implementation intentionsWhat is an “implementation intention?”

Simple–a behavioral rule that states, “If x, then y.”  You make the rule.  The x variable should be a situation, location, or behavior you anticipate encountering.  The y variable is the behavioral response you choose.  For example, “Today, if I am (x) hungry between meals, I will (y) eat an apple.”

If you need an easy goal, set an implementation intention just for today.


“For today, if I haven’t exercised by 9:00 pm, I will do 5 minutes of stretching.”

“For today, if I get stuck in traffic, I will take three deep breaths and do a few neck stretches.”

If you’re feeling ambitious, you may want to set a longer term implementation intention that builds toward your Keystone Habit.


“I want to lose weight and have a healthier diet.  So, when I’m at work, I will snack only on fruit or veggies.”

“I want to handle stress better.  So, when I feel rushed, I will take 3 deep breaths.”

“I want to be more patient.  So, when I’m waiting in a long line, I will focus on something for which I’m grateful.”

What is your implementation intention?