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Good intentions, why they often fail and how to keep them up!

The new year has started and with it many people have started their New Year's resolutions. Often a recurring ritual that you start with full of enthusiasm and good hope. All very nice, but most good intentions fail before January is over. 

In this blog I explain why good intentions are often doomed to fail and how you can keep them up. After reading this blog, can you refine your plans to make them succeed this year!

1. You start unprepared

Eating healthy, moving more, saving more, less stress or going through life in a more structured way. Wonderful goals that ultimately fail because you simply haven't prepared. Make a list of what you eat, spend, exercise or what your week looks like (depending on your good intentions of course). Then make a list of what it should look like in your idealism. Put the lists side by side and make a third list of changes you want to make to achieve your goals. For example; exchange half an evening of sitting on the couch for an hour of exercise. Leave those pants in the store and transfer the amount you would spend on them to your savings account. Take a night off not to meet anyone and relax. I'm just name something. Keep your lists well, hang them on the fridge for example, it's always nice to have something tangible to fall back on.

2. You set the bar too high

The most common mistake made with good intentions is that you set the bar way too high. The most recognizable example of this is healthier living. You go from zero to a hundred by structurally eating cookies on the couch (after a takeaway meal) to exercising 5 times a week and preparing 3 fresh meals a day. That requires so much motivation and willpower that it is doomed to fail after a few weeks or months. It is better to make small changes at a time that test your willpower as little as possible. When you get used to that, you change something again. In this case for example; swap your soft drinks for water, plan a fixed time for a walk or bike ride, cook an extensive healthy meal once a week. If you are completely in this flow, you expand your goals a bit. You can apply this just as easily to other goals. Do you want to live a more structured life? Then make a fixed schedule for 1 day (part) per week. Do you want to save more? Start by depositing a few euros into your savings account each month. 

3. You don't tell anyone about your good intentions

Because; you can do it on your own and you don't want to look like a monkey if it turns out to go wrong. Wrong choice. Because if you tell someone about your plans , you can also contact them if you are having a hard time. It's super nice if someone gives you a boost or just puts an arm around you when you don't feel like it anymore. Even better (and more fun!) is to find an ally and fight together for the same good intention. Whether you are going to cook together, choose a savings goal together or plan a fixed relaxation moment together.

4. You underestimate your weak moments

Often your New Year's resolutions are habits that you want to change. That's hard, you've been doing it for a long time and probably on autopilot. Everyone has a moment when you think never mind I'll just stop. The reason can be very small, a bad day at work, rebellious children in the house, a comment that goes down your throat, a busy period. Know your moments when your fuse is shorter than usual and at the same time think about how you keep motivating yourself to stay on your path at that moment. For example, use a positive quote or apply the if/then method. For example; When the kids are rebellious, I go upstairs to cool off

5. You're too hard on yourself

And then the moment comes when you have made a mistake. Didn't exercise for once, didn't stick to your schedule, didn't deposit a euro into your savings account or ate that takeaway meal anyway. The first time you pick yourself up, but the second or third time you're so disappointed that you tend to give up. Do not. Your New Year's resolution probably hasn't become a new habit yet. It takes 21 to 60 days for something to fit into your routine. Just pick it up again and start counting again. You will see that you hold onto your good intention longer and longer. If only to break your record from the previous attempt!