Intentions in Every Day Life

 | 16 Comments  | Health

IntensionsInEveryDayLife

 

Has this ever happened to you?

You wake up and, even though you got a good night’s sleep last night, you feel tired and draggy. You move through your day feeling grumpy and fuzzy-headed. You’re both impatient and annoyed with most people you encounter and don’t feel any energy or drive. After a long, generally unproductive day of work, you realize that you should probably work out when you get home because it’s been 2 or 3 days since you last broke a sweat AND you haven’t really been sticking to your diet. You flip unhappily through the workouts but nothing sounds good. Should you get dressed and go for a run? Ugh, that sounds horrible! Maybe you’ll just call it a wash and have a glass of wine while you binge watch your favorite show. Feeling totally depleted and slightly buzzed from the wine you had on an empty stomach, cooking seems out of the question. Instead, you microwave a freezer burned Hot Pocket and dread all the responsibilities you avoided today that tomorrow will bring with it…

Energy slumps and bad moods can happen to anyone. I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience to the one above. Some days just feel harder than others. But sometimes a slump can turn into a downward slide and your long-term health and well-being can seriously suffer. It can take a lot of time and effort to get healthy again once you fall into bad habits. But I refuse to let my moods and hormones dictate how productive, mindful, and healthful I plan to be each and every day.

I’m feeling especially motivated lately because of what I’m learning from Integrative Nutrition, a training program for Health Coaches. I’m super excited to share some of my favorite lessons with you. And today I want to talk about how important intentions and goals are in your every day life and long-term health, including avoiding scenarios like the one above.

So, what are intentions? Intention is basically just another word for a plan. Do you have clear plans? Do you have an idea of how you want your life to look and work? If not, or if your plan is a little unfocused, try answering the questions below to help sharply define your goals and how you want to achieve them. Once you answer the questions, we can talk more about how you can use your intentions to have a happier, healthier, more productive life.

1. Why am I working out in the ZGYM?

2. Why am I trying to eat well and use recipes from this website?

3. How do I want to look/feel/behave?

4. How do I want to treat others?

5. What do I want to accomplish in my work life?

6. How do I want my home/family life to look?

7. If I could accomplish my goals, how do I see myself changing? What does the “new me” look like?

Actually write down answers to all these questions and/or any other questions that apply to your particular circumstances. Then, using what you’ve written, try bringing all your ideas together to form clear goals. Number and list each goal neatly. Type it up and print several copies.

For example, if your answer to question one is this: I’m working out in the ZGYM because I want to lose 10 pounds of fat and gain some muscle. I want to lose 10 pounds of fat because I will feel better about myself, gain confidence, and have more energy.

That is your intention. To make it into a goal you could try listing it like this:

Goal 1: To feel better about myself, gain confidence, and have more energy.

Now it’s time to put those intentions and goals into practice. Whenever you face a choice or decision, be it tiny or huge, ask yourself, does what I choose honor my intentions? Does it move me closer to achieving my goals?

Now, let’s consider the scenario at the top of this article. When that person is rude to people at her office, would that help her to feel better about herself, gain confidence, and have more energy? Absolutely not. We always feel better about ourselves when we are kind and considerate of others. What about when she got home and was deciding whether or not she should exercise? Would skipping her workout get her closer to feeling better about herself, gaining confidence, or having more energy? Again, obviously not. Maybe looking at her goal list would help her to go ahead and work out, even though she didn’t feel like it. Once she put in the effort to exercise she might be more likely to fix herself a healthy dinner and go to bed feeling less stressed and proud that she made the effort even though she had a not-so-great day. And those choices DO get her closer to those goals! Whether or not she loses those 10 pounds, she will feel better about herself, more confident, and have more energy.

Having clear intentions and goals takes the stress of dithering out of our lives. It pushes us toward living a more mindful, more fulfilling, more productive, and less wasteful life.

Did you try the exercise? Was it helpful to you? If you’re comfortable doing so, I would love it if you would share some of your intention and/or goals in the comments section below. I always find this kind of sharing so inspirational.

 

 

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Comments



16 comments on “Intentions in Every Day Life”

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    Private

    Private  |  Minsk, Belarus

    That’s what I needed. I should make an effort to start exercising. But I know it’s the point which gives me energy. I’ll more happy, motivated to continue doing something with my work life… How I start to exercise: I know it’s only 15-20 minutes (thank you, Zuzka!), I imagine how I will feel, or I try less thinking about it and I just start my workout (and than I feel that I can do more and more workouts 🙂 )!
    I feel so disordered recently.. I hope it’ll pass away.

