Introduce the Circle of Intentionality to Your Students

Introduce the Circle of Intentionality to Your Students

Stephen Carter
December 18, 2023
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Odds of this email being opened are slim—odds of you reading beyond this sentence are even slimmer. Why? ‘Tis the season. In addition to the sought-after family memories, sugar-laden treats, and lovingly wrapped gifts, Christmas brings with it a sense of hurry unlike any other time of the year.

And this hurry extends beyond the 25th. We spend the week after Christmas recovering from the mad dash only to discover ourselves plunging into a new year—one that will slip by even faster than the one we are saying goodbye to.

This is why, in this season of frenetic energy, it is vitally important to ground ourselves in intentionality. And directing this intentionality toward clear planning for the new year is essential. It is now cliché to suggest that if we have no plan, then we plan to fail, but truer words are hard to find.

Rather than haphazardly throwing together a few goals going into the new year, I recommend diving into what I call the Circle of Intentionality. Several years ago, I realized that most of my goals reflected only one or two aspects of my life—I had goals around my work and goals around my physical health. And these goals were being met, but at the cost of other areas I cared deeply about.

This why I started devising goals in each of six key areas of life: spiritual, intellectual, relational, vocational, physical, and financial.

By creating a goal (or two) in each area, I found a greater sense of balance and less of a one-sided focus. I fell deeply in love with the process and began teaching it to my students and then to my clients, and then to anyone willing to listen.

The process is simple—start by establishing one key goal in each of the six areas. Make sure the goal is SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound); you want to avoid the “get healthier” goal and replace it with “lose ten pounds by June 1.” By having a SMART goal, you will know clearly when you have reached it and you’ll be able to track the lead and lag measures to get to where you need to be.

The entrepreneurial mindset is inextricably bound to goal setting and in teaching entrepreneurship, we are really teaching how to set and achieve goals. When we teach goal setting through a balanced approach, we are also helping students live healthier lives of fulfillment and purpose.

It’s also helpful to take one of these goals and super-size it—make it a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) or a WIG (Wildly Important Goal). Make is something inspirational that gets you and those close to you excited. Then plan your celebration for WHEN you’re going to meet it. And then get started making a new goal.

We must model the principles we want our students to learn, and by demonstrating the power of goal setting in our own lives, we improve the lives of those around us.

Want to Connect? Reach out to set up a call.


The Circle of Intentionality


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 Stephen Carter   

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