by Modeloe

Use Implementation Intentions

September 2, 2016

Part of the reason people never get back on-track with their goals is explained by how their goal is set (i.e., is it specific enough?). Another part of the problem, however, is there’s no clear plan for acting on the goal.

An implementation intention is a mini action plan that’s been scientifically proven to help you follow through on your goals. In one study, for example, women who wrote down an implementation intention specifying when and where they would conduct a breast self-examination did so 100% of the time. On the other hand, women who failed to create such a plan did so only 53% of the time.

An implementation intention takes the form of an if-then statement – if situation X arises, I will perform behavior Y. So, following my example from above, you might write down you implementation intention as follows: “If it’s 7:00am on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, I will go to the gym, and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes.” Again, the key here is to be very specific.