It’s been two weeks…
An intention is something you intended to do or an aim or a plan. Instead of a rigid wall of resolution which as you mess up once comes smacking you down, an intention allows for the realities of our busy and messy lives.
It can be easy enough to stick to a resolution for a short period of time. Inevitably, sick kids, work travel, elderly parent support, get togethers with friends can get in the way of that “perfect” plan. Setting intentions to do the best we can given life’s habit of intruding messily and unpredictably still lets us maintain the best balance between all the different parts of our lives.
When you have a day where things do not go as you intend, instead of beating yourself up about ruining your new year’s resolutions, simply try again the next day. Remember every day is another opportunity to live as you intended.
Resolutions v Intentions
R - I will go to the gym or run everyday
I - Move for 20+ minutes a day as many days as I can even if that is just brisk walking up and down stairs or yoga in the living room. Yes, still giving myself one day off!
That planned run day need not be scrapped because of a change in what your day looked like. If you had a 3 mile run planned but can’t get it in because you need to be home, try 20 minutes of yoga in the living room or one of our strength routines that requires no gear. Something is better than nothing. Try to keep this streak going and then aim for the run the next day.R- Go to bed earlier and get more sleep
R - Go to bed earlier and get more sleep
I - Prioritize sleep for two nights a week
It’s a great goal but with distractions and life, the nebulous "get more sleep" is almost impossible to carry out on a daily basis. Instead plan your schedule for the week. If you know that Sunday evening and Wednesday evenings should be clear, plan to make sure that you can get to bed on time. Put down the screens well before bed and get things ready for the morning (breakfast planned? lunch packed?). If you normally work out in the morning, possibly switch days so the following morning could be a rest day to get in some extra sleep.
R- Eat no sugar
I - Make the best choices about what to eat regardless of situation and/or options.
Dictating that you will eat no sugar, ever, sets you up for failure. What about that work dinner you need to go to or the kid’s birthday party you are planning? Or foregoing food when you know you should eat something because nothing adheres to your new rigid resolution? Keeping balance between your intentions and life allows for choosing a better option for that particular scenario.
Secrets to Success
Start Small and Plan
Pick one thing you’d like to change. Then make a list of steps that you need to do to make this happen. Work on that first step. Once that is mastered, move to the next on the list. Building habits takes time and should be slowly and carefully built.
For example if you’d like to be more consistent with strength work. Evaluate honestly how often you are consistently doing it now. Then aim for a realistic increase. So maybe that is getting in two 20 minute sessions a week. Prioritize this in your scheduling and block the time on your calendar so you’ll get a reminder to do the work.
Check In and Make it a Game
Each day, check in and evaluate where you are with your new intention. It’s a new day to start fresh. Check in with coach as well! We’d love to see updates in Training Peaks about your intentions.
We recently heard about a client who is using a big calendar to mark off each day he completes his goals. He marks a big “X” on the calendar with one side of the X being daily foam rolling/stretching goals and one side of the X being for other workouts. For him, being able to mark that X off is a big reward!
Stay tuned to hear about a mileage goal game we have in the works as well!
Keep it Fresh and Be Realistic
Doing the same thing every day can get pretty boring so this is a great opportunity to try new things or make it social with friends. Try a new class or change up your routes. Remember though as you are excited about your new intentions to start slow so your body can adapt.
Admit it, sometimes you just won’t want to do it. Try smiling (we do this even when grumbling a bit!) and reminding yourself why you want the change.
It’s not too late! What 2018 intentions will you set?