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      Private

      Private  |  Hanover, Pa, USA

      I feel the same way, that the briefness of the workouts help my motivation on days where I would struggle with the choice.

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    Private

    Private  |  Case Pilote, Martinique

    Wow, that’s a difficult exercise as it brings awareness. I’m all puzzled now because of my answers. And I don’t know what to do with one of them. It seems like I have a lot of work to do in my life right now. I’m glad I’ve started to workout with you in 2010 (when I saw your videos for the first time in youtube) and now I can say my life has improved a lot just thanks to that. I’ve accomplished so many things I thought I wasn’t capable of by only doing your workouts and listening to your coffe talks… I know I can accomplish so much more now!
    Writing down my intentions is like discovering big mountains that I’m not prepared to climb. I know it will be hard but I’ll do everything I can to get on top. I like this sentence in french “A coeur vaillant rien d’impossible”.
    And thanks to you I know it’s possible.
    You’re such an inspiration.
    Thank you Zuzka. 🙂

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    Private

    Private  | 

    Zuzka you always inspire me in wonderful and different ways! What I gained most from this article and challenge is actually quite different than the intention- I gained information about a new potential life goal in health coaching! I have always sincerely loved helping people, and have been a kickboxing instructor, to health insurance representative to even now a bar manager at a nice restaurant (which bartenders almost play a role as a psychiatrist in some ways, listening well and offering solace to most). I had no idea about the idea of a health coach, but after reading I went to the site you linked and requested information. Who knows Zuzka? You may have inspired another like-minded, positive, health and fitness oriented person to a new and exciting intention- to help others in profoundly positive ways in a new career! If you end up creating retreats I promise to be there, and if I complete my program and you need assistance I’d volunteer to help you in anyway I can! It’d be the least I can do for you, you’ve been my inspiration and positive motivation since 2011! Congratulations Zuzka, you deserve all the happiness and joy and I wish you and Jesse a beautiful future together!

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    Private

    Private  |  Minnesota, USA

    I had been in slump mode for two years before forcing myself to join the ZGym. After a few months of dragging myself through the workouts, some things improved. Eventually I got enough motivation to change my diet as well. I still have many slump days due to my life situation that can’t be changed yet due to outside factors, but I am now able to get myself to exercise and eat healthy daily, regardless.

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      Private

      Private  |  San Diego, CA, USA

      Hi Jenn, I’m in the same situation as you. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone 🙂 I could have written that exact comment about myself. Very thankful for the ZGym.

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    Private

    Private  |  Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA

    I work out and try to eat right because my intention is to build a routine (slip in a lifestyle, if you want) so that I can be fit and HEALTHY, both physically and mentally, throughout my entire life. So that I don’t have to deal with diabetes, high blood pressure, trombosis and other diseases like these three when I’m older. So that I am able to deal with any emotional challenge without falling apart. So that I can be HAPPY with myself and can project this feeling to my behavior towards other people. I love working out and eating right, because I can see the results and it’s so inspirational.

    Let’s keep it up, my dear z-gym fellows, let’s make ourselves feel amazing and make the world a better place 🙂

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      Private

      Private  |  FL, USA

      Nikola, you said something that really resonated with me: “Let’s make ourselves feel amazing and make the world a better place.” It occurs to me that part of what I love about Zgym is the feeling of empowerment it gives me. And when I feel empowered, I can apply that attitude to helping others feel empowered. I get many benefits from working out with Z, but it’s that feeling of empowerment that really keeps me coming back. And it’s that same feeling of empowerment that enables me to do my part to make the world a better place.

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    Private

    Private  |  Perth, WA, Australia

    I find being aware of what triggers your motivation and de-motivation is the biggest help to maintaining momentum.

    I have long found that my biggest motivator to workout is to develop new movement skills. The variety in the ZGYM and feeling like I am moving towards a bigger goal is what I thrive off. I also am aware of things that de-motivate me (e.g., lack of sleep, dehydration, over-committing to work).

