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4 Easy Strategies for Sticking to Your New Year's Intentions

Last week I wrote about 5 Ways To Create Habits, and it really got me thinking about how I am going to get through January and all the things I want to do, change, or delete out of my life.

Do you get overwhelmed when there are expectations or time limits? I do, so I stopped using the word... resolutions and now call them intentions.

I intend to do these things in 2021
  • I intend to drink water every day.
  • I intend to exercise at least 3 times a week.
  • I intend to declutter my house.
Oh, the list goes on and on, and then OVERWHELM hits me even more. 

Just so you know, science has proven that micro-habits are much more effective than big hairy goals. And yet, when another New Year’s rolls around, the first thing we do is make a huge list of resolutions (intentions).

However, using micro-habits to make changes in your life sets you up for success because of the consistent progress you see. Sticking to our New Year’s intentions this year doesn’t need to be hard or scary. Now, this sounds like something I can do!

Try these four easy strategies to make your intentions for the new year doable and rewarding.

1. Choose One Thing

We rarely accomplish any of our New Year’s intentions because we make a lot of them, and they are all massive. Throw that long list out and work on what matters the most to you!

So, this year, instead of a laundry list of changes, decide which goal is the most significant in your life. For example, since our health impacts everything we do, you may decide that getting healthier is the one area that deserves your focus. I think for me, it would be exercising at least 3x a week is what I need to work on next. 

2. Break It Down

Another way we make things hard for ourselves is by stating our goal as something ambiguous and undefined. Stop being so VAGUE! Instead of saying I want to get healthy in 2021- say I am going to exercise 3 times a week and drink 8 glasses of water a day. Spell it out and plan. Get a calendar if you need to keep yourself on track!

There are a lot of ways to get healthy, so pick one and go from there. Starting with the easiest one is okay. Once that becomes a habit, you can move on to the next one on the list.

If you feel that your goal isn't doable, then re-evaluate and see what you could do. If drinking eight glasses of water each day sounds impossible, how about drinking two? Once you’ve reached two glasses each day, you can step it up to three. That’s how we make even challenging goals stick.

3. Choose a Prompt

You need to create action steps to meet your goal. One way to do this is by taking them immediately after doing something that you already do each day. For example, if your goal is to drink eight water glasses per day, choose prompts to help you remember to drink water. Maybe you decide to take three big gulps of water after hitting “send” on each email throughout the day or a whole glass before each meal and on each break you take during the day.

4. Connect it to a Positive Feeling

Don't you feel great when you accomplish something? I do- I love to see things crossed off on my TODO list. Think about it like this, how do you feel at the end of the day when you completed an intention?

For example, you might not enjoy drinking water all day, but by connecting the action to still having lots of energy after you’ve worked all day, for example, it’s easier to get up and do the same thing again the next day too. I use the same cup and make my water tasty- w

Before you know it, drinking enough water each day has become a positive habit—a goal you’ve reached. Once that’s in place, you’ll be ready to take on one of the others on your “Get healthy” list.

I do hope this helps you figure out how to STICK to your NEW YEAR'S INTENTIONS! I know I have some work to do! 

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