Good intentions don’t really work. But wanting to change something (at any time) on motivation and willpower neither. Behavioral change from within, that’s what it’s all about!
I don’t know about you, but for me the start of a new year often feels like a ‘fresh start’. The chance to reflect on how you are doing and to set new goals or intentions for the year to come.
Kind of cliché, I know, but that’s how it feels to me.
I’m sure I’m not the only one, because it’s not for nothing that the good intentions fly around everywhere in January. Maybe ‘you don’t do it’, but chances are you want to change something, right?
Good intentions that fade
Good intentions are often forgotten in February, while hardly anything has changed. Not surprising, because what I see is that it often only stays with “I really want to change this and that”, without the change from within to enter. And that won’t get you very far. I’ll tell you how that is.
Because I once started investigating what most people have as ‘ good intentions ‘ or ‘ intentions ‘ for the new year. And both in Google and in the answers I received on Instagram this came up:
- Less snacking
- Eat healthier
- To fall off
- Move more
- Stress less
- More relaxed
- Spend more time with friends/family
What do I often see happening?
In January you feel that ‘fresh start’ and the desire to really do things differently. “This will be the year when I really start eating healthier, moving more and stressing less” do you think. No, you don’t just think it, you feel it too!
You really want it you are super motivated and that often feels like ‘enough’.
And it often works out those first weeks, on motivation, willpower and focus. You plan your food, hardly snack, go outside for a walk / exercise and also relax.
“Wow, see, I can do it” you think.
But sooner or later ‘life’ comes into play. Your work demands more from you, some things play a role in your private life and before you know it your focus is completely gone. You pull something nice out of the closet every night, rather plop on the couch than go for a walk and you feel tired and stressed.
Where have those good intentions gone?
Your motivation is gone.
And your willpower is already hard to find.
And that’s not surprising!
Motivation comes and goes.
And willpower is exhausted.
Look, it’s great if you motivated to start living healthier or to improve your relationship with food. It’s great if you’re motivated to move more or stress less. But motivation comes and goes. The moment other more important things at that moment (a project at work, a family member who is not doing well, etc.) require your attention, the motivation to live a healthier life quickly fades into the background.
And poof, you’re back in your old patterns.
Like that you don’t willpower can build alone. Just the word itself says that you must and ‘want‘ (which is very logical) and there ‘power‘ to muster. And phew, that already sounds heavy to me. Because always have to put up some ‘force’ for something, I didn’t see it. Willpower is already exhausted when you are tired, so never mind that you can always rely on this. You want it to be effortless, right?
So with motivation and willpower alone you will not make it to work on your good intentions. You shouldn’t want that either.
Don’t just ‘do’ something different, especially ‘be’ different
It also makes little sense to just ‘do’ something different, what you need is to make change from within, to ‘be’ different. So that in the end you don’t need that motivation and willpower at all and you almost automatically start living by it.
“Our behaviors reflect what we believe. If we want to change our behavior, we have to change our beliefs”
To eat healthy and live a “way of life”, you may investigate WHY you still can’t do it. What beliefs do you now live by that cause you to snack too much, move too little or experience too much stress? What story are you living by now, so it doesn’t work?
I will try to give a few examples briefly.
- If you live by the belief that eat a reward isthen you will quickly reach for something tasty after a busy working day, because ‘you have earned it for a while’.
- If you live by the belief that when socializing or watching TV, something tasty should bethen you will always have the tendency to pair food with it (no matter how hard you try to counter it by ‘not snacking’).
- If you live by the belief that you always have to do everything perfectly (or very well)., then you will also quickly get stressed if things don’t go perfectly for a while. Or think that in terms of food ‘it’s already ruined’ and eat the rest of the goodies quickly.
- If you live by the belief that you should always be there for others (at the expense of yourself), then you will continue to open beyond yourself, not put yourself on 1 and not take care of yourself well enough.
- If you live by the belief that if something goes wrong or you don’t feel okay, that you shouldn’t ‘beep’ and be strongand if there is something that keeps you busy, you will also continue to suppress your emotions to ‘be strong’ and chances are that you will grab food to deal with this.
In all these cases you can temporarily change this behavior, on willpower and motivation, but if you don’t address your beliefs, your “being” and what you are tuned to from within, you will always fall back into snacking, stressing and yourself. not set to 1.
Your thoughts and beliefs determine your behavior.
95% of your thoughts are unconscious.
So you can try to make changes with those 5% conscious thoughts or you can start a process to address (part of) your unconscious beliefs.
Calculate where the profit is 😉
And entering into that process to investigate and address this, you can do yourself, but even if you are very good at self-reflection, you will not quickly find all your unconscious beliefs. You will always have blind spots.
So my advice is always to seek help with this, from a coach or someone else who specializes in this. I do that myself when I find something really important. Then I invest in a coach who can help me further, who knows how to pierce through me and give me a loving but confrontational mirror can hold and help me through the process.
I need that and I think you do too.
Make sure your good intentions don’t stay with good intentions
Your relationship with food doesn’t have to be a struggle, there isn’t a switch you can flip for good and you don’t need ‘just a little more willpower’. You’re not going to save it all.
What you do have to do:
- Investigate WHY it doesn’t work yet.
- What beliefs, mindset and story do you still live by?
- What do you believe about food, yourself and life that holds you back?
- How do those beliefs influence your (eating) behavior?
- So what do you have to tackle from the inside?
Research. Become aware. Be curious about what you are allowed to learn.
THAT is the process you can go into. In this way, good intentions can really become a new ‘way of life’ step by step.
So what can you let go of that no longer serves you?
Who can you BE to create that great relationship with food?
“Yes, I should be able to do that myself”
And maybe that is someone who no longer keeps saying “yes, I should be able to do that myself”, but who is ready to ask for help? Who could use a loving and confrontational mirror? And who is willing to go through the research and process of having a great relationship with food and herself?
If so, I would love to make 30 minutes of my time available for you to see together what you need to turn good intentions into a new way of life and a great relationship with food. You can request your free breakthrough session here.
For now I wish you a mega beautiful, healthy and loving year full of growth and beautiful learning moments 😉