Did you already take time to set your 2019 intentions?
Maybe you are more organized than me, but I am just now getting the chance to really sit down to think through mine as we were still celebrating Christmas with family the week between Christmas and New Years. Whether you have or have not written down those intentions, I wanted to share a few tips I have learned over the years (through trail and error) on setting and sticking to new year intentions.
1. Choose One
I’ve learned the hard way that when I set too many intentions at the beginning of the year, I easily get discouraged and quit when I’m not making progress. But when I set one main intention, I focus most of my time and energy into that one purpose, and therefore have a really good chance of living out that intention.
For example, last year I set the intention to pursue physical healing for my body that had been through quite a bit of trauma at the end of 2017. That was it. I knew that would take form through small weekly and monthly goals, such as making a doctor’s appointment for lab work to attending a yoga class once/week to trying acupuncture. But I had one main goal which helped me be intentional about my choices and commitments each day.
In establishing my one thing and setting small and doable goals from there, I was able to stay laser focused on what I wanted to accomplish throughout the year. I’m doing the same for 2019!
2. Establish a Compelling Why
Which reasoning sounds more compelling? “I am trying to fit into a certain size jean” or “I want to have my best energy each day so I can be present for my kids and make progress on my career goals.” The second right?!
I hear all too often from clients that they want to get down to a certain weight or fit into a certain outfit. Although those are fine reasons to make health changes, these motivations don’t last long. What happens when a vacation rolls around and there is the temptation to sleep in and skip your morning workout or the temptation to overindulge on all your favorite foods that you only get a chance to eat one time during the year? The motivation of “looking good in that certain outfit” doesn't quite cut it when there is a spread of all your favorite foods right in front of you.
Yet, if your motivation is the deep desire to feel and be your best for the people that matter most to you and to do your best with the work you are called to do in this world, THAT is what will empower you to choose the apple over the brownie as that afternoon snack.
I remember there were many times last year when I was tempted to skip a yoga class because I was tired after a long day. When that temptation crept in, I would remind myself of my main reason for practicing yoga: to heal physically so I could be the best version of myself for my family and so I could have a healthy pregnancy again. That focus propelled me to get up off the couch and go to that yoga class. I NEVER regretted it and was ALWAYS thankful I made that choice, for I was able to accomplish my goal!
3. Find Accountability
You are not meant to walk alone. Find someone who will walk this journey with you. Someone who will remind you of your compelling reason why. Someone who will pick you up off the couch and go to that training session with you. We NEED others to help us be the people we desire to be and to do the things we desire to do.
For me, I enlisted my husband and mother to hold me accountable to my main goal. Whether it was watching my little girl so I could go to a yoga class or a phone call encouraging me to make an appointment with my doctor, they stood beside me and pushed me to make the intentional daily lifestyle changes needed to accomplish my goal. Most likely, I would have put off doing things like changing my diet and trying acupuncture, if I hadn’t had their support and encouragement.
Over my years of being a dietitian, I have seen so many people accomplish their goals and desires by keeping those goals focused and simple, establishing a compelling reason why, and having someone to walk the journey alongside them. I hope these simple strategies will also help you accomplish your intentions and goals for 2019!
What is one of your goals? If making changes in your health is one, I would love to help you! Contact me here so we can talk about it.