Every year, sometime in December, many of us start thinking about the resolutions we will attack in the new year. Some will line up a new gym membership or vow to eat more veggies; others will opt to practice more self-care or complete more random acts of kindness. This idea of setting out a list of goals that launch on January 1st is a lovely concept, isn’t it? Unfortunately, resolutions are typically unsuccessful. Statistically, 80% of us quit by February and 92% have abandoned their resolutions by December. In my final blog post of 2021, we’ll talk about setting intentions, how you can build better habits, and the importance of consistency.
Changing It Up
Though the terms “resolutions” and “intentions” are often used interchangeably, I’ve learned there is a difference.
A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. It’s a commitment to an outcome. Unfortunately, if you don’t live up to your resolution, you can feel like you failed. And as we pointed out earlier, most of us don’t make it very far with our resolutions!
An intention is also a commitment. But instead of being defined by a future outcome, it’s marked by present actions. In my opinion, intentions are a healthier approach because you align every action you take with your intentions at every opportunity. It’s about creating small habits and consistently following through with them.
Keeping It Consistent
Earlier this year, I read Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. The book outlined the importance and power of consistency and I really picked up on how small habits—performed every single day—lead to bigger gains over the long run.
This particular line in the book really clicked for me: “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”
As a recovering perfectionist, I appreciated that Clear talked about setting a positive mindset but also allowing yourself to have a bad day. These “atomic habits” are not about someone being perfect but rather about being consistent.
In the spirit of intention, the book also showed how becoming the person you want to be is less about the results and more about acting in ways that reinforce your identity. Instead of saying “I want to lose 25 pounds” and potentially setting yourself up for disappointment, you might consider setting an intention of making healthier choices every day.
This book really allowed me to solidify some habits. Now, when my alarm goes off at 5 am, I jump out of bed to exercise rather than hit the snooze button. I won’t lie—sometimes it’s PAINFUL but I tell myself I don’t have to like it, I just have to do it. Even if all I manage to do is stretch or do back strengthening exercise, that’s great. By doing something every single day, I’m inching closer to becoming the healthier person I want to be. I’m living up to my intention and that leaves me feeling positive about what I can accomplish next.
Passing It On
I believe so much in the idea of positive habit making that I even apply some of the concepts in the book to help my patients. As an example, I often tell them that consistency is key to achieving the results they want. Whether that relates to in-office treatments or daily care at home, they must keep up small habits to get bigger gains.
My constant reminders to practice good skincare morning and night and to use sunscreen every single day come rain or shine are important! If my patients can be consistent, they will see the long-term effects on the quality of their skin!
What Comes Next?
Because I’ve had such success with my current goals, I’ve already set a few new intentions.
Mainly, I’d like to work towards being true to myself. Since there’s no point in waiting, I’ve already started giving myself time to reflect on the things that are truly important to me, to note my gratitude, and to create more small habits to be more “me”.
And lo live up to being more present—another one of my intentions—I’ve also decided to only check my emails at certain times of the day and I’ve removed social media apps from my phone.
What About You?
The Hindu scripture known as the Upanishads says the following:
It relates so closely to the purpose of this post. I hope it might inspire you to also set your intention so you can become and achieve everything your heart desires. As we close in on another year, I wish you and yours a happy holiday and a fantastic New Year!
Are cosmetic treatments part of your intention to make positive aging part of your life? Reach out to Be Beautiful Medical today to set up a conversation and free consultation.