New Year’s Resolutions: Turning Intention into Action
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

New Year’s Resolutions: Turning Intention into Action

 I am all about helping my clients experience sustained change. This is an opportunity for you to check in with yourself on how you are travelling towards the intentions you set for yourself for 2019.

Setting intentions is important; turning these to action is the next level. Likely you have made some gains, perhaps let some plans slide, and made modifications where it felt helpful to do so. I am writing to invite you to consciously review where you are at in terms of the process of meeting your health and wellbeing goals. This quick audit will take a few minutes to complete and will support your growth to create lasting change in your experience of the world.

Considering the intentions you set on retreat, ask yourself:

  1. What is my motivation in pursuing change?
  2. Why do I want to be like this (what are your goals and values)?
  3. What skills can I bring; what do I need to develop?
  4. What will help me cultivate the self I am becoming more into how I live now?
  5. What is challenging me?
  6. How will I accept, address or overcome these challenges?

It takes around 21 days to establish new habits; I invite you to take the next 21 days to work towards your goals. Here are five tips to help you on the next leg of your odyssey:

Practice training your mind – use techniques you have learned including breath awareness, qi gong, meditation and mindfulness to focus your mind. Learning how to direct your mind’s attention will support you in pursuing the challenges you have set for yourself.

Do something challenging every day – it doesn’t need to be a huge challenge; doing the workout when you would rather be on the couch is an example of turning towards those things which are helpful in meeting your intentions.

Rest and digest – consciously allowing yourself moments to return to equilibrium supports your parasympathetic nervous system. Your mind is a trigger for physiological responses that can either serve or impede your progress; set aside an hour (yes, a WHOLE hour!) each day to read something nourishing, connect with people who you trust and like, engage with your playful side, and pursue ‘flow’ – immerse yourself in a task you find valuable, enriching and consuming.

Show up – change is hard and it takes patience, self-compassion, and commitment to show up for the process of increasing healthy habits. By nature we are built to avoid situations that feel difficult, threatening, or different. Our primitive brain is wired to keep us safe; that’s why when you are in the middle of a happy chatty time with a good friend, and hear a loud unexpected noise, you will immediately attend to the noise, even though you were totally engrossed in the moment with your friend. It is not that they have suddenly lost their ‘value’, it is that your physiological system is designed to protect you from harm – so our mind will always attend first to things that are challenging, rather than positives arising from meeting that challenge. There is no short cut; all you can do is keep showing up for the new habit and training your mind to look past the thoughts about how hard it is, how you might not succeed, what judgements others might make – thank your mind for wanting you to be safe… and go ahead with your intention.

Acknowledge your achievements – each of us enjoys a moment in the sun – when our special qualities, attributes, or small successes are noticed and appreciated. Do that for yourself in the same way you would for your lover, friend, children, or family members. Having goals that are measurable and clear allows you to clearly determine your progress towards meeting them; every step along the way is an opportunity for learning and appreciating your commitment to living life on purpose. Keeping a journal is a great way of tracking your path, inviting a trusted friend or family member to help keep you accountable, or employing a professional mentor or trainer to support and guide you along the way can be useful.

Following these tips will help you move closer to the health and emotional wellbeing you are working towards. Let me know if I can help support you in the next stage of your action plan!

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