Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.
That’s it! I’m done putting all of my faith into a New Year’s resolution. I think I’ll just come to terms with the fact that my resolutions will never come to fruition. Five years ago, I told myself I’d lose 50 pounds by summer 2015. Then I swore I’d do a better job of saving money in 2016. In 2017, I promised myself that I’d reconnect with old friends and keep those friendships strong. Then I resolved to keep my social media use at a minimum in 2018. Finally, I decided that I wanted to quit drinking in 2019. I failed each year due to various reasons. I guess I either need to take a step back and look at what I’m doing wrong or seek the help of a professional who’s good at coaching people in maintaining their goals.
Every January 1st, countless people resolve to accomplish a goal by the end of the year, and many, if not most, fail. In fact, according to a University of Scranton study, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. It almost seems as if New Year’s resolutions are meant to be broken! Maybe you’ve been there, too? Our team of licensed psychologists and therapists in Tampa would like to offer a few helpful tips.
Start with Something Manageable
Unreasonable goals go hand-in-hand with New Year’s resolutions. For example, instead of dropping 50 pounds by spring, why not set a more realistic goal of dropping five pounds a month? Alternatively, you could set a January goal to avoid one particular type of food that you know is unhealthy.
By setting realistic goals, you make it much more manageable to achieve them. You may feel like you’re not doing as much as you’d like, but it could really mean the difference between tapping out of your goal by February and looking at that new body you’ve sculpted by the end of the year!
Set Some Priorities
For some, a new year means wanting to take on as many challenges as possible. After all, you have an entire year to complete them, right? Like we mentioned before, you may want to lose a few pounds, stop smoking, or set your finances in order. We recommend not taking so many goals on at the same time.
If you decide to stop smoking first, you’ll need incredible effort and time to get used to your new nicotine-free life. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, it’ll be time to move onto the next goal! And if it takes you all year to accomplish one goal, that’s okay!
Remain Focused on What You Want
You may find yourself being lured away from your resolution by other time-consuming and/or rewardless activities like:
- Having multiple resolutions on your plate (as previously discussed).
- Needing to deal with unrelated personal or professional issues.
- Spending too much time with television, social media, or Internet surfing.
We understand that plenty of things in life require attention, but if you feel as if some unimportant activities are steering you away from your goals, then it’s in your best interest to weed out or replace them.
For instance, if you feel like binging on Netflix, spend that time listening to a podcast focusing on motivation or go out for a walk. This will ensure that you stay on the right path while giving you a sense of accomplishment.
At Rice Psychology Group, we recommend making your resolutions as specific as possible. Simply saying that you want to get your finances in order or build new friendships is way too broad. After all, how will you buy that vehicle, and exactly how will you make new friends? You can start by saving a certain amount each week to be used for your purchase or you can volunteer at a food bank each weekend where you can meet new people.
Know When to Start
On the topic of being specific, we recommend choosing a clear time to begin working on your resolution. Pick out a certain day of the week to tackle your goal and be adamant about going through with it. For example, if your goal is to meet new people, you may want to start on a Saturday at a library, dog park, or your place of worship.
We’re Ready to Help in Tampa!
The New Year is often synonymous with new beginnings. At Rice Psychology Group, we want to help you stay on the path towards completing your goals. We’re here to listen, provide advice, and give you a gentle nudge in the right direction if need be. Contact us today for more information about our services.