Let's get intentional

For those of you who know me, you’ll know I’m super into personal growth (see this blogpost on 10 ways to build your own resilience) - not only has this journey healed me and got me through several crises, it’s projected me into a space where I know that working on myself is the single most effective step I can take to positively impact on those around me

It’s not just me who believes (or perhaps, by now, knows!) this; all philosophers, coaches, personal growth specialists point towards the same knowledge.

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment” Stephen Covey

So, for years I’ve set goals and worked towards those goals. It’s the only way I’ve known how. And it’s worked. Kinda. I’ve reached goals, for sure, but have I been “tender” in the process as the great Stephen Covey suggests? Have I pushed more than perhaps I have allowed? Could there be another way?


Cue: Setting intentions rather than goals. And utterly perfect timing if you’ve set those New Year’s Resolutions and already found yourself dwindling - Don’t worry, that’s ALL of us! That’s why New Year’s Resolutions, although they have a place, only “work” to an extent …

Couple being intentional with “soul goals” as Juan Carlzon suggests (yep, my husband, he’s pretty wise!) rather than “ego goals” and you’re really onto something …

And why do that? What’s the difference?

Goal-setting can often come from a place of lack. You’re working towards something because you don’t have it (yet). Constrastingly, being intentional sets you on a trajectory, intentions are a direction of movement AND a state of being. If they come from your soul, they will light you up and nourish you. They will also link to your values. Goal-setting, as much as it has its place can feel punishing if we’re not careful.

And we want to be kind to ourselves don’t we?!

Here are some examples of intentions I’ve loved reading from friends and colleagues.

To spend more time connected to nature; to watch the clouds go by.

To value being an introvert; to ask deep thought-provoking questions.

To remember my own gifts and use them.

To inspire inspiration in others.

Don’t they light up your soul?! For me, those intentions speak to my values of connection, slowing down, supporting and valuing others, becoming self-empowered … They feel rich, nourishing. .. And I can only imagine what a year of staying true to those intentions might look like! 

What might your intentions for 2024 be? Try writing 10 down and see what you come up with. If they resonate, put them somewhere you can see them and read them every day. Nourish yourself. And grow.

Check out the original responses to these intentions here. And I’d love to hear what yours are! 

Reply in the comments below or on the comments of this post.

P.S. In Learning Pioneers, we focus on intentionally building educators’ personal and professional growth. This is intertwined in everything we do. A great way to get high ROI on your time, is to check out our webinars in our “Dip your Toes in” section of LP - Cheaper than a few coffees with MUCH more nourishing (and coffee is pretty nourishing to be fair!), this is a really juicy section of our community.

P.P.S. Credit where credit's due- the visual for this post, "Name the intention" came from our team coaching with James Aidoo. He suggests starting each courageous conversation sharing intentions - that way there's no crossed-wires see! Find out more about James' brilliant work here and check out his up-and-coming Masterclass with Learning Pioneers on our Masterclasses page.

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Post written by:

Becky Carlzon

Becky is the co-creator and thought-leader of Learning Pioneers. She loves the magic of children's imagination and thinking and has taught in classrooms across the world from Argentina, to Thailand to the UK, where she is originally from. She has co-authored a book with Professor Guy Claxton and travels the world inquiring into the most meaningful, purposeful, joyous educational settings across the globe.


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