Tips to Reach Your Goals and Live with Intention

Becoming a woman of intention takes work.  On the other hand, it can be easy to let life happen to us.  It’s easy to just react to life and let the days pass us by. But days turn into weeks, and those weeks turn into months, and those months turn into years.

Pretty soon, we find ourselves in a place where we feel like we’re just surviving instead of thriving, and we don’t know how to change it.

Change takes time, but it also takes intention.  I want to share with you three tips for living intentionally.

Resources Mentioned

The Mindset Reset: A six-week course to renew your mind and transform your life.


Highlights from the Episode

Begin with a clear vision.

Even though it may seem like a waste of time, vision is absolutely the first place to start. You must determine your core priorities.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”



When I talk about priorities, I don’t mean a simple numbered list of God first, family second, work third (although that’s a good thing to keep in mind). What I mean is to create a list of goals by priority.

I love setting goals and checking those goals off as I go through the year. Just a week or so ago, I was able to check off one of the goals I have for this year, and that leaves only two left!

Some people say you should just pick one goal and completely focus on it, but I usually keep four or five big goals for the year.

Make sure your goals are specific and in line with God’s Word. When you become a woman of intention, you commit your life to Him, and I’m not just talking about salvation. When I say commit, I mean making a daily commitment to move forward in the priorities and the plans you’ve created. If those priorities line up with what He wants, you’re on the right track.

For instance, some of my priorities several years ago were developing a better habit of reading the Bible, creating a peaceful home for my family, and improving my 5K running time.  Looking back, I can see how meeting those goals made a difference in my life. Now I have a very strong habit of reading the Bible, my home has a peaceful atmosphere, and I’ve been able to run several 5ks (and a 10k, a half-marathon, and a full marathon). All of those things started with small tasks.

At the heart of these priorities is my relationship with the Lord, my family, and my health, but my goals are more specific than just a list of God first, family second, health third.  I had specific goals to line up with those priorities. Once you have those goals, envision what the future would look like if you met those goals.

Ask yourself, “Who will I be when I meet these goals? How will it change how I live my daily life?”

Let’s use this goal as an example: making a habit of reading the Bible. Think about the woman you will be when you are in the habit of reading the Bible. What time will you get up? What Bible plan will you follow? Where will you pray and read your Bible?

Now start living that out right now. We tend to think that we will become the person we want to be when we complete our goal. Really, though, we become the person we want to be when we start living it out.

So, if you want to be a woman who reads her Bible every day, you don’t have to wait to have read it every day for a year to become that type of woman. You become that woman every day.

For another example, if you want to have a peaceful home but are waiting until every room is decorated/organized, you’ll never reach that point. You have to become the person first. You must be the peaceful woman who sets routines and schedules first, and then you enjoy the journey to a peaceful home.

One last example: you become a runner before you finish the 5k. If you want to run a 5k, all that you have to do is start living like a runner. You have to map out your runs, run consistently, challenge yourself, etc. You’ll be a runner every day that you train for the 5k, and because you become that person, you’ll eventually be able to run the 5k.

That’s what intention is. It means that you are making the changes now to become the person you want to be.


Create a solid start with preparation.

Once you have a vision, you need preparation.

We meticulously plan our vacations, so why don’t we plan our day? If we’re headed on a trip, we reserve hotels, check the weather, and plan as much as possible. Our day should be the same way. If you don’t control your day, then it controls you.

We can fall into the trap of thinking that planning our day will restrict us. If we have a routine/schedule, though, it’s actually freeing. When you plan your day, you control your day.



Tips to plan: First, make sure that your plan is measurable.  Let’s go back to some of the goals I shared earlier.

First, I had a goal of creating a better habit of reading the Word. So, I gave myself a goal that felt just a little out of reach. I decided to fill my mind with God’s Word and read the Bible in 90 days.  First, I brainstormed things that needed to be done in order to reach this goal.  Things like:

  • Find a reading plan that outlines what I should read so I know I’m on track.
  • Make sure I have the Bible on my iPad so I can take it with me everywhere.
  • Put markers on my calendar to remind me where I should be in my reading.
  • Find blocks of wasted time (like TV or Facebook time) that I can dedicate to Bible reading.

My second goal was to create a peaceful home for my family. Here were some of my plans:

  • Make more meals at home.
  • Have an evening routine that makes the mornings go smoother (like making lunches and picking out clothes for the next day).
  • Wake up a little earlier than the rest of the family to make sure I get my time with the Lord and don’t feel frazzled.
  • Declutter for 15 minutes a day so it’s easier to clean my home and also because less stuff = less stress for me.

My third goal was to better my personal best 5K running time. Here were some plans:

  • Run a 5K each Saturday and time it for comparison to previous times.
  • Incorporate strength training.
  • Run a variety of different sprints and hills.
  • Stretch daily.


Take Action.

The plan helps us know how to take action. ACTION is the most important step.

Imagine a surfer. They can envision how to attack the wave, they can prepare and get all the gear they need, and they can paddle forward when the wave strikes, but unless they take action when the wave comes, nothing will come of it. Now that you’ve determined your priorities and made a plan, you have to follow through on that plan.

Taking action will have a snowball effect. Think about ways that you can get creative when taking action in your life.


A couple bonus tips for you:

Own your vision.

 If you’re finding that you’re reluctant to take the steps toward your goals, then it could be because you own your current comforts more than you own the goals that you’ve created.

Decide right now that you own your current situation. Then decide that you own your vision. Start thinking about your future as if you’ve already accomplished those goals, and then let that vision propel you to do better at your daily action steps.

Forget perfection.

If you’re anything like me, you might struggle with perfectionism. I like things to be perfect, but we’ve got to forget about being perfect.

Perfectionism gives us an all-or-nothing mindset. It tells us that if anything is less than 100%, we should quit. We might think that perfectionism propels us forward, but in reality, it limits us. Try to let go of that limiting thinking. Aim to meet 85% of your goals, not 100%.  Give yourself some grace.

When you change your mindset to accept meeting 85%, you’ll still see results, but you’ll also be able to continue progressing even if everything doesn’t work out perfectly.


Are you serious about living a life of intention?

If you want to take this even further, make sure to sign up for The Mindset Reset. It’s a six-week transformational course where I take you from a renewed mind to a transformed life. Find out more information here! 

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- Ashley Varner

it’s my goal to reach every Christian mom with the truth that God wants to transform their life by renewing their mind.

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