How many times a year, a month, a week…a day do you set a new intention to improve your life in some way?
It could be around a habit that you want to create (or break); or a course of study that you want to complete; or a business idea that excites you; or a goal that you want to accomplish…
And how many times a year, a month, a week…a day do you fail to follow through on that intention to improve your life?
You do well for a few days, even a few weeks but before long you lost that initial excitement and it starts to feel like a drag or you forget why you’re doing it or…or…or…and the excuses kick in.
This is a natural human condition. Change is hard. And yet you take it oh so personally!! You tell yourself you have no will-power. You lower your expectations of yourself. You start distrusting your abilities and capabilities. Some of you may even give up.
I’m no different. I have lists of intentions that I haven’t even got around to setting yet! They’re just hovering for that “one day when I feel bold enough…”
But I do have some success of following through on intentions too and so I analysed what I know to be true for me in respect of those successful times, when I have followed through and achieved something that I am proud of.
My intention here is to minimise disruption on route to a particular goal I’m working on but I wanted to share what I came up with in the hope you find benefit too.
What I know to be true about increasing the likelihood of following through on an intention:
1) Shine a Light on It.
Set reminders on your phone, post-it notes on your bathroom mirror, items that prompt your thinking in the direction of your intention, put up pictures and images of the outcome everywhere. AND keep them fresh and change them regularly so they don’t end up blending into the background
2) Find the compelling reason
You know it’s important to get fit and eat well, you understand that certain daily disciplines and rituals will change your life, you know the benefits of a certain course or programme, you know the potential that a certain activity will have on your business success…and yet you don’t follow through. These are all the logical reasons to follow through, but to support your endeavour, find your compelling reason. What does success in this area really mean for you. If you’re being truly honest with yourself, what’s your ‘why?’
3) Make it all about NOW
Don’t get overwhelmed with the big picture. Set your intention for today. Today I’m going to do _(fill in the blank)_ and that’s IT. Just get through today. And then bask in the glow of your win as you’re falling asleep. And then start all over again in the morning.
4) Develop a deeper understanding
Whatever the intention, read around the subject, learn more about it, watch films and videos about it. Develop a deeper understanding and a broader interest to support your ability to follow through
5) Gather a cheer-leading team
Scan your social circles for naysayers and energy drainers and avoid them! Be mindful of only hanging with encouraging, supportive and inspiring people. Find mentors and coaches to work with if you need the additional help
6) Anticipate the challenge
Setting an intention is so exciting and fun, you only have your eyes on the prize and the feelings of elation that you anticipate heighten your enthusiasm. You forget that whenever change is involved, there’s pain. You hit a wall, get disillusioned or get bored and stop. By knowing that this is natural helps you to push through. You can tell yourself “oooh I know what this means, it means I’m on my way, I’m in the right direction”
7) Celebrate the milestones
Set yourself mini-milestones to celebrate along the way and ensure you do celebrate. Treat yourself, do something different and ensure that you associate the treat with the milestone i.e if you’ve rewarded yourself with a massage, as you close your eyes feel the smile spread across your face and the thoughts of celebration on achieving your milestone be at the fore of your mind as the pummelling begins
Let me know what helps you follow through on your intentions in the comments below!