Yoga and meditation are powerful tools for goal setting. Apart from fostering a fit, healthy body to kick goals, you can change your state of mind towards proactive living and successfully fulfil your cherished dreams.

Firstly, it’s important to note that the words ‘goal’ and ‘intention’, mean different things, though we tend to use them interchangeably.

A goal is a desired outcome or an end result that hasn’t yet manifested. For example, you might set a goal to become physically flexible through yoga, then begin asana practice to reach it.

Intention is the energetic starting point of your goal and it comes organically, from a state of present awareness. From there, your goal is a future projection of the mind, whereby you visualise your target and set out on the journey to reach it.

Setting intentions

Before meditation and yoga, setting an intention is like an invitation to check in with yourself energetically. As chaotic thoughts in your mind subside and space opens up, your deepest truths can surface, which helps in the process of goal setting. This isn’t necessarily about external desires, but more an opportunity to discover what’s really at the core of what you want.

The best way to determine your true intentions is to meditate and allow them to reveal themselves. During yoga, breathing techniques and postures help bring your intentions to the forefront of your mind and connect with your body. You can then draw energy and inspiration from intentions, while striving to reach your goals. Here are some examples of what an intention might sound like:

  • I am peaceful.
  • I am healthy.
  • I’m nourishing my body.
  • I feel grateful.
  • I love my life.
  • I am strong, physically and mentally.
  • I release my fears.
  • I embrace vulnerability.
  • I love myself.

Intentions in daily life

You may think that’s all well and good during yoga and meditation class, but what about when you’re in the midst of a busy day? The wonderful news is, the more you learn to focus during yoga and meditation, the better you’ll become at setting intentions – no matter where you are.

When you wake up, focus on what kind of day you’d like to have or how you want to feel. Make intentions to remain present at work, eat well all day, contribute positively in some way, practice gratitude or be more compassionate. With your intentions set, you’ll find the inner power you need to go after your goals.

Why? Because, while goals are generally external, with specific ideas, steps and even dates, intentions are internal. Remember that they identify the pure purpose, or meaning, as to why you want to reach a goal in the first place. So, your goal might be to start a new hobby but your intention is actually to feel stimulated and renewed.

The best way to look at intentions and goals is that they’re two sides of the same coin and success comes from a balance of the internal and external – just like yoga.