How to Make Life-Enhancing Intentions for the New Year
Updated: Jan 2
6 Simple tips to help you implement value-focused intentions so you can be the best version of yourself
Now that we are coming towards the end of the new year, you may be reflecting on 2022 and thinking about new years resolutions. It is common to think about an improved vision of self and what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Yet, if you are like me, the resolutions don't stick, and before you know it, another year has gone, and no changes have occurred.
That's why I started introducing lifestyle changes, small adjustments that take you closer to your values. Using manageable shifts that move you towards being your best self and for-filling your dreams. The common mistakes people make do not know the core belief behind each goal, so they don't truly resonate with it. Other common mistakes are not planning enough or doing too much too soon. This can leave you feeling off track, overwhelmed and disappointed in yourself for not following through. So we give up and fall back into old habits.
So let's begin with breaking down your new year intentions so you can move towards the life you want to live.
Tip #1 - Understand your WHY
"Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY—our driving purpose, cause or belief—never changes." - Simon Sinek
Your WHY is the emotional driver behind your New Year goals. It is easy to set goals, but knowing the deeper reasoning behind them makes sure they align with your values. It may be easy to set a physical goal, such as losing weight or a financial goal of saving, but if we don't get to the emotional core of the goal, it is easy to give up at the first hurdle. I invite you to ask yourself WHY you are setting this goal. This way, you can ensure your goal aligns with the true you. Here is an example:
Goal: Loose weight
- Why do you want to lose weight? Because I want to be slimmer
- Why do I want to be slimmer? Because if I am slimmer, I think I look good
- Why do I want to look good? Because when I look good, I feel better about myself
- Why do I want to feel better about myself? Because when I feel better about myself, I have more self-confidence
- Why do I want to be more confident? Because if I have more self-confidence, my mood improves, and I feel happier
WHY/New goal = Improved mood and feeling happier
Ask yourself the Question WHY at least 5 times to get to your goal's emotional core. You then work backwards to plan out the tasks you need to do to reach this goal. Knowing the true value and your emotional need beneath goes a long way to help you succeed, especially when you feel like giving up.
Tip #2 - Plan Ahead
"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Plan ahead to establish when and how you will implement your goal. Each goal can be broken up into smaller and more manageable tasks. This is key to keeping to it and staying on track.
If your goal is to spend more time exercising. Ask yourself what tasks need to be done to exercise. For example - Plan what exercise you will do, what you will wear, who you will do it with, and where it will be done.
When will you allow that time? Take into mind your energy levels during the day. Would it be more realistic to exercise in the morning, or do you feel more energetic in the evening? The more you plan the more achievable it will be.
Decide how often you want to exercise. Be realistic about it. Think you can exercise four times a week? Commit to twice a week and stick to it. The more specific the tasks are, the more likely you will follow through.
Tip #3 - Self-Care
"Self-care is how you take your power back." – Lalah Delia
One of the main goals I struggle with is self-care. Yet without this essential component, it is easy to let everything else slide. It is definitely something I see a lot in my practice. Many people also struggle to put theirself with the busy lives we live. Self-care helps you to function at your best in the Optimal Arousal Zone of your Window of Tolerance. In this space, you can feel like you can tackle anything. You feel motivated to get tasks done and relaxed enough that you can enjoy the task at hand. You will also be motivated, engaged and able to problem-solve effectively. When you are anxious, you can go into Hyper Arousal and/or Hypo Arousal. Leaving you feeling low in mood or highly stressed. To stay in this Optimal Zone, you need to allow enough self-care to refill your glass.
Self-care looks different for everyone. Find out what it is to you. It could be meditation, running, painting, reading, or spending time with the dog. It doesn't matter what it's, so long as You are doing You!
Tip #4 - Check In with Yourself
Regular monthly check-ins with yourself are essential to know if you are on track. During the process, check if your actions are working for you. Are there any changes you need to adjust to make it more realistic? Notice if you feel you are still in alignment with your values. What changes do you need to make sure you continue to grow and move in the right direction of your best self?
Tip #5 - Share Your Goals
Share your goal with others. Friends and Family can offer you the support and encouragement you need to tackle your goals. Even better if you have a friend with the same goals as you, team up. You can motivate each other to achieve them and have some fun in the process.
Tip #6 - Reward Yourself
"Celebrate what you want to see more of" - Tom Peters
Marking off each task as you complete it creates a hit of Domaine, the reward chemical in your brain. So make sure you can physically tick off each task and feel proud of each achievement. Celebrating the small wins helps infuse positivity into your tasks. It takes work to implement new habits and stick to them. Be proud of what you have achieved; if you fall off, remember your emotional need, your WHY and get back on.
Remember to look after yourself and ensure your goals align with your values.
Would you benefit from the support of working with a counsellor to address your goals, obstacles or life transitions? Please get in touch with me for a Free Consultation to discuss your needs.