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OK – the clock is running out. The holidays were almost a month ago. Are your 2016 plans set?

In the January series, Buy The Ticket, Take the Ride, we’re discussing setting powerful intentions. But what do you do when you have so many ideas that you don’t know where to start? How do you get back on track?

Choose three things.

In our zeal to get started, sometimes we get too far ahead of ourselves. It’s tempting to dream about the knockout successes we’ll accomplish by December. However, getting clear about what happens day after day is even more important – it puts structure around your intentions. Organizer Julie Morgenstern tweeted, “When you operate from a clear vision, you can see the gift in each experience, how it weaves into the fabric of the journey.”

Geoff Teehan chose three actions last Fall. Geoff began a yoga practice in September 2015. At best, he hoped to get back in shape. What he didn’t anticipate was the ripple effect it would have on the rest of his life.

His insights about the Geoff before yoga read like a greatest hits of reasons why intentions fail and the self-talk that goes along with them:

  • People wouldn’t know this, but he doesn’t look after himself nearly as well as he should – it just sort of crept up on him. Because you know, life gets busy, and there’s always tomorrow, and then maybe tomorrow, again.
  • He doesn’t exercise for health or well being. It comes pretty easy to him, so why make an effort?
  • He loves to cook, but eats poorly when he’s out, which is often.
  • Resting can be annoying. It makes him think: Is he setting things up for success? Was he good enough in that meeting today? Did he make everyone happy enough?
  • He floats through life just fine with a lot of success and external validation just for sticking his toe in the water…He could be doing so much more.

The three actions Geoff took didn’t seem earth-shattering at the time. First, try yoga. Second, switch up his routine so he could go on a daily basis. Third, shift the orientation from a wellness experiment to a true practice. Sixty days later, he was a new man.

As he looked back on his pre-yoga lifestyle, Geoff wrote, “But unlike work, where I do it in a mindful, creative, deliberate way, I obfuscated my coherent, authentic self.” Now he says, “I didn’t change – I sloughed off the things that changed me, and it revealed more of what makes me who I am.”

This is the week to replace feeling scattered or overwhelmed with progress. Skip the urge to fill up your new organizer app with 100 tasks. Instead, choose just three things you can do, even if they seem ordinary. You might want to use NBA superstar Blake Griffin as your style icon and follow his advice to “fall in love with the process of becoming great.” If you’re in love with the process, constantly supporting your intentions is easy.

Taking the ride means taking action. Keep your eyes peeled for the gifts along the way.