Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 - New Years Intentions!

It's 2012 and time to set your intentions.

Wait - Intentions you say? What about resolutions?!

It's all about mindset. When making resolutions, we either promise to do something or stop doing something that we feel guilty or conflicted about. Resolutions are generally associated with bad behaviors, and they are vague promises based on a wish without any real plan of action. For example, I wish I could lose weight, so I promise to eat better this year.
It's not surprising that most people give up on their resolutions within a  month.

An Intention, on the other hand, is an aim, a purpose or a plan.

When we set intentions for ourselves, we are setting goals to be completed within a specific time period - in this case, a year - and we're backing them up with a plan of action.

So, let's get started.

Take this first week of January to focus on what you'd like to accomplish this year. As you think about your goals, write them down. Writing down your goals is the first step to committing to them. Once you've written down your goals, set a plan of action. Write down, specifically, what steps you are going to take to make your goals a reality.

Here's an example:

  • My goals for 2012 are to lose weight and get in shape.
  • For my weight loss goal, I am going to join weight watchers, log my food, create a meal plan, and remove all snack foods from my house.
  • For my fitness goal, I'm going to take a step class at the Community Center on Mondays, a Zumba class on Thursdays, and I'm going to join my neighbor on her daily 30-minute power walks.

Once you've set your intentions, commit them to a calendar. If they're set in your schedule, you will complete them.

Create visual inspirations that will excite and motivate you into action. Find pictures of yourself at the weight you would like to return to. Make copies and post them in spots you will frequent throughout the day. Put one next to your bedside table, one on your mirror, in your day-planner, and on your phone. Every time you see this picture, remind yourself, "This is my body, and I am successfully achieving my goal!" We achieve what we believe.

Set out a garment of clothing you would like to fit into again and showcase it in a prominent spot so that you will be reminded daily, of what success looks like.

Break down your weight loss goals into achievable increments. Set a goal weight for the end of the year, and then set short term goals for the months in between. By breaking your ultimate goal into smaller, easily attainable benchmarks, the reward of experiencing successful results will motivate you to strive toward your long-term goal. Remember, on a healthy weight loss plan, you can lose 1-2 pounds per week, so if your goal is to lose 25 lbs. in a year, losing 1-2 lbs a week will bring satisfying and successful results.

Be kind to yourself and remember you are human. When you set intentions, you are implementing healthy habits, which allows for flexibility. You are implementing a lifestyle, and, as with everything else in life, there will be setbacks and surprises. Allow forgiveness for the days that you do not follow through with your plan, and recognize that there will be weeks when you simply do not reach your goal. This is not an all-or-nothing approach. Do not give up! Return to your plan of action, fine tune your goals and re-commit to your original intentions.

Welcome 2012! To health, spontaneous joy, and accomplishment! May your year be filled with great  intention!

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