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6 Ways to Keep Your New Year Intentions

December 31, 2015


It’s common to set unrealistic expectations for the new year and step away from new year intentions before the year begins.

This year, commit to starting small, staying positive and inviting awareness into your life so that your intentions come into fruition.

Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and life coach wrote a list for U.S. News of ways to keep your intentions strong this year.

6 Ways to Keep Your New Year Intentions

1. Think small.

Begin with small successes. Take a look at the habits that are holding you back in life. Find one that’s simple, like, “When I finish this meal, I’m going to wash my dish.” Make a contract with yourself that that dish must be washed. No ifs, ands or buts! Throughout the day, find simple challenges that you make happen.

2. Build self-trust.

Once you get used to making small things happen, begin to recognize and embrace the truth: What I say to myself is what I do. Remember, to cultivate a capacity for self-trust, you must succeed. In order to guarantee success, don’t challenge yourself with a pledge that you’re not sure you can handle. If, for example, you’re not sure you’ll stick with going to the gym five times a week, then don’t promise yourself. Better to do the best you can than to fall short and wind up jeopardizing your growing capacity for believing in yourself. When it comes to building trust, it’s better to lose the battle than the war.

3. Invent challenges.

Invent various challenges throughout the day to strengthen your ability to believe and to do. Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate; make yourself finish your paperwork before turning on the TV; decide not to spend too much at the mall. These are all trust-muscle builders, and you should view them as you would an actual muscle. Just as you would do repetitions at the gym to develop a muscle, so too must you get your reps in each day. Like a muscle, the more you workout, the more your capacity for personal success will grow.

4. Cultivate optimism.

No one’s life is without negatives. The key is to train yourself to focus on the positives. Don’t let insecurity suggest there are no positives. Positives may be eclipsed by a habit of pessimistic negativity, but keep looking: They’re there. If you’re a whiner or a complainer, make a determination to stop whining and complaining (to yourself and others). Pessimists are so used to being negative that they don’t realize it’s a habit. And they don’t realize it’s a choice.

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What’s your intention for 2016?

YOGASCAPES’ retreats are designed to help foster your intentions year-round. 

A clinical psychologist in private practice for almost four decades, Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D., is also the author of the international best-selling Self-Coaching series, which has been translated into 10 different languages. An in-demand speaker and expert, Dr. Joe is featured frequently in major media, including MSNBC, CNBC, Hallmark Channel, Discovery Channel, NPR, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Fitness, Health, Shape, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Dr. Joe resides in New Jersey with his wife of 44 years and, in his spare time, is an amateur paleontologist, astronomer, marathon runner, and practices yoga and meditation. Thin From Within will be released on January 1, 2016, and available in both paperback ($16.95) and e-book ($12.95) formats via Amazon. Learn more about Dr. Joe at and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.