Why I’m Setting Intentions Not Goals for 2018

Writing this blog post has been super hard for me. I love goal setting. I love setting big ass goals and taking the necessary steps to conquer them.

But I’m struggling to set big goals for 2018 because there are a lot of unknowns.

2018 is the year I graduate grad school. That’s about the only concrete thing I know about the year ahead.

Setting real, tangible and specific goals for this year is hard. I have NO idea what’s going to happen next. I can’t confidently say what my life will look like a year from now when I sit down to reflect on 2018. It’s this anxiety inducing mixture of terrifying and exciting. Equal parts both.

For this reason I’m focusing more on intentions than literal goals for 2018.

▶︎ My Word of 2018: Content.

Finding happiness where I am today. Not where I’m going to be in the future.

My natural instinct has always been to seek out change when I’m unhappy. When I felt like my life was in a major rut, I applied to grad school. When I was unhappy at my job I started applying for new jobs.

I take action. And that’s not a bad thing. But sometimes I’m SO focused on taking action, I forget to enjoy the here and now.

This is VERY true for me right this second. Things are really, really good. I LOVE teaching at CorePower Yoga. I love blogging, writing and now podcasting. And I don’t love grad school, but it’s manageable.

However… my brain is already thinking about 6+ months from now. What happens after I graduate? I’ve already started looking at doctorate programs and searching job websites.

CHILL OUT, Kayla. You haven’t graduated yet. And girl, you don’t even know what you want to get a doctorate in nor do you want a 9-5 job.

Content is that gentle reminder that I need to enjoy where I am right now. And not be so damn focused on what’s next.


▶︎ Intentions for 2018

In addition to my big, overarching focus word of CONTENT, this year I’m also setting mini intentions. I think of these intentions as guidelines for how I want to live my life in 2018. Here’s what I got:


✨ Lead with my gut, not with my ego.

Stop making decisions based on what you think other people will think. Let your gut be your guide, not your sense of pride nor your ego.


✨ Protect your energy.

From energy sucking vampires. And from committing to more than I can handle.


✨ Create more than I consume.

Less scrolling, more writing, podcasting, creating.


✨ Take a second before I say YES.

To blogging opportunities. Partnerships. Jobs. Etc. I find that I sometimes say yes SUPER fast because I’m excited to even have the opportunity presented to me. But then afterwards I realize it’s not a good fit.


✨ Screw the rules.

I could drive myself CRAZY and read a million and one articles about how to launch a successful podcast. Or I could just say f*ck it, I’ll figure it out as I go. I decided to go the f*ck it route and so far so good.

Every day I’m bombarded with rules I should be following for instagram. For blogging. And now for podcasting. Look, I love rules, but sometimes you gotta figure it out for yourself.


✨ Live intuitively.

In 2017 I started exercising more intuitively. I stopped doing intense workouts that made me feel pukey and focused on more strength training and low-impact options. Guess what happened to my body? Nothing. I still weigh the same. Even my body fat percentage stayed the same. But I feel so much better. I look forward to each and every workout.

I hope to bring this intuitive approach to other parts of my life. Listen to my body, mind and soul. And respect what it craves.


I also discussed some of the above more in depth on the first episode of WELL-rounded with Leslie.


YOUR TURN: I’d love to hear about your personal goal setting rituals! Do you set resolutions for the new year? Do you have a focus word for 2018?

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  • these are AWESOME. and i think ‘content’ is such an incredible focus word – i think a lot of times we want to keep chasing things, but in reality, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. there are so many wonderful things happen if we just take the time to live in the moment and experience them. 2018 is going to be so exciting for you and i can’t wait to see what unfolds 🙂

    • Loved your words too 🙂 I’m OH so guilty of chasing what I *think* I want… and usually after chasing I no longer want it. Wishing you an exciting 2018 too!

  • These are great. I think there are times when there are so many unknowns of what is to come or what we even what that deciding how we want to be are the best goals to set. Knowing that it is okay not to have ridiculous goals and expectations is hard, but when you do and know its all going to be okay, its great! I can’t wait to hear what goals are in your future after you graduate! Happy New Year!

    • Aw thank you Tavish! I couldn’t agree more, I love me some BIG goals too, but sometimes you just gotta let the future playout. Happy New Year to you too!