Planting Intentions: New Thoughts on Planting For Now



What’s the difference between what’s in your life now, and what you want to grow? How does setting intentions factor in?  As I review a blog I wrote in 2015, “Planting For Now“, my attention immediately turns to the photo of that particular fig tree, which battled ice storms and heat, was replaced by another tree which now consists of long brown twigs. There are, however, new green leaves sprouting vigorously from the bottom of the plant!

Sometimes our goals are not attained, or not attained in the way we desired. I like the word intention, because it has an action quality and yet has less pressure for some. Many people do not actually like the word goals, and definitely not the term SMART (specific, measurable, attainable/actionable, realistic, timed) goals, which we coaches, educators, and the like use often.

The bottom line for me is that when we are guided by our core values, what really matters to us in our lives, our intentions and goals will fall into line and become clearer. Even if we are super successful in what we intended, or feel like we belly-flopped completely, when we live according to what makes us live our purpose, we can say we planted what was important to us, no matter what the weather. We can also ask ourselves one of the best and most frequently used coaching questions: “What am I learning?”. Isn’t that what growth is all about?

Planting for Now

Budding Up
Budding Up

When we planted the tiny brown twig several years ago, we couldn’t foresee a bounty crop of figs three years later, and the cold of last winter that shrunk the healthy tree by about sixty percent. Those luscious fruits provided Mom’s fig preserves, many warm-off-the-branches treats, as well as a few baskets to neighbors. What we did know when we planted the twig was that we love digging in the dirt, listening to the birds, watching things grow, eating plants.

I read an article Sunday that reminded me of this harvest as well as recent client conversations about core values and how those guide our decisions. With all worthy and effective coaching parlance around goal setting, I appreciate author Carl Richards’ nod to the combination of specificity and flexibility when building a life—or one’s financial future.

How will you allow what you hold most dear and precious to steer your decisions, in spite of not knowing?