A therapist’s guide to creating New Year’s resolutions that you can actually keep…

So often, the New Year brings with it new commitments, goals, and aspirations. It is a time of reflection and clarity. A time of new hope and reevaluation. But by the second week of January, many people tend to fall of track from their newly cemented plans. This is not for lack of trying or genuine effort, but a natural occurrence due to the way that intentions were set up from the start. 

To combat this common pattern, I suggest that you take a good, hard look at your resolutions and make sure that they meet these qualities: 

  1. Set realistic, balanced goals. So many people set themselves up for failure because their goals are unrealistic and unattainable. For example losing 60lbs in one month is not healthy nor likely. Choose goals that you are able to succeed at so that you set yourself up for success.
  2. Make sure that your goals are measurable so that you can track their progress to keep the momentum going. Whether it is via journaling, online, etc. create a method of tracking your progress. This helps keep stamina up when your feeling overwhelmed and reminds you of how far you have come as well as where you are going. It is also very helpful in creating accountability. 
  3. Be clear about what you would like to achieve and list the steps that it will take to get you there. Write down the steps to get to your goal and break them down in smaller pieces so that they are easier to manage. Remember, it’s not about the time it takes so long as you get to where you want to be going! 
  4. Have a support system in place for accountability. Ask a friend to work towards a goal together. Have a scheduled weekly check in with a partner or yourself to reevaluate and make changes as needed. There is nothing wrong with modifying your goals along the way either :) Change is healthy and you may have a different perspective once you have gotten midway. Social media can be a great way to declare your goals and intention setting plans with group accountability as well. 
  5. Maintain a gentle, loving attitude towards yourself at all times. If you fall off the horse, get right back on! We all have set backs along the way. Remember to treat yourself with love and let go of the judgement and criticism. You deserve understanding and patience. Besides, its about the journey not just the destination! 

Happy intention setting :)