I get it, I really do. So I wanted to gather some ideas around resolutions, goals and intentions, so we can work out what'd going to work for YOU this year - it might not be what works for your friends or your mum.
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below xox
And, as I’m sure many of you have experienced, by the end of January, most of those goals have been sadly forgotten.
Well I’m here to say, forget all those New Year’s intentions! That’s right, just chuck ‘em.
You see, an intention, in and of itself, won’t get you very far. An intention is still a “maybe yes / maybe no” situation. How often have you heard (or used) the phrase, “That’s not what I intended.”?
Well in turns out, that a couple of professors at Standford University were working on a paper about Artificial Intelligence. They were trying to teach a robot how to carry out intentions.
And what they discovered has kinda rocked my belief system. You don’t even have to read their treatise, just look at the title:
“Intention Is Choice With Commitment”
Wow! I don’t know about you, but that statement alone has some important ramifications on my real intelligence!
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe everything begins with setting a clear intention. But without making a series of committed choices, your intention may never see the end of January.
Said another way, it is the systems and action steps you put in place in order to support your intention that are what will actually manifest your objectives.
The same goes for goals, resolutions, and for that matter, wishes, dreams, and vague notions.
So this year, instead of a list of “resolutions,” here are 5-step plan you can apply to what you really want to accomplish in 2014:
1. Choose an Action, Not a Goal
Don’t set a goal to “lose weight.” Instead, create a list of actions you can take, like “Only one dessert item per week” or “Take a short walk every day".
2. Create a Habit Loop
We know that what ever becomes a habit, sticks. (Just trying breaking an old one and you’ll see what I mean!) Habits are formed by setting up “cues” that trigger the habit, and “rewards” which anchor it. The cue can be anything from a certain time of day to an action (like opening the refrigerator). The reward Is something you enjoy that doesn’t negate the original habit (for instance, don’t reward your daily walk with a donut!)
3. Look Out for Obstacles
Any substantial action plan will run into challenges. Anticipating those possible difficulties in advance can be the difference between success and failure. For example, knowing that certain restaurants are more difficult on your diet than other ones and planning accordingly.
4. Adopt a Progress Not Perfection Attitude
Getting off track is easy and doesn’t mean you’ve failed. The important thing is that you don’t use a setback as an excuse to give up entirely. (As in, “I ate 1 cookie, so I might as well finish the box.”) Take it in stride, be gentle with yourself, and get back up on the horse.
5. One Thing at a Time
It’s tempting at the beginning of the year to want to tackle all of the things you want to change and accomplish. But studies have shown that it’s better to focus on one goal at a time. The best plan is to start with what is called a “keystone habit” – that is, a central habit that can help you create a number of other routines once it’s in place.