With 2022 rapidly approaching many business owners are eagerly wrapping up their 2021 plans and getting ready to set fresh goals for the new year. But before you dive headfirst into goal setting, it’s critical you pause and take a moment to set clear intentions for the coming year.

Why set intentions first?

If you think about your business growth as a journey, your intentions are the ultimate destination – the vision for what you want your business to look like and/or how you want to feel about your business in the coming year.

It’s an opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture so you can get a clear view of what your business needs to focus on for the next 12 months to bring you closer to your ultimate vision and intentions.

How are intentions and goals different?

Intentions are generally more free-flowing visions for the future, without firmly defined borders. For example, intentions for an entrepreneur in the new year might be: I want to feel confident that I’m bringing in more than enough income each month or I want to feel like my business is making an impact in my customers’ lives or I want to build a business that positively impacts my local community.

Your intentions are the “why” and the “what” and from there, your goals become the “how.”

Another way to think about your goals is to consider them stops along the map that continues to take you closer to your ultimate destination (your intentions.)

Sometimes your goals might be a direct line toward your intention (i.e., I want a stable income = my goal is to be able to pay myself $X amount each month) and other times you might take a small but important detour (i.e., I want a stable income = my goal is to launch my business by X date.)

In the second example where you’re launching your business, you likely won’t hit that stable income right away, but you’re taking the first step on the map to get you there.

What makes intention setting powerful?

The beauty of intention setting is it gives you a really good idea of why you’re building or growing your business. Business growth is rarely a straight-line, one-way road kind of journey. Instead, it’s often filled with twists and turns and highs and lows.

Taking the time now to set clear intentions for your ultimate destination not only helps you set clearer, more meaningful goals, but it’s also a powerful tool to help you stay motivated during the inevitable peaks and valleys.