March. The third month of the year. March. A walk with measured or regular steps. What does one have to do with another? March provides us an opportunity we should not neglect.

In the month of March, many things change; daylight savings time begins, spring begins, we are in the midst of the Easter season, all of these things signify a season of renewal and hope.

Much like New Years is the time of year we get to start with a clean slate for the year, and Monday, a clean slate for the week, think of March like the beginning of the “natural” year. Nature comes to life in spring, birds begin to nest, baby animals are born, flowers bud, blossom and bloom, everything is renewed. With this spirit and energy, we too can focus on those goals, those intentions we wish to accomplish.

And so, with March, and the spirit of renewal and hope that spring brings, we should pick up our feet, lift our knees high and march. Whatever intentions we had at the beginning of the new year, whether they languished during the doldrums of winter, are now forgotten, or whether we are still committed and taking action on them, this season of renewal brings to us an opportunity to commit ourselves anew to these intentions. Or perhaps to choose some new intentions to march towards.

As with all things we wish to accomplish, it is important to assign the appropriate level of importance to them. I use the word “intentions”, rather than goals. To be clear, goals are a desired result a person envisions, plans and commits to achieve. Goals are wishes, with a deadline.

Many times, in organizations I have been involved with, both professionally and volunteer, the suggestion that goals be S.M.A.R.T. has been recommended. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. We should always have an “active” list of S.M.A.R.T. goals, and I do recommend writing them down and revisiting them, often, re-examining them for relevance, importance and “S.M.A.R.T.ness”.

Often, we have many more goals than we can hope to accomplish all at once. This is where I distinguish my goals from my intentions. Intentions are goals that I am applying a focussed amount of energy, thought and activity to presently. Intentions are right now, goals are eventual. Intentions are goals that I intend to accomplish by working on them, focussing on them, each and every day, until they are achieved. They are aligned with everything I do, and don’t do. Intentions are goals that I am “marching” towards. And nothing comes between me an my intentions.

What goals are on your list that are ready to bud, blossom, bloom, ready to be born, ready for renewal? What goals are you going to promote to intentions? I implore you to use March to march towards those intentions, and don’t let anyone or anything come between you and the desired result.

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