Do you have any goals or intentions for this new year? One of my goals is to ‘live less out of habit and more out of intent’. Life seems to go so quickly, with days flying by before you realize that it is already the end of the year! Do you ever get the feeling ‘How did this happen?’ ‘How did I get this way?’ or ‘I really should have got into that routine ages ago!’ Setting specific goals is the first step in living a more attentive and conscious life. Living with intention allows you to get more of what you want out of everyday rather than just drifting through the months with little purpose or satisfaction.
‘Live Less Out of Habit & More Out of Intent’
Maintaining focus once you have set a goal or intention is also just as important. How many times have you set a new years resolution to see it fall by the wayside before the first of February comes around? If you have set a lifestyle resolution for this year I would recommend keeping a food journal. It doesn’t matter if your goal is weight loss, regular exercise, improved stress management, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption or healthier eating, regular journaling can help achieve your goals. Journalling about what you have consumed and how frequently you have been physically active can help focus your attention and keep you on the straight and narrow.
Food journals are one of the most useful tools I use in my practice for these 3 reasons:
I had a laugh with one of my clients the other day when I suggested he keep a journal, his immediate reaction was, ‘but that won’t be true to how I usually eat as I will eat better if I have to record it’ – and that’s exactly the point. Keeping a journal creates accountability, if you know you have to write down what you eat, drink or smoke you are far less likely to indulge in unnecessary drinks, snacks, extra helpings or cigarettes.
- Identify weak spots
Keeping a regular journal helps you reflect on our daily habits and identify lifestyle behaviours that you perhaps didn’t realize were occurring. Often your mind can trick you into believing you have consumed a lot less you than you actually have, or that you simply didn’t that snack or treat. A food journal provides a hard objective record that eliminates any guess work. A well-recorded journal improves your perception about what and how much you eat and this objective feedback can inspire change.
- Reference & Motivation
A food journal provides a hard reference that you can go back to on reflect upon. When my clients are faltering and losing motivation I suggest a little backward journey into how they were eating when they first started. Sometimes in the smallest changes – for example eliminating sugary drinks and reducing chocolate consumption – can make the biggest difference. Reflecting on how far you have come with these small changes can provide the motivation to keep going.
In short the act of writing and reflecting on what you have consumed helps you live the life that you want with more intention and mindfulness. If you are tech savvy there are plenty of food journal apps available, I personally prefer writing it on paper. If you sign up to the all Nourish newsletter you will receive a free 7day printable journal shown in the pictures. Our friends at Elephantshoe Design designed this especially for all Nourish. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Wishing you a year lived with intention and purpose.