Getting Real About Intention and Goal Setting
With Christmas over and New Year’s Eve fast approaching my mind has definitely been doing some reflecting upon the last year. The up’s. The down’s. And of course the new intentions/goals that I want to bring into the approaching new year.
I don’t know about you but almost every year in my early twenties I would set such goals as; lose 15 pounds this year, go to the gym everyday, or only eat “healthy” food/no junk food as my New Years Resolution. And every year, usually about 3 weeks in, I would be in tears laying in bed/on the bathroom floor, or while eating an entire pizza because I had cracked under all the pressure of my ABSRUD goals. It wasn’t until I was about 27 years old that I realized that the fact that I couldn’t keep any of these goals didn’t have to do with me as a person, not having willpower, not being “enough”, or whatever thoughts I was thinking, BUT it was just that the goals themselves were absolute sh!t! So I started getting smart about the way I was setting goals, I even took a workshop on this from Lulu Lemon (insert me giggling here), and started setting better goals.
Intention and goal setting is now something that I not only do for myself BUT that I also bring into my sessions with clients as it can be a great tool to help keep you focused on your healing journey and also to measure how far you have come on it. BUT in order for intentions and goal setting to be a useful tool it also has to be done correctly and in a healthy way…If not done correctly or in a healthy way you might end up like I did so many times in my early years crying while eating a whole pizza!
Sooo because it is that time of year again and becasue I want you all to be able to set your 2019 intentions and goals and ACTUALLY be able to ACHIEVE them I’ve compiled my biggest tips and tricks to help guide you on your way!
Reflect and connect. Take a few moments, or days to look back over all of your successes, achievements, dreams, and also failures. Really try to look at each of these things just as they are and without judgement. Notice feelings and thoughts about each item. By doing this you can connect back into the moments and see if and where you would like them to fit into your current life now. If there is a negative feeling towards a certain aspect/item dive deeper and see if it is because it is something that does not need to be in your life, OR if it is something that needs to change within your life. We often get scared when we feel “negatively” towards certain aspects of our lives but this is just our souls way of telling us that something is amiss. So don’t be scared, simply just look at it, feel it, and decide to release it from your life OR a way to change it.
Write it down. Writing down your goals and intentions makes them more tangible. It allows you to physically see them and relate to them outside of your self. In fact research has shown time and time again that you are more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down and then place it somewhere you can see it regularly. BUT how you write down your intentions and goals and the words you use become VERY important! When writing down your goals/intentions make sure to not use language that comes from a place of lack. Words like; “loose”, “debit”, “not”, “don’t”, and other words have a negative feel to them and signal in our brain that we are “lacking” something, which does no good for our mental health, as well as decreases the likeliness that you will achieve your intention/goal. So instead of using words that steam from this negative place try using words like “fit”, “stability”, “can”, and “will”.
Create a vision board. This is one of my favourite ways to pull a little fun into intentions and goal setting. All you need to do is pull out your scissors, glue, and old magazines (or print off photos) and get to crafting! To create a vision board that aligns with your intentions and goals all you need to do is place pictures, words or even colours that make you think of your goal/intention. I also suggest picking pictures/words associated with the feelings that you will feel when you achieve your goal, eg if your goal is to be finically stable having the word free, or a picture that makes you feel free when you look at it.
Make steps. Some goals seem so far away because we are looking at the big picture or what we will achieve in the end. This can sometimes seem so far away in the beginning, like there is so much between where you are and where you want to be. So why focus on just the end game? Why not break it down into to smaller more achievable steps. For example if you are wanting to run a marathon you do not just go out and run 26.2 miles your first time, you break it into smaller more manageable pieces. By doing this you can not only celebrate each step along the way BUT you are more likely to see all the progress you gain which will propel you to keep going.
Make it realistic and easy to fit into your life. This is an important one…Sometimes we like to dream big, and there is nothing wrong with this, but if you are making a goal or intention that is almost impossible to fit into your life then it can set you up for failure in achieving it. Making a goal to go to the gym everyday no matter what is not that realistic and not that easy to fit into your life for many reason, BUT making your goal to do something active each day for (insert a reasonable number) of minutes per day is. The more realistic you can be and the easier you make it for your self to fit your goal into your life the more likely you are to stick to it and reap all the benefits along the way.
Understand that blimps can and will happen and try to plan for them. Now this can be a hard one, especially for anyone who is a perfectionist! Understanding that things just happen in life that might set you back a bit BUT that it is NOT the end of the world is something that will make you more likely to achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. Something like an injury or illness might prevent you from being active in a way your used to for a while or leave you unable to eat certain things, BUT this is all minor in the grand scheme of all the work that you have done before this has occurred. If you can try to plan for things that might happen, or that you might face when setting your intentions and making goals, AND if something happens unexpected try to not on how much it has “derailed you” BUT instead on making a new plan to fit your current circumstances.