It is that time of the year again when many people set New Year’s resolutions.
If you are like the vast majority