Cary Psychologist Speaks to The People’s PharmacyDecember 6, 2016
Blending Reliance and DefianceMarch 15, 2017
The New Year is always so promising. Even though nothing immediately changes besides the date, it’s a symbolic transition. It’s a time to wipe the slate clean, to build on the previous year’s successes and learn from its failures. Without all that baggage, it seems like anything is possible.
And it is! But in the real world, keeping a New Year’s Resolution requires more than good vibes. It takes planning, hard work, and dedication. Here are some strategies to keep yourself focused way past New Year’s Day!
Keep It Simple
You may look into the New Year with the vision of a sweeping lifestyle change. That’s an admirable quest, for sure, but it also takes time! Instead, start small: what is something you can achieve soon?
Let’s take a popular resolution as an example: be healthier. Health encompasses many different areas: physical, mental, and social health. To make that goal more practical, you should boil it down to something small. “Be healthier” can start with “lose 10 pounds.”
Set (Realistic) Deadlines
While we’re on the topic of small victories, divide your goal into smaller goals. This gives you defined progress points to motivate you (whether you’re on schedule or behind!) It also gives you a strategy to achieve your goal so you aren’t rushing in blindly.
Let’s take our above resolution as an example. In order to start losing weight, you need to eat better and exercise. Your first goal for the year would be a regular exercise routine. The first step? Walk for 30 minutes 3 times per week and maybe you will be running three times per week by February 31st. By the end of March, you’d be down five pounds…and so it goes, ramping up gradually through the year. At the same time try adding one serving of vegetables and subtracting one serving of carbs to dinners nightly.
Find an Accountability Partner
Your friends likely have their own goals. Why not join forces? An accountability partner can do wonders for your morale, and keep you motivated during difficult phases of your resolution. You do the same for them!
For our hypothetical weight loss resolution, your accountability buddy would make a great workout partner. You could also agree to eat lunch twice a week, so that you can’t weasel out of a diet. Perhaps even write down each other’s exercise and eating habits and share them at the aforementioned lunches.
Be Kind to Yourself
The most important rule for any resolution is self-respect. You will probably screw something up, and there will be bumps in the road. But a self-defeating attitude will only perpetuate those difficulties and make future failures harder.
Sometimes, past hang-ups can keep us from moving forward. Therapy is an effective way to understand and overcome your obstacles. What better time to start than now? Contact Azevedo Family Psychology today and let’s make 2017 a year to remember!