Goal vs. Intention

Last week was rough. I had a minor complication from some oral surgery that left me feeling pretty miserable. Well, perhaps just a touch more miserable the pre-planned misery of oral surgery. I may not have helped matters by hyper-focusing on my training plan. The jury is still out on that one, but all of this did make me think about the idea of goal versus intention.

I have studied both topics as part of my yoga training an in general throughout college. The information is not exactly new, but sometimes it takes new experiences to connect old ideas in order to create some type of realization. Last night I decided that I didn’t want to run a marathon anymore. I said this to my husband as I turned to go to sleep. He didn’t really take this comment seriously despite the fact that I told him I was SERIOUS. I said that I wished I had never written that stupid blog about intention. He said something sweet and suggested I reconsider in the morning.

As usual, morning is wiser than the night. I woke up remembering the difference between a goal and an intention. I was looking at any deviation from my training plan as a failure, missing the goal. Week two of training didn’t go as planned, so let’s bag it up. It’s over.

That is the problem with goals; they are typically attached to an outcome. An intention, on the other hand is a direction. Intention works by a conscious placement of attention towards a direction that you want to go. It is reality friendly. Sometimes I may go off the road, but I am still moving in that general direction.

My intention for today’s run – inhale “I am strong," exhale “I am healing.” I forgot to factor in healing earlier in the week. I still don’t have a goal time for any of my runs or even a goal finishing time for the marathon. However, my intention is to beat my husband’s first marathon time. Today’s run was my fastest so far, hmmmm…very curious.