A Better New Year’s Resolution

Many people start the new year making resolutions for themselves, but how many of those people keep those resolutions. Most of the time resolutions are vague or maybe too ambitious. I think creating resolutions is a great idea, despite the negative connotation of always being broken that they may carry. However, as a counselor I’m not opposed to the idea. I am constantly teaching clients to make goals for themselves in order to provide a direction in life, create a sense of purpose, and provider hope for the future. Here are a few tips I use to keep to my resolutions:

  1. Keep it specific. “Getting healthy” can be defined in several ways, maybe start with the goals of “increasing exercise.”
  2. From there, keep it attainable and realistic. Is going to the gym daily actually realistic? Probably not. What happens when you get sick, stay late for work, or even want to make plans with friends? Start with a smaller goal of attending the gym 4 times per week.
  3. Keep track of your goals and use this to keep yourself accountable. For the goal of attending the gym 4-5 times per week, consider creating a calendar to track the days you do attend. There are apps available including GoalMap or Goaltracker to help keep track and receive reminders about your goals.
  4. Recruit a friend. It’s always easier to stay on track with your goals when you have someone motivating you along the way.
  5. Don’t be afraid to revise your goals. If your goal isn’t working for you or is becoming hard to attain, consider tweaking the goal. Maybe your goal has is working for you and you need a bigger challenge. Whatever the case may be, revising goals is certainly part of the process.
  6. Keep your eyes on the big picture. Remind yourself what your goals means for the long-term of your life. Going to the gym may mean a longer life to spend with your kids or grandkids.

Written by: Kristina Zufall, M.Ed., LPC-Intern