Chain of Learning: 7 | Intentions vs. Goals: Start with Purpose for Greater Impact

What if HOW you go about setting your goals can change the impact you have – even more than the goals themselves? 

It’s that time of year for setting goals, to reflect on what you achieved – or didn’t achieve – in the past year and make resolutions and big goals for the coming year. 

Yet most of us have it backwards when we go about setting goals. We start with our minds before we connect with our hearts.

In this episode of Chain of Learning, you’ll discover what’s missing for most people in our goal-setting culture. If you really want to create a meaningful impact and be more likely to achieve your goals, you need to start first with your intentions.

Tune into this episode to learn how to make a shift in your thinking – and your goal-setting process – that will leave you more connected with purpose, fulfilled, and equipped to achieve your goals. You’ll understand how to connect who you want to be so that you are set up for what you want to achieve.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The difference between goals and intentions 
  • The importance of aligning actions in the direction of purpose 
  • About the Japanese concept of “kokorozashi” — a leader’s purpose, inner will, and enthusiasm
  • How a focus only on achieving goals is problematic
  • Why reflection is the beginning of learning and improvement
  • A reflection exercise that will set you up for greater impact
  • Why you must align with your intentions before setting goals

Hit play now – and be sure to grab a pen and paper to capture your reflections – to make plans on how you will take aligned action that will propel you towards the impact that you want in the coming year!

Important Links:


  • 00:31: Intention for this episode 
  • 02:55: Typical New Year goal setting
  • 03:27: Concept of intentions versus goals
  • 04:27: Importance of intention in leadership
  • 06:48: The difference and connection between goals and intentions
  • 08:24: Discovery of Intention = Heart + Direction ®
  • 09:52: Japanese concept of ‘kokorozashi’
  • 12:00: The impact of focusing on goals only
  • 14:21: The power of intention in navigating setbacks
  • 15:09: The importance of connecting with your purpose
  • 17:05: Reflection process for   determining intentions and  goals
  • 19:27: Reflection exercise with questions 
  • 21:11: Steps for aligning actions with purpose
  • 23:35: Identifying and aligning actions for the next year
  • 26:06: Dealing with challenges, staying focused and moving forward
  • 27:09: Balancing professional and personal goals
  • 28:04: Legacy and the concept of intention
  • 31:04: Importance of focusing on intentions before goals
  • 31:38: Reflection on leadership with intention for the coming year and conclusion