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In the Name of God بسم الله

Implementation Intentions

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One of the reasons why people are not always able to translate their intentions into actions is that they haven't made a precise plan as to when, where and how they will implement their intention. For example, I may intend or be motivated to eat extra fruit and vegetables, but if i don't make a plan as to how to do so in advance, I will be less likely to carry out my intended behaviour. A strategy that can bridge the gap between motivation/intention (pre-doing) and behaviour (doing) is the Implementation Intention (II) in the form of 'If-then' plans. You link the 'If' (a situational cue) with the 'Then' (a response to that cue). An example of an If-then plan or an II would be:


If: it is 8 am on Monday morning. (Situation)

Then: I will start writing my essay (Action/response)

To:  be able to finish it before the deadline (Goal)



It is not a goal intention where I may just say "I intend to eat extra fruit and vegetables".


Of course there are some barriers to this strategy, such as forgetting or getting distracted. However, research suggests that implementation intentions increase a person's commitment to their decision as well as their likelihood of carrying out the intended action, and therefore fulfilling their goal. It works for reducing procrastination too!




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