Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
Most of us feel excited about each new year. This is particularly true for 2023 as many are still trying to put the depression and anxiety of the pandemic behind us. Thankfully, we can each make our own choices about how we live our next 12 months, just like we can at any time in our lives. As a fresh start to January, one of the most popular methods to achieve life change is to set New Year's resolutions.
Most New Year's resolutions target aspects of our lives that we seek to improve, such as by losing weight, maintaining a healthier diet or quitting smoking. Annual personal pledges typically focus on physical, psychological, emotional, social or intellectual growth. Unfortunately, many resolutions are forgotten within the first weeks of the year. But you can enjoy greater success in keeping your promises for self-improvement by following some of the tips, below.
1. Set SMART Goals
SMART goals are concrete objectives. They meet these five criteria:
Instead of setting an ambiguous goal like, "I will lose weight in 2023," be more specific. A SMART goal for weight loss may be, "I will lose at least two pounds in each month of 2023 by following a healthy diet and exercise routine." Being this specific in your goal-setting helps you see your objective more clearly and keeps you accountable. Also, by setting an achievable goal of "two pounds per month," you can easily lose 24 pounds without feeling overwhelmed. It is far less intimidating and defeating than saying, "I will lose 24 pounds this year."
2. Focus on Just a Few New Year's Resolutions
While it feels tempting to set multiple New Year's resolutions, it is more productive to focus on just one or a few. Otherwise, you spread yourself too thinly. Having one goal to aim for, and eventually achieve, can help you feel more self-confident. If you set a large goal for yourself, break it up into smaller objectives to achieve like stepping stones.
3. Document Your Plan
If you write down your goal and create a roadmap to achieve it, you are more likely to see it through. You should also plan for setbacks or challenges by preparing yourself with motivational tactics to push through the hard times. First, specify your goal in writing. Next, outline the steps to achieve it. Finally, brainstorm the hurdles you may face and how you can overcome each one. Continue your documentation throughout your efforts by journaling as you go.
4. Go Easy on Yourself
If you are like most people, your New Year's resolutions relate to bad habits or unhealthy aspects of your lifestyle. These unhealthy traits did not just pop up overnight. They probably formed over years or even your entire lifetime. For this reason, you should never expect to eradicate them quickly. Doing so will require patience, fortitude and practice. In fact, you may not even achieve your goal by the end of 2023. Be patient with yourself and strive to take consistent steps over a lengthy time, versus one or two giant leaps that you cannot maintain.
5. Enlist the Support You Need
Achieving something as part of a team is generally much easier than doing so alone. For your New Year's resolutions, you will likely find your goals easier to reach with a support system behind you. Pair up with a good friend or enlist your therapist's help to keep yourself accountable and motivated. Having this support also helps you stop and celebrate your achievements, something too few of us do on our own.
Work with a Raleigh Therapist to Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions
If you are ready to enact real change in your life in 2023, look beyond simple New Year's resolutions and work with a therapist to chart a course of self-improvement. The caring counselors of Greene Psychology Group in Raleigh can help you identify aspects of your life you wish to change and help you maintain focus throughout your journey. Our therapists accept in-person appointments within our Raleigh, NC office. We also provide teletherapy over the internet for individuals, couples and families throughout North Carolina. Call Greene Psychology Group today at 919-205-5339 for scheduling.