Setting Intentions That Last - 2017 Edition
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to set intentions and resolutions for the year to come. It's a time to reflect on what was and look forward to what will be. The problem that may arise, though, is that some of these resolutions and goals can be totally unrealistic and, therefore, unattainable and unsustainable. By taking some simple steps in your goal setting, and taking stock of the previous year, you can set yourself some attainable goals and look forward to embracing the next twelve months adhering to your new habits. Read on to discover the five steps to setting long-lasting intentions for the year ahead.
Reflection is a crucial part of the goal setting process. Looking back at past failures and successes over the last year will help you to determine where in your life you could improve, and help you to assess what your true priorities are. Schedule some time for yourself, find a quiet place and think about the year that has passed. Think about the things and events that have been positive and brought you joy. And also think about those that didn’t. Think about any areas of your life that you wish could be different. Recognise negative patterns and behaviours in yourself and determine which of these you would like to address in the coming year, and also look at things about yourself that you find to be positive. Write all of these down and use this list to formulate your resolutions and goals for the coming year.
2. BREAK IT DOWN
For some reason New Years' Resolutions tend to be HUGE, drastic changes that you hope to implement over night. The problem with this is that these changes then seem overwhelming and daunting, which can set you up for failure before you have even begun. By taking these giant resolutions and breaking them down into smaller, more achievable goals and changes, they are more likely to become part of your lifestyle over the long term. For example, if your goal is to implement an exercise regime, try booking in for one or two yoga classes a week, or catch up with a friend for coffee and a walk. This is for more realistic and more achievable than expecting to head to the gym for an intense workout seven days a week when you are just starting out.
3. PLAN TO CHANGE ONE THING AT A TIME
Having a vast array of wide-ranging resolutions and breaking them down into smaller goals makes for a list of changes that can seem enormous, terrifying and unachievable. Writing a list of the changes you would like to make and then prioritising them makes the task of overhauling your life a little less stressful and identifies your priorities for the year ahead. Understand too, that unhealthy behaviours aren’t developed overnight. They come about after years of habitual behaviour and it takes time to eliminate a bad habit or routine from your life. Changing one thing at a time, and allowing time and space for this change to become a part of your life allows for long-term growth and development as opposed to quick fixes that aren’t feasible in the long run.
4. SHARE & ASK FOR SUPPORT
Putting our goals and resolutions out into the world and sharing them with other people helps to solidify these goals as reality rather than just a thought. It also instils a sense of responsibility in ourselves to persevere with these changes we wish to implement and to stick it out if we falter in our determination. Having a supportive network of people around you can help to encourage you to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself, fostering resilience and affecting positive change.
Whatever your intentions are for the coming year, know that you are not your past nor are you your mistakes. You can create a life you love, and find enjoyment and fulfilment in every day. You are your behaviour and your actions, and these are what shapes your future. Creating a beautiful life for yourself and those around you starts within, so please, look after yourself this holiday season, and best of luck for 2017!