It’s the new year, and we start it with plans for the creation of new, positive habits. But, we all know it is easy to become frustrated and abandon our attempts before we’ve begun to feel the benefits. Here are some tips for setting intentions and making changes that will last, not just for through this year, but for a lifetime.
- Make sure it’s coming from the right place. – We are inundated with advice and information every day, from our friends, relatives and doctors, and from outside media. But on a moment-to-moment basis, only we can make decisions and take actions for ourselves. Really think about the small choices you make, and make each one count towards your greater goals.
- Be specific, but not too specific. – We’re human, and we want tangible rewards. A vague sense that we “should eat better” is going to come into conflict right away with our desires for convenience and satisfaction. However, a too-narrowly defined goal, such as, “I’m going to lose 10 lbs. for my trip in April” is dangerous, too. Likely, once the trip has come and gone, so have those healthy new habits. Achieving better health is an ongoing transition, with no real endpoint.
- Set one over-arching intention. – Reflect deeply upon your true needs and desires, and set a goal that resonates. “I am going to listen to my body, and give it both the activity and the rest it needs.” “I am going to make my physical and mental health my top priority.” Intentions like these speak to a real self-love that goes beneath the surface.
- Break it down into steps. – Now all the daily decisions can be made within the context of the greater goal, so that planning head, setting the alarm for a morning workout, and getting together a healthy lunch are not just punitive chores to be checked off a to-do list.
When we live our lives in accordance with our positive intentions, every action becomes an expression and validation of our selves and our power to achieve our goals.