Want vs Intent

We all have various wishes and desires. We are constantly told to set big goals so even if you fail you still end up with some kind of success. We watch video after video, browse Instagram for hours on end and read motivational quotes.

We have become a nation obsessed with motivation.

 Just like a handful of Oreos satisfy our sweet tooth, a quick browse through social media satisfies our mental sweet tooth. While eating the Oreo’s we know we should make a better choice and eat a healthier snack but we eat them anyways. After we finish and the sugar high wears off, we get a sinking feeling and tell ourselves things like “Next time I’ll eat better” or “Tomorrow I’ll start my diet.”

Social media can give us the same fix that we get from Oreo’s. The difference is instead of a sugar high, we get a motivation high and feel good about the “work” we just put in. After the high wears off we realize that we didn’t actually do any “work” and are still stuck in the same position.


 A couple of years ago I was introduced to the concept of want vs intent.

Want = the goals we set, our dreams, our wishes, our desires

Intent = the true wants and desires of our mind based on our actions

Basically our wants are exactly that, what we want to have happen. Our intent however is based off our actions. We can say we want to put on muscle yet we hardly eat any food and show up to the gym every once in awhile. Our want is to put on muscle but based on our actions our intent is something totally different. In this example, our intent appears to be the desire to maintain our status quo and not be pushed or challenged.

Our minds are naturally wired to try and talk us out of challenging situations. We are designed for survival and our brain will do what it can to protect you.


 One of the biggest indicators I use to figure out if someone is truly intent on achieving their goals or just likes the idea of their goals is through the words they use.

Most people who set goals use a phrase similar to “I want to (fill in goal here)” and honestly this is how we are taught to set goals.

The disconnect I found when listening to people we deem as high achievers is they used slightly different wording when developing their goals. The common phrase used is something along the lines of “I am going to (fill in goal here).”

On the outside this may just seem like a minor change and shouldn’t really have a big affect on the end result. But in reality I think it speaks volumes. “I want to” symbolizes the motivational fix that we all crave. Stating “I am going to” puts you in the action step, you have now stated intent rather than just a want or wish.

My recommendation for you would be to analyze what you truly want. Stop looking to other people to determine what you should want in your own life. Stop looking to fitness “celebrities” to help you determine what you should look like, which coincidentally you can only achieve if you purchase their product. Stop setting goals and start setting actions.

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One comment

  1. […] and effort is put into the process and you’re probably feeling pretty good about all of the work you just […]


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