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Where do we need some Implementation Intentions?

This question is transformational in the fact that it is so much about achievement.

I’m sure there are many reasons one can think of that distinguish those who achieve their goals from those who don’t. A most common factor however could be that some people follow through with their intentions, whereas others don’t. 
So what is the difference between these groups? Well, some implement a system to achieve their goals.

The word Implementation Intentions comes from James Clears book Atomic Habits. It is a particularly wonderful phrase because both those words are powerful in their own right. 


Where do we need implementation intentions
Intentions are things we all have. But when we implement a routine that declares our intention, we might find that we are more likely to follow through with them.

Examples of some broader life intentions could be:

Example of more specific life intentions could be:

Whilst intentions are so needed, sometimes we set them but then lack what we call the Implementation of them. 

We all know the frustration that can come from intentions that don’t render actions, and this is the  danger – that we might end up not doing anything.
If there isn’t a strategy, we don’t know exactly how we’re going to attempt it. 

James Clear speaks in his book Atomic Habits about research done on three groups, in attempt to increase their regular exercises: 
In the study, Group 1 were simply told to go exercise regularly. 
Group 2 received motivational information and health information before hand. 
Group 3 were told to implement a schedule of where, when and how they will do it. 

Group 3 was way ahead. 90% of the group exercised by the end of the time frame.
What’s most interesting is that there was only a small difference between group 1 & 2, both gaining a success ratio of only 30%.

The huge difference was in the simple making of a schedule.  

Motivation is great, but it might only last a moment. We all want to live healthily, for example, but how many of us are still doing things that we know isn’t good for our health?

James Clear provides a formula in his book for Implementation Intention:

I will: (Behaviour)
At/On: (Where/what day)
When: (Time)

An example could be: I will write a page of my book, on Friday, at 2pm.

We might not get it right every time. But the chances are increased drastically. 

So often, for reasons unbeknown to us, some things simply remain as good intentions. And for most of us, deep inside we really do want to fulfill that intention. Because the implementation intention is so simple, it creates a powerful attribute towards us achieving our goals: momentum.
When we show up on day one, we’re more likely to show up on day 2.
That is the power of implementation intention: it creates forward movement. 


This question has good news and bad news.
The good news is that most of us are really authentic with our intentions and really do desire to fulfill them.
The bad news is that without the strategy, the step that moves us forwards, we likely won’t achieve it.
More good news however, is that if you create the implementation intention and apply the formula to your life, you may just find yourself achieving things you thought out of your comfort zone entirely.

May you enjoy brewing on this very good question, and may you move into the direction of your dreams, desires and intentions.

Gabriella Leigh Ivey 

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