had then been visualizing, I would have dreadfully short-changed myself.
  • Oprah Winfrey created dorm rooms of simple beauty, with art and flowers, for the girls in her school in South Africa.
    Her reason? How could they possibly envision a life of luxury for themselves when all they’d ever known was a one roomed hut with no running water. There was no way to picture that because it was so far removed from their current experience.
  • To someone whose idea of abundance is one full meal a day, the concept of an all-you-can-eat buffet would be dismissed as fantasy.

My point is ~ How can you set a goal for something that you do not Know exists?

I believe the answer is, you cannot.

And beyond that, what if the way you’ve Decided to earn the millions of dollars you seek is not actually the best or fastest way available, but because you don’t know of any other way, you’ve basically handcuffed the Universe to the skimpy parameters of your vision.

This is what Mike Dooley calls “The Cursed How’s” and in his book Infinite Possibilities, he warns us to focus on the What and the How will take care of itself.

Therefore, in this goddess’ opinion, the solution to living a life of glorious abundance and unlimited bliss is not in setting rigid, fiercely structured goals,

but on setting your INTENT.

How deliciously Freeing is that?!

INTENT indicates Direction, a purposeful movement toward a loosely defined end, with maybe a few key details determined but the rest identified by … get this, … Simply Feeling Good.

“When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Now, I know by now some of you dahlings are starting to space out here, so I’m going to leave you with this thought ~

Focusing more on How You Want To Feel,

rather than What you think you need to achieve that feeling,

might, just might open you up to all sort of serendipitous discoveries

and the glorious maneuverings of the Universe.

And offer up all sorts of possibilities that you,

scrumptious one,

might still be unaware of.

It’s worth a try, right?

In my next post I’m going to expand on this thought, give you real-life examples of how it works, and issue you a Challenge for 2011.

Meantime, do let me know what you think of this idea ~ it would make for delicious tea-time conversation.

Setting your goals … or your intent ~ where do you stand?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason@Make Beats December 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

Jacqueline – I have never thought about goal setting in this way, but I can see how this can raise some curious questions. I started to understand what you were trying to say when I read this “Focusing more on How You Want To Feel, rather than What you think you need to achieve that feeling”, which is very true.

However, I think the problem is that most people don’t know what they really want to begin with so they end up setting goals and chasing things that might not necessarily fulfill or make them feel complete like they thought it would.

So I definitely agree, setting your intent much more powerful than setting goals. But first you must first discover what your true intent is, and that is where a lot of people drop the ball.
Jason@Make Beats´s last blog post ..How To Sell Hip Hop Beats


Jacqueline Gates December 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Sir Jason, you definitely hit the nail on the head about most people not knowing what they want to begin with – I was horribly guilty of that for years and years *sigh* – but I have found that one of the quickest ways to Actually FIND what you want is to follow whatever it is that makes you feel good.

Like you with making music and creating beats – You’re good at it, because you feel good doing it.
And when you can show others how to do the same things, you feel even better, right?

I’m like that with my goddesses.
And Knights lol


Darren Spruyt December 23, 2010 at 11:35 am

Hey Jacqueline.. loved your post! Especially the part about focusing on how we feel. I guess it is alright to set long-term goals because the main thing about goals is we have to consistently make adjustments to them.

Just like driving your car in a dark road with no lights. You can only see just that far (but you know where you want to head to). Only when we reached where our lights shone previously, will we see obstacles, or even something we never knew existed like what you mentioned!

Thanks for sharing this post and your thoughts Jacqueline! 🙂

Darren Spruyt
Darren Spruyt´s last blog post ..What Your Doctor Can Teach You About Network Marketing…


Jacqueline Gates December 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Welcome, Darren ~ I can see we’re going to get along famously since we agree on basics like these. Loved the car analogy too. There’s more about my network marketing journey (which is obviously where your success lies) in my next post, but basically I went into mlm for all the wrong reasons.
Once I discovered what the Real reasons were – ie, the way I wanted to Feel while I was building my biz – only then did I find any success whatsoever.

So glad you came to visit.


Jose H. Caraballo December 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm

I like where this is going. I have definitely suffered from the limitations that linear thinking brings. We are offered opportunites that line up with our goals all the time. We (at least I) tended to skip over them because they were not “part of my plan”.

I thin kthis would be very useful for those that are on the “a little more stiff” side of things.

Thanks for the info!
Jose H. Caraballo´s last blog post ..Don’t Listen to What Bernanke Says!


Debbie@Authentic Happiness December 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Fabulous idea, Jackie! Mike Dooley speaks of this exact concept in his recent book Manifesting Change. He uses a matrix of goals with physical goals like riding in first class on the right, and then ‘feeling’ goals on the left. Like happiness, peace and so on.