    I can then look at what triggers my motivation/de-motivation. For me this includes browsing on my phone = less sleep; planning my workout the day before and seeing what skill I could learn = more motivated to workout in morning; topping my water bottle up once empty = drink more water + more energy. Being aware of what triggers my motivation/de-motivation helps me to identify opportunities and warning signs to change what I am doing before it hits, or prevent energy slumps from rolling on longer. 😉

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      Private

      Private  |  Birmingham, UK

      You’re right about browsing on the phone.. I lose so much sleep due to that, but keep doing it! Its so tempting when the phone is close by, as it serves as my alarm clock too…

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        Private

        Private  |  FL, USA

        Same. I had to stop sleeping with my phone near me. Just having it nearby keeps me in alert mode–even if I manage to put the phone down, I still have that urge to check email or FB notifications.

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      Private

      Private  | 

      Love love love your comment. Couldn’t quit put it in words, when I talked to people. I always just said, that I love how it makes me feel in my body, not in terms of body confidence but in terms of being free to move. Like really just having mobilty and ability. But the way you put it, is really it. Those movement skills, the excitement with seeing you just moved that little bit further than the last time, the form was better or you just felt that switch from “hm, it’s supposed to be something like that” to “oh, oh, I think I just really got it, that felt right”.

      Also the thing about the motivation and demotivation, though I’m nowhere as clear about the spcific factors as you are. I mean I know that feeling overwhelmed with all my commitments is one thing, but being I guess underwhelmed makes me feel like crap too, like I’m not living up to my full potential. Just havn’t found that sweet spot of just right yet.
      Well anyways, sorry for rambling. Your comment just really resonated with me. 🙂

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    Private  | 

    Hi Zuzka,

    First of all I’d like to congratulate you and Jesse on your engagement. All the best to you both. My intention for working out and eating healthy is simple. Longevity. I am 51 years old and I can honestly say that I am fitter and healthier than I ever was. I am currently going through menopause and was so scared that as I often heard the weight will increase and it will be difficult to lose. Well I am here to say that it is if you don’t tweak your diet and increase your daily movement. I am at my best weight and fat percentage. I am extremely active and exercise daily. I have a goal in life to make it to the triple digits. It doesn’t go without saying that I have days when I feel achy and sluggish, but I push myself and get the job done. I have a beautiful family and would like to someday be that Grandmother who can travel and play with her grandchildren. I also want to have enough energy to enjoy traveling with my husband. I love this community you have created in ZGYM. Looking forward to your nutritional book. Take care.

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    Private

    Private  |  Vancouver, BC, Canada

    I’ve totally been in a slump lately. Have only been working out 3 days a week and I get so frustrated with myself. I let things like, not being in my own home due to a renovation, work, 3 kids and their activities, a husband who works long days, and low iron all the time, deter me from my fitness goals. Lately its been so hard to motivate myself to really put the extra effort into eating well also. Its all about just getting food on the table fast so we can get out the door even faster! I know that this is my stage of life right now but I do believe that if I don’t put myself first I’ll crumble. So my goal is to get back on track of getting up at 4:30 to get my workout in and have time to make healthier eating choices by prepping ahead of time. Baby steps.

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    Private  | 

    I watched Zuzka’s videos on youtube for YEARS before actually trying them. I just thought I could never do her workouts. When the beginner series came out with the progress tracker THAT is what changed everything! I was not overwhelmed.. I was able to work out everyday, and felt as though I had my own personal trainer pushing/challenging me to keep me going. I have missed minimal days due to sickness but have been consistent with ZGYM for over a year now and I only wish I had started earlier. It is so much easier to stay in shape than to kill yourself trying to meet a deadline for an event.. and in less than 30 min a day. That is what truly surprised me the most. I can’t believe I wasted so much time doing long boring workouts to see very little results. This has been a life changer. Thank you so much Zuzka and congratulations on your engagement!!!

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    Private

    Private  | 

    This is so great. As a new mom there’s so much pressure from outside sources, whether you’re the type of person who is susceptible to that kind of pressure or not, to be “perfect” and do it all. Especially as a working mother. You can easily feel like you’re never doing enough, spending too much time on the laundry/dishes/cleaning/food prep and not enough time with your kids or spouse/partner or just enjoying the moment, let alone getting in a workout and enough sleep. Nevermind “getting your body back” and losing the weight from pregnancy. I love, and have loved for years, your approach and your workouts because it’s about quality of effort and doing your best each day. I think if we all concentrated a little more on being kind to ourselves and one another, and appreciating the little things, we’d all be happier and ultimately healthier people. I’m really excited to do this exercise and to starting to move my body in whatever capacity my life allows.
    Congrats on the engagement, by the way! Wishing you and Jesse much happiness together. 🙂

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