How to Set Intentions for a Purposeful 2017


I’m a big fan of lists. As mentioned in my last post, I’m a dreamer. Coming up with goals well above the bar has never been a problem. I’ve never really understood thinking inside a box. In my vision, everything is grand. But with big dreams, also comes a need for planning and execution.  Here’s what I’ve learned about how to set intentions for a purposeful 2017.

For me, intentional list making is key. I have an entire wall of goals, each with carefully thought out tactics to achieve each one. I can’t put into words the satisfaction I get in checking off one of those boxes getting me closer to the bigger goal. This system works for me, but it took time to refine.

The biggest lesson I learned actually brings us back to college business class where you learn about SMART goal setting. When you set intentions, make them measurable. If you determine clear milestones, it makes them easier to track, make adjustments and actually achieve. If I say I want to “be healthier in 2017,” what does that actually mean? It’s a great intention, but it’s difficult to measure and I’m already setting myself up for frustration. Instead, look at the tangible ways you can reach this. For example, drink 100 ounces of water a day and run 20 miles a week. The second approach can be built into weekly lists, crossed off and tracked clearly.  

To get you started, here are four ways to set intentions for a purposeful 2017. Based on your overall priorities for this year, fill in the blanks with attainable but challenging numbers. Once you’ve set your intentions, bullet out a list under each one with tactics to get you to that goal.

Read _____ Books:

My intention is to read 30 books this year. Break that down over 12 months and it’s 2.5 books a month. My tactic here is to read three books a month and I’m already exceeding that. I told you I don’t set the bar low. :)  

Travel to ______ New Cities:

My intention is to travel to five new cities this year. As part of my bigger picture, I also want to run a race in every state, go on a mission trip and travel the world. So I sat down and figured out how these worked together and built out a list of organized trips to sign up for, people to connect with and research to do.

Workout ______ Times a week:

My intention here is to work out five times a week. I’ve noticed a direct correlation in my activity level and my overall mood, diet and well-being. For me, fitness is an important part of my life so I make this a priority. I also get bored easily, so I change it up. Examples of tactics here include trying five new yoga studios and breaking four hours in the marathon

Learn ______ New Recipes (Or Skills):

My intention is to try 52 new recipes this year. I love to cook. The kitchen is my happy place. I’m fascinated by the origins of recipes; the way flavors changes from state to state and country to country. I want to learn everything I can about preparing amazing meals that connect people around the kitchen table. So I’ll dive into as many cookbooks as I can and report back on each delicious thing I try. Tactics include new spices, new ingredients and a few recipes where I'm just gonna wing it. 

I hope that you’re feeling inspired to look at your intentions and goals a little differently. Take some time this week to see if what you’re trying to accomplish is measurable, challenging and fulfilling. Then I encourage you to bullet out the tactics and start doing. Feel the joy of crossing each tactic off the list and then eventually manifesting your intention into reality. 

Comment below and let me know what you’re trying to accomplish this year! And I'd love to see any of those lists you make, so please feel free to share them on social media or via email.