I always end my visualizations with the words, “This or something better I now manifest.”

I am definitely including some feeling goals for 2011.
Debbie@Authentic Happiness´s last blog post ..Authentic Happiness Part 1


Jacqueline Gates December 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I love that! I think I’ll be adding “This or Something Better” to mine too. Thank you for visiting, new friend.


Val Wilcox @ Empower Your Life December 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Goddess Jacqui,
Love your mindset on this! My vision of what is possible is limited by what I know, so your idea of knowing WHAT I want and focusing on that makes so much sense. I do get so constricted thinking about setting a timeline & how to’s for every part of my life.

Alittle creative chaos and being aware of opportunities will take you far, if you act on them when they are presented!

Val 🙂
Know Your Personality –


Jacqueline Gates December 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Thank you, Val dear. I’m glad that someone else feels ‘constricted’ by the militaristic style of old-school goal-setting. I love the idea of a ‘little creative chaos’, don’t you?


Kellie Hosaka @network marketing home business training December 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Aloha Jacqui,

I am so glad you have been pondering on this thought… 🙂 The Universe only knows our intention by the feelings and vibrations we send out. And yes, if it feels good, do it! Heehee 🙂

In answering your question, how about setting our goals based on our intentions, then it all works out. We all know when we are having fun and when we are having fun, the Universe is conspiring with us! And that’s how the magic happens! Woohoo!

Thank you for your most “delicious” post!

Happy Holidays Goddess!

Much love & aloha,
Kellie 🙂
Kellie Hosaka @network marketing home business training´s last blog post ..The Greatest Gift You Can Give To Yourself


Jacqueline Gates December 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm

You’re so wise, my Hawaiian goddess. Having the Universe ‘conspiring with me’ is a great aim!


joy December 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Hi Jacqui;
I just love your insights into our overall existence. I have always had such a time trying to set goals for myself, the stiffness and the rigidity of it all. I have never heard anyone talk on setting intent, this is brilliant, and now I have a different way to look at things around me.
I also like Jason’s take on most people not knowing what they want in the first place and he is absolutely right, as that is me. Now I feel armed with this little seedling you just planted and I can see myself moving forward a little.
Thank you so much for that.


Jacqueline Gates December 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Dahling Joy ~ I’m so very glad I can help. I’ve gathered So many little specks of wisdom from so many different people, and it’s good to be able to pass them on.
We have to chat next year, goddess!


joy December 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Hi Jacqui;
I would love to chat with you in the new year, I look forward to it..


Sire@Knights Inc. December 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Hi Jacqueline, I reckon I must be one of the few persons that hasn’t had a clear goal in life. I just take things day by day doing what I have to do to survive. I know I’ve never set goals and even when I’ve been forced to come up with a business plan I just put a whole lot of crap together just to keep the guy who asked for them happy. I never had any intention of following them.

I don’t even sit back and wonder if my life would be different if I did have goals and such. My life is what it is and for the main I’m happy with where I’m at.

I’ve just come here from your future post and now I’m going forward to read the rest of what you’ve written.
Sire@Knights Inc.´s last blog post ..Sometimes It’s Better To Just Not Give A Shit


Jacqueline Gates December 30, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I do so admire your free spirit. Actually, I probably would be the same had I not been raised by the pedantic, follow-the-schedule type of parents. I’ve always loved the idea of just being able to go with the flow … goes right along with Joseph Campbell’s admonition to follow your bliss.

I’ve had quite a few promptings in this direction recently, including a post on Zen Habits on that precise subject.

It would be an interesting experiment, methinks.


LeeAnn Townsend January 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I really enjoyed reading this post, which really got me thinking about the way I have set goals for myself. I really like this part of the quote “Focusing more on How You Want To Feel, rather than What you think you need to achieve that feeling,” That is going to be my focus for 2011. 🙂

Thank you for this great incite, I am looking forward to reading more of your blog. 🙂
LeeAnn Townsend´s last blog post ..10 Ways to Increase Your “Likeablility” in 2011…in 30 Seconds or Less!


Jacqueline Gates January 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Greetings, LeeAnn!
That one little shift has made such a difference to how I ‘open myself up’ to so many more possible ways of achieving my goals ~ really allows God/theUniverse to work magic on my behalf.
Do let me know how it changes things for you!


Perry A Davis Jr@network marketing, warm market, prospecting January 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I agree Old school school goal setting does not allow for the magnificence of God/Universe. When we outline how we are going to accomplish our goal, it is what I call outlining. Using outlining caused me many years of frustration about achieving goals.
Thanks for your very informative post.

