As we enter into a new year, many of us look to set resolutions for change. And even in spite of the very mixed track record of New Year’s resolutions working, we make them again and again, somehow hoping this time will be different.

Often, they fall by the wayside very early into a new year. We tend to underestimate just how long it takes to change a bad habit into a good practice for change.

It can take time and discipline, and if we don’t change our mindset, all the thought and intention of making change often doesn’t ensue.

We also often make a habit of writing big lists of all the things we would like to change, and then get overwhelmed by the sheer size of the list, and all the things we need to make them happen.

Setting intentions can be a more realistic way of enacting positive changes in our lives. Intentions that are weekly, monthly or six-monthly can be a better way to reach a long-term goal.

So perhaps instead of setting a goal to reduce stress for the new year, why not set an intention to add in meditation for 10 mins a day, two times a week.

It doesn’t sound like a big commitment, but hopefully it’s an achievable one. Once you’ve mastered 10mins a day for two days a week, you can add something else to help reduce your stress further.

Setting an intention is about starting small and looking for daily, small changes you can make.

If your goal is to lose weight for example in 2020, instead of a resolution of getting to the gym five days a week at 6 am, why not set the intention to up your water intake daily by one glass, and to swap chips for nuts.

Write these intentions down in a diary or planner and try to stick to them. Once you master one goal, add another one, etc.

The sum of small changes can lead to significant change over time.

And as with any intention, be flexible, be forgiving to yourself if you don’t always achieve your goals, and be willing to keep going until you see results.

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2020.