Hey everyone, I hope you have had an incredible week!
I can’t believe how many people have succumbed to Flu, coughs and colds over the past few weeks. For me it is a reminder that wellbeing is something to focus on all the time and not just when you start to feel unwell. This week I have made it more of a focus and have done some yoga, had plenty of rest and have been using essential oils to boost my immune system and my mood!
It has been really interesting listening to people talking about the intentions they have set this year and I have really seen an increase in the volume of people choosing healthier eating options, drinking more water and doing exercise. What I also know from my own experience is that if I wait another four weeks there will be chocolate treats back in the office, people will be back drinking coffee instead of water and there will be a queue for the lift again instead of people using the stairs.
I am not highlighting this to be judgemental, far from it. I am sharing it because so often I see people set really good intentions, stick at them for a short period of time and then allow old habits and patterns of behaviour to slowly creep back in. I know that it is then hard not to judge yourself, feel like you have failed and to start the ritual practice of beating yourself because you “just can’t stick at anything!”
I have been one of these people. I have started the New Year on a diet and by the end of January I have convinced myself that I was just born to be ‘cuddly’. I have frequently started the year with the intention to drink more water only to find that within a week I have slipped back in to drinking endless cups of tea. So, I get it. I get how easy it is to set intentions and then not follow through on them.
I have reflected a lot on this over the past couple of years and have found some strategies that have helped me. Here are my top tips for sticking to your intentions:
Don’t over commit
This is one of the biggest reasons why New Year’s Resolutions or having good intentions can fail. We decide that we need to change EVERYTHING and we set ourselves unrealistic goals. I know I have been guilty of it in the past!
Let’s look at an example…
Karen sets the intention to be healthier this year. Over Christmas she has eaten anything she likes (including all the Quality Street) and is used to having a takeaway one night a week. She knows she would feel better for losing 2 stone. She enjoys a glass of wine most nights after work to help her relax. She hasn’t really exercised for the past year as she is a smoker.
How successful do you think Karen will be in achieving her intention to be healthier this year if she tries to do all the following from the outset:
- Quit smoking
- Go on a strict diet – cut out sugar and takeaways
- Go to the gym every day
- Do dry January
I give her a week!
That amount of change all at one time would take an enormous amount of dedication, willpower and support. It is just not realistic to expect success.
It is much more sensible to start with one thing and then add other things in as you start to build new habits. For example, why not start by taking part in Dry January and adding a small walk at lunchtime in to your working day. You can add more aspects of your intention as you become more confident in your ability to succeed.
My programmes for personal transformation are all about building success habit over a period of weeks and embedding one new habit before moving on to the next. It leads to greater success in the long term.
Find people to support you
It is so much easier to maintain enthusiasm and motivation when you have the right people around you. It is so much easier today to find groups of like-minded people who have the same intentions as you. Do some research and find local groups. Facebook is a great place to start. You can join my closed group of supportive and inspiring women who are making transformational changes to their lives right HERE.
Throughout 2017, I worked with a personal coach and this really helped me. I participated in group coaching as well as receiving one to one support and it really accelerated the amount of personal change I achieved last year.
I am now offering a free 30-minute clarity call to women who are serious about making transformational change. The call will allow you to learn more about the benefits of coaching and whether we would be a perfect match for each other. The right coaching relationship is so important, so I don’t work with anyone without having a conversation first! If you are interested in exploring coaching further, you can schedule a call with me HERE
Remember, you never have to do things alone, there is always someone who can help.
Don’t give up if you have a wobble
So often I have seen people give up on their goals and intentions because they have had a bad day or a bad week and not stuck to their plan. The changes you are wanting to make for your life are long term so it really doesn’t matter if you have a blip. The biggest regret you will have is to not carry on. For example, if you set the intention to go for a 20-minute walk every day and you have achieved that 30 days in a row but then miss a couple of days, it doesn’t matter. Don’t give up or give in. Just start where you left off. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
Be clear about your WHY
For me, this is the most important thing you can do. If you take nothing else from this blog, consider this. When you set intentions, it is critical that you also state your WHY. Too frequently, we declare our intentions without really thinking about why this intention is important to us. Let me share this with you.
This is one of the intentions I set for 2018.
“This year I intend to grow my subscriber list to 1000 women”
Here is my why…
“I want to do this because it is aligned to my life purpose which is to share my message with as many people women as possible on how they can move from surviving to thriving and live a life that is full of joy and purpose.”
This WHY compels me to take action in my business every day. It compels me to share the strategies and tools that I have used on myself to live a more fulfilling life with others. It compels me to seek to inspire other women. It compels me to show up for others and give more of myself. It MOVES me.
If I had just set the intention without the why it would leave me uninspired. Your WHY should get you out of bed and inspire you to take the daily action required to show up for your intentions.
It is much easier to choose to live a healthy lifestyle if your why is because you want to be a healthy mum and to be able to enjoy an active life with your children. That is what will make you walk 20 minutes every day. It is not the intention that motivates you, it is the inspiration that sits behind it.
I really encourage you to take some time this week to think about the goals/ intentions you have set for yourself and really think about your WHY. Even better, write down your why statements and place them somewhere that you can see them daily. Keep them in mind so when you arrive at the moment where you want to give in (and we all get them!), just remember your WHY.
Until next week