Intentions, goals, resolutions, power words are all wonderful tools to propel us forward. Many of us get excited with the prospect of change, new opportunities and goals. And as we start out in January we have the momentum of that excitement that motivates us to get started. But what happens when that excitement starts to dwindle and the reality of life begins to distract us? What happens when we start to falter on those intentions?
Life can be busy and we can be ambitious in our intentions for the new year and sometimes the two just don’t sync. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to make changes or that we can’t be successful in our endeavours. Likely, it just means that we have to activate other tools and perspectives in our lives to be persistent in the pursuit of those things that our heart desires. Let’s take a look at a few tips to help us transition with ease into the new year.
Choose or prioritize one change, one goal, one intention at a time. Set a priority for the day, the week and even the month. Chunk out your intention into one piece at a time. Be careful not to spread yourself too thin. Lasting change happens when we focus on one step at a time. It takes 21 days to form a habit for adults. Set yourself up for success with this in mind. One change at a time.
Remember that it is easier to maintain small changes to an existing routine than to sustain a big adjustment or complete overhaul to your life. Start by making small shifts in your already established routine. For example, instead of committing to one hour of meditation a day, perhaps start at 4 minutes and gradually increase by a minute or two each day until you feel like you’ve reached a beneficial length of time for you. You could start even smaller by incorporating mindfulness into a task that you are already doing every day. For instance, when you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, pay attention to your breathing. How does the breath change and what does it feel like? What does the toothpaste taste like? What sensations do you notice in your teeth, gums and tongue? What sounds does your toothbrush make as it works inside your mouth? What other details do you notice? This type of mindful practice of a task that you are already doing can be a precursor to entering into meditation. It is also a way to lower blood pressure, increase awareness and decrease stress. Making small shifts in the day to day routine can go a long way in setting ourselves up for success right from the start.
It’s important for us to shift our mindset into commitment. When we tell ourselves “I am going to try to accomplish this today…” we are not fully committing to success. The word try, implies failure. Instead flip the thoughts to the determined and sure-fire, prove-me-wrong mindset. “I will do this today…” leaves no room for failure. What we tell ourselves matters. When our goals are prioritized, commit to the process, commit to the success, commit to the moment and reap the rewarding feeling of accomplishment at the end of each day.
If you have chosen a power word or created a vision board, keep it visible. What we focus on is what will manifest in our lives. Keep your goals in plain sight by placing it in an area of your home or office where you will see and notice and reflect regularly on your goals. This helps us keep the consistency in our focus, our thoughts entrained on the end goal and provides constant motivation to succeed.
Journaling or tracking progress is another great way of keeping focused and staying personally accountable to our intentions and goals. This can be done traditionally with paper and pen, or through an app or even digitally in your calendar. It provides a great opportunity when we feel like we are losing steam to reflect back and see just how far we have come in working towards our heart’s desires.
Creating a routine, planning ahead and carving out small amounts of time to dedicate to your intentions can go a long way to feeding our success. Some find it helpful to start their day a little earlier to establish a routine that allows for flexibility in thinking and schedule to accomplish the priorities that we have set for ourselves. Regardless of how you choose to move forward, a little realistic planning can never hurt the end goal. Ask yourself, “what can I do today to move me closer to my intention?”
There are going to be times that we forget to be mindful or forget the THING that we are working on or towards. Be sure to love and forgive yourself when it happens – just as you would support your best friend, let them off the hook and encourage them to get back to it. Give yourself space to fail…and then fail forward.
Be curious in all that you do in a day. Become aware of how you feel inside and out with tasks and within relationships. Being mindful in this way creates space for new thoughts to form, new ideas and perspectives to emerge and all of these things open us up to new possibilities and even steps that would otherwise go unnoticed that could contribute to the fulfilment of the dream.
Our tribe matters! Surround yourself with people who are aligned with your goals, or at minimum are goal go-getters themselves. Support from our network is important for accountability. It allows for celebrations when we are successful and keeps us honest in our quest. Keep in mind that you might have to look outside of your normal network but know that this is a great opportunity for new lasting supportive friendships.
Regardless of what your goals are, any changes we make in life that are sustainable, permanent and powerful take time. These generative changes allow for the adjustments that we make in life to infiltrate all areas of our lives. Be patient, stay the course, believe in the outcome and commit to the journey to get there. Some things take longer than others to manifest, and that’s okay. We are used to living in a world of instant gratification with everything available to us with the click of a button…manifesting our hearts desires cannot be achieved by clicking BUY NOW. The dedication, work, commitment and mindset required can take us on a beautiful journey of self-discovery as we move forward towards our dreams. What I know to be true is that often the blessings discovered along the way are just as valuable, if not more valuable, than the end goal we’ve set to start with.
Enjoy the journey,