I am an anti-resolutions therapist! So this one was difficult for me, but then again, I'm eager to provide guidance for folks striving to achieve meaningful personal goals in the upcoming year.
Let's shift the perspective on resolutions!
Rather than viewing them as rigid, short-term goals with fixed timelines, consider letting them serve as guiding lights for your entire year.
I firmly believe that setting goals for 30, 60, or 90 days can be somewhat impractical. After completing a 30-day wellness challenge or a dry January, what happens next? Do we revert to old habits, only to set the same resolution the following year? Managing expectations is key. If your goal involves long-term change, think of the initial 30 days as a launchpad. Use this time to identify triggers, understand the origins of habits, and recognize barriers to your resolution. Most importantly, outline strategies for sustainable, long-term success, even if it means seeking professional assistance.
Granting yourself grace throughout this process is crucial.
Habits don't form in 30 days, so acknowledge that creating and maintaining new habits takes time. I often discuss this with clients frustrated by slow progress. Self-improvement is a journey requiring consistent effort, patience, and self-forgiveness—rarely achievable in just 30 days. Foster success with positive self-talk, reminding yourself that the journey initiated in January may extend beyond that timeframe. Be kind to yourself, embracing the understanding that mistakes are part of the process. Don't linger on setbacks; instead, get back on track promptly.
Reflect on your readiness for a resolution.
While the new year typically prompts resolution-making, perhaps this year's challenges have left you feeling overwhelmed. If your plate remains full and stress levels are high as December ends, consider whether embarking on a new resolution is truly the best course. Adding another commitment might exacerbate stress and anxiety. Acknowledge the present's realities; it may not align with what you envisioned. Take the time to assess your current situation, allow space for truth, mourn unmet expectations if necessary, and respond accordingly. It's perfectly acceptable not to set a resolution every year.
Wishing you a Happy New Year!