The start of the new year provides us with an opportunity for reflection and introspection – allowing us to take a look back at the person we became over the last year and perhaps pinpoint some areas that could use improvement. New Year’s resolutions are something many people struggle with, or rather struggle to stick to once the new really gets going. Not being able to keep a resolution you set in January come March or April can be frustrating and even increase anxiety. However, it is important to remember that just because we’ve started yet another new year doesn’t mean we need to do a complete overhaul on ourselves. Give yourself a break and don’t put too much pressure to completely stop all your bad habits and become this ‘perfect’ idea of yourself.
The new year should be more about reflecting on your behavior’s over the last year and set an intention to make positive lifestyle changes that really benefit you. Instead of looking at is as a resolution and something that must be kept or you’ve failed, try changing your perspective and looking at it as an intention or a commitment to make some positive changes. Don’t be lofty in your goals or set unrealistic expectations for yourself – this is where we get into trouble as the year progresses. Be kind, be truthful, and start with a small intention that you can achieve without beating yourself up. We encourage you to approach this new year one step at a time and work towards becoming a better version of you. With all that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of a few ways you can stick to the intention or resolution you made this year:
● Start small – We’ve already mentioned this one, but the number one key to sticking to a resolution is to start small and take each day one step at a time. It is common for people to want to get healthy in the new year, whether that means exercising more or adopting a healthier diet. Regardless of what your intention is, start small and work your way up. Maybe try going to the gym 2-3 times a week at first, not 7, or consider replacing soda pop with sparkling water.
● Write it down – Another trick to sticking to a resolution you’ve made is to write it down somewhere you will see it on a daily basis. Maybe put a sticky note on your fridge or a note in your car to remind you of the goals you want to achieve this year. The more you see it, the better chance you will have of staying on track.
● Be realistic – One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they are going to be able to completely transform themselves just by setting a goal or intention. Be realistic about who you are, your hobbies, and your lifestyle. Your best chance at being successful is sticking to what you know and being realistic about the goals you can achieve this year.
● Be open – Talk about your intentions with your friends and family. Depending on what your resolution is, you may want to consider joining a support group or a group class where others can hold you accountable. Again, don’t be too hard on yourself and cut yourself some slack from time to time.
Resolutions, goals, intentions – whatever you choose to call them – are designed to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, so be nice to yourself and don’t get too down if you slip up. If you need help setting an intention or sticking to it, please do not hesitate to contact our Dallas counseling center.