Setting an Intention for 2019

I’m not a woo-woo type of person. The closest I get to woo-woo is yoga and meditation; and there are a ton of studies showing the benefits of yoga and meditation that appeases my analytical brain.

At the beginning of 2018, I decided to try my hand at setting an intention for the year. My intention was to live boldly and out of my comfort zone. Now that it’s December, I can honestly say it worked.

Setting a yearly intention has facilitated a path that has gotten me closer to where I want to be in life. It’s not the same as setting goals. Goals are more concrete and have deadlines. Intentions are more of a guiding principle of how to you want to live.

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2018 Year-End Review

Year-End Review

I’m a big fan of conducting year-end reviews and setting intentions. I have only recently started doing them and I noticed a huge change in my life and in myself.

Last December, was the first time I completed a year-end review. I used Boho Berry’s December year-end review as a way to jump start my reflection. I found her prompts helpful to reflect on the past year and set an intention for the next year. It’s fun to look back on the year and see how much progress I’ve made.

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How to Create Healthy Habits for Weight Loss and Wellness

Creating new habits is not an easy process, but it is doable.

Whether your goal is weight loss or improving wellness, creating healthy habits is a strategy that can help you reach your goals. The key to creating lasting habits is to start small, choose one that will jump start whatever goal you’re working on, and stay consistent.

 
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For weight loss, record your food/drink intake for 7 days and include the amount of food eaten and when.

Next, look over your food log and take note of your food preferences and meal pattern. It’s important to consider your lifestyle, likes, and dislikes. You don’t want to change your lifestyle too much or too drastically.

Make a list of habits, and pick one that is easy and will have an impact on reducing calories.

Stick with that habit for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, ask yourself if the habit change had any positive affect on your life. If so, continue the habit and add another one.

Continue in this manner until you reach your goals. Once you have reached your goals, you will want to continue with your healthy habits. At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a habit tracker you can print or upload to the Goodnotes app to keep track of your habits.

 
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I’ve listed some habits for you to consider if you’re wanting to improve your health and lose weight:

  • -Lift weights

  • -Drink more water

  • -Walk and move more

  • -Eat more produce

  • -Get 7-9 hours of sleep daily

  • -Keep a food and exercise log

  • -Cook or prepare most of your meals at home

  • -Eat protein at most meals

  • -Swap regular soda for diet soda

  • -Cut out liquid calories

  • -Monitor progress

  • -Snack less often

  • -Start meditating

  • -Practice yoga

  • -Keep a gratitude journal

Keeping track of your habits is a great way to stay consistent and accountable. Click on the link to download your habit tracker.

What healthy habits are you working on?

 
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How to Write Actionable Goals

For years, it has been said that if you want to achieve your goals you must write them in the S.M.A.R.T format. This means they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

Let’s say you want to lose weight, so you write down your goals, and for a week or two you follow through with them. But, then you have a lousy day, and decide to skip the gym and order pizza instead of eating the meal you prepped. Not a big deal, right. Well, then one night turns into two, which then turns into a week.

Now you have completely reverted back to before you wrote your S.M.A.R.T. goals. What happened? What went wrong? Did you lack willpower?

Your S.M.A.R.T. goals, as great as they were, did not account for the habits/behavior change needed for you to succeed. Willpower means nothing when it comes to successful dieting.

Instead of focusing on goals, I want you to focus on behavior/habits. Consider these 5 steps to creating actionable goals. At the end of this post, download the printable to help you set actionable goals.

 
How to Write Actionable Goals - Balancing Bites Nutrition
 

 

Step 1. What is your why?

Choose a strong why. It needs to be important enough that when life gets busy or you want to quit, you won’t. Your why can be anything, as long as it is important to you.

Ex. Why – I want to look good.

Step 2. Outcome goal.

Choose a realistic outcome goal. What do you want to accomplish? This goal is going to be your finish line. Something you’re aiming for. Unless you have a time specific goal such as running in a race, put this goal in the back of your mind.

Ex. Outcome goal – I want to lose 10 pounds.

 

Step 3. Behavior goal.

Choose a behavior goal that will get you closer to your outcome goal. When deciding on this goal, I want you to consider your lifestyle. If you enjoy Sunday brunch with friends, don’t cut out all restaurant meals as your behavior goal. Yes, you can probably stick with it for a while, but you will most likely be unhappy. Pick something that you know you can accomplish.

Ex. Behavior goal – I will eat more fruits and veggies.

 

Step 4. Action goal.

Choose an action goal that fits with the behavior goal. This will become a habit that will lead you toward accomplishing your outcome goal.

Ex. Action goal – I will eat 1 cup of veggies with lunch and dinner and 1 serving of fruit with snacks.

 

Step 5. Create a routine.

Use your action goal to create a routine that fits within your lifestyle.

Ex. Routine – Eat a fruit with breakfast and afternoon snack every day. Eat a salad with lunch and a roasted veggie with dinner every day.

 

Once your action goal becomes a habit, then you will choose another action goal. If you’re consistent with your behavior and action goals then your outcome goal will take care of itself.

One last tip, tell your goals to at least one person you trust. This can be a friend, a significant other, or anyone. Telling someone will help you be accountable and will give you support when you want to give up.

Click on the link to download the printable Set a Goal & Crush Them . Use this printable to crush your goals.

 
Set a Goal & Crush Them Printable - Balancing Bites Nutrition