We’ve all made New Year’s Resolutions. We’ll leave the beer behind, consume less sugar, and exercise more. But for many people, this all falls apart about a week in. So, if you’re looking NOT to fall into the same trap of failing your New Year’s Resolution, then read on.
Let your intentions guide you
Instead of making big resolutions that you may or may not stick to, develop the habit of creating daily, weekly, and monthly intentions. This is more doable to help improve ourselves throughout the year; rather than trying to do it all at once in January when we’re fresh out of bed from a long winter slumber.
Goals and intentions are different. The intention to exercise daily is a more forgiving process than setting a goal of getting in shape by summer. Intention acknowledges the importance of effort and process, not just results.
Focus on the present
Goals focus on the future and can lead to anxiety. When we focus on our intentions in the present, we can stay grounded and are less likely to feel anxious about the future. The present is always full of possibilities!
Here’s a simple yet powerful three-step method for setting your intentions with mindfulness:
Step 1: Take a brief time-out. Check in with yourself to see how you are feeling.
Step 2: Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Focus on the here and now.
Step 3: Set a specific intention for the day, week, or month ahead.
Set intentional goals
Goals provide us with a sense of motivation, structure, and meaning. But when combined with intention, they’re even more powerful. Intentional goal-setting helps you stay connected to your present self as you work toward your future self.
People are more likely to stick with long-term goals when future rewards are balanced with immediate rewards. When you focus on the process and set small daily intentions, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by big, long-term goals. Don’t worry about the big picture. Take small steps every day, and you’ll learn to enjoy achieving your goals.
Work with your heart and mind
Achieving a balance between the present and the future is not just about planning for the future. It is also about being mindful of what’s happening in the present moment. Setting goals might be a more mental approach to life while having intentions comes from your heart.
Both the heart and the mind play a crucial role in our lives. If we develop a daily practice of setting intentions, we can ensure that both work together to help us achieve our highest potential.
Hang in there
Taking small, manageable steps is a great way to achieve our goals, but staying on track can still be challenging. We’re more likely to succeed if we find support from others who will help us stick with our plans.
Sharing your goals with a friend, colleague or mentor can be beneficial. By letting someone know what you are working towards, they will be able to keep you accountable for your progress and celebrate with you when you reach milestones along the way.
If you struggle to keep up with your resolutions or want to take a more structured approach to self-improvement, consider hiring a coach.