Perry A Davis Jr
Music City USA
Perry A Davis Jr@network marketing, warm market, prospecting´s last blog post ..5 thoughts as to why not call your friends- family and people you know as – your “Warm Market


Jacqueline Gates January 7, 2011 at 10:26 am

There’s an old saying – “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
I think it applies to the Universe too lol
Much better, I find, to state the Outcome and start moving forward.


Melissa McCloud January 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

i’m finally visiting Part 1 of your post… i had skipped straight to Part 2 (oops!)

definitely needed the reminder about focusing on the WHAT and now the HOW. i put down my goals for 2011 and know that i need to get specific, but mapping out an exact plan to the minute detail is not allowing a lot of room for the universe to work its magic!

thanks again jacqui… “see” you on skype!
Melissa McCloud´s last blog post ..Don’t Be A Wuss!


Jacqueline Gates January 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

We are so alike, you and I!
I get waaaaay too focused on the How’s, which is why I wrote this post because it just wasn’t working that way.
Setting Intentions and then following your bliss is what I find works best, and keeps me out of the Universe’s way!!

Bliss-ings, goddess


Gavin Mountford January 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

Hi Jacqueline, great post and very true. Having huge goals is great but really a goal needs to be backed up by an action plan! Many people don’t have an action plan for a MASSIVE goal so it’s best to create a vision and purpose for the direction of your life so you know how you would like to make an impact in the world.

Once you set your intent out into the world, strange things start to happen. You also activate your reticular activating system and things magically start appearing right in front of your very eyes which are tied to the intent you set.

I usually set outcomes/results rather than goals as I’m sure I will achieve the outcome. Goals can still be a little wishy washy and many people don’t achieve them.

On a different note, is there anyway to stop your video pop up from appearing on every page and just have it pop up once? I can see people will quickly be put off if they have to close it every time they browse a page.

Gavin Mountford´s last blog post ..5 Major Distractions &amp How To Eliminate Them – Part 2


Jacqueline Gates January 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

Greetings, Gavin.

Yes, I too have found that when I set my Intention, all sort of luscious things begin to unfold in ways I never imagined. And if I do have a goal set, then having the Intention set first makes it easier to make the goal happen.

Thanks for the note on the pop-up. It was supposed to be set for once per visit – so as not to be excruciatingly annoying! – and I shall go in and rectify it!

So glad to have met you through TSA.
All the best with the new addition to the family too.

the goddess known as Jacqui


alicia @ dui attorney in san francisco January 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm

A person who have have an intent is more driven that those who set their goals because goals are long term and you need to work hard for it. While intention in visible and you can do it any time you want. I really believe that intention is somewhat effective than goals because intentions maybe small but when you can do it, you can feel that you have done something great and that you will not be stressed out thinking of what to do next just like achieving your goals.


Jacqueline Gates January 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Very true, Alicia. Intention is immediate ~ if you’ve done something in alignment with that intention, you can consider yourself successful, even if you haven’t actually reached your goals yet. So the disappointment and frustration is lessened, and the forward motion maintained, and success almost certainly guaranteed.


Sandra Gonzalez@Application Online January 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

This is really thought-provoking and I guess if I think about it, I have actually used intent to reach one small goal at a time until I have reached my higher one. There is no doubt the mind is so powerful it can directly guide you to reaching your highest goals even if they seem out of reach; it’s just that we don’t always reach them as planned but that does not mean they are out of reach.
Sandra Gonzalez@Application Online´s last blog post ..The Best Application Online Tips To Get Hired


Jacqueline Gates January 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

And Sandra, you’ve hit a very valid point in that “we don’t always reach them as planned”, which is why I find focusing on Intentions rather than the actual Goals and the How-to’s that almost always go with them, so much more effective.


Willena Flewelling January 30, 2011 at 3:17 am

I never really thought of it this way before. But really, I suppose Goals should be an outgrowth of Intent. How can I set true Goals that I am motivated to keep, if I don’t know how I really feel and what I really want?

Thanks for getting me thinking. 😉

Willena Flewelling
Willena Flewelling´s last blog post ..There are Good Days and There are Bad Days


Mark Testa@southern california mls listings November 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Wow, this is enlightening. Many of us do tend to work so hard for goals with hopes that we may feel better by achieving those goals. I never occurred to us that it has to be the other way around – focus on what you want to feel first then good things will follow. This may be very hard to achieve and it’s supposed to be that way. There’s no “easy” in life. What’s important is that we feel good about what we’re doing and we’re having fun doing it. Sooner or later, the “doors” will open. This was a beautiful read. Very inspiring indeed.


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