Despite being at this game of health for decades, I continue to fascinate myself with my own resistance to…well, just about anything. I need help sustaining healthy change, and you probably do too.
I’ve been reading lately about the power of implementation intentions. There’s good research behind it as a strategy to help us move through our day and respond to the inevitable hitches that come up. When we get challenged, we remember what we are trying to do – “I intend to enjoy healthful eating,” and have a few if-then contingency decisions we pre-make every day.
If my husband isn’t home I’ll go to an extra yoga class. If my mom wants to come to Thanksgiving, then she’ll do the turkey.
Turns out that when set intention and we pre-make these decisions, we are more likely to carry them out.
Here are a few that may be helpful:
- If I’m hungry after work and it’s not dinner time yet, I will have an apple.
- If I don’t have time for lunch, I’ll grab a couple handfuls of nuts.
- If I’m tired, I will move anyway – but it will be gentle and enjoyable.
- If I work late and can’t get to yoga, I’ll take 10 minutes to unwind and meditate before leaving work, then another before going to bed.
- If I haven’t eaten vegetables yet today, I will double up at dinner.
I find that having three if…thens on a given day do the trick for me. If you can take a moment in the morning and visualize your day, and create three if-thens for your day that help you set an intention to be balanced. If…then.
If I see you today, then I hope you say hi.