Building New Year’s Intentions That Stick

changeHow many New Year’s Resolutions have you kept in your lifetime? It seems like it’s part of the ritual to go big on the life-changing commitments in January, fail in February, give up in March, and spend the rest of the year feeling defeated. Even the word, “resolution,” suggests something resolute, hard and unbending, like concrete, which starts out strong–but breaks when struck too hard. So let’s switch our “resolutions” to “intentions,” making them more like trees, bending and swaying with the challenges they face, growing regardless of what hits them.  Instead of focusing on concrete goals, let’s look for opportunities to grow. How do we do that? It’s an easy process, so what do you say sisters…are you ready for a successful new year?

Step 1:

What do you want to accomplish this New Year? Are you looking to shed 10 lbs? Do you need to quit smoking? Increase your income by 10%? Identify what it is you want to accomplish and write it down on a piece of paper. For the purpose of making this process clear to you, we will use the example of:

I resolve to lose 10 pounds this year.

Step 2:

Now, let’s peel the layers away from the resolution so we can identify the reasoning–an “intention”–behind losing the 10 lbs. Ask yourself, “How will losing 10 lbs. enhance my current life? ” You may come to identify that you think it will make you healthier, so that you can live a longer happier life. If this is the reason, than we will now switch your resolution to:

I intend to live a healthier life.

Usually, there has to be a payoff for everything we do in order for us to stay motivated. Here are a few for this particular intention:

  • Save money in doctors’ bills
  • Look great in your clothes
  • Have more energy
  • Inspire others to lead healthy lives
  • A higher level of respect for yourself

You have now eliminated a constricted expectation that you will lose 10 lbs. and replaced it with a much larger “intention” to live a healthier life. Think about how this opens up the possibility for success.

Step 3:

Now it’s time to create a game plan. How are you going to go about accomplishing this goal? We working women lead very busy lives. So if you don’t have a plan, it isn’t likely that you’ll accomplish it. It will simply get shoved under the pile of scrap-booking projects that we were supposed to do 5 years ago. Organize and lay it out for yourself:

  • I will drink 8 glasses of water a day.
  • I will exercise at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 times a week.
  • I will replace the amount of processed food I eat each day with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • I will get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

How you keep yourself accountable is up to you. You can do all of them, all the time, or you can make a list of 20, accomplishing at least 5 a day. The variations are endless.

By switching your New Year’s Resolutions to Intentions, you’re heightening the possibility of meeting your goals. As you start to strategically shape your life, you will find that you become a better you with every passing day. Here’s to a fantastic and successful New Year lady. 2013 here we come!

Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Southern California.  She has a degree in Behavioral Psychology and teaches not only yoga classes but also life affirming workshops.  She also writes for www.beachbody.com, which provides effective home fitness programs for all fitness levels including the Les Mill Pump exercise videos.

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