This article suggests that "intentions" can be the basis for goals.... and I have seen that work well.
The idea that there is a reason (intention) behind the effort (goal) has been a strong clarifier for me as I try to grow my business.
Goals are an easy thing to come up with, and they’re even easier to screw up. Before you try to plan your long-term goals, narrow down your intentions, first.
As business blog Inc. points out, there’s a distinct difference between goals and intentions. Goals are something you hope to achieve, but may fall short of. Intentions are something you plan to do, regardless of the outcome. Your goal may be to get a 4.0 GPA (which you may or may not fall short of!), but you intend to go to college either way. By building on your intentions first, you set the path in your mind. Goals are then just milestones on that path:
Intention is a way of thinking. It leaves no room for a failed outcome. No matter what, the intention will manifest. The one word you may want to remove from your thinking and your speaking with regards to desired outcomes is “hope.”“I hope to grow my business by 100 percent” is very different than “I intend to grow my business by 100 percent.” When pursuing an outcome, ensure you have every intention of bringing it to fruition. Leave no room in your mind for the possibility of it not happening.
Intentions can also be broader than goals, which should be specific.
By focusing on what you intend to do as a foundation, you can shoot a little farther and think a little more long term. Maybe you intend to start a business. It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll figure out everything you need to start a business by the end of the week, but you intend to by the end of the year. Once you have that intention in mind, you can create the weekly, monthly, and yearly goals that will get you there in the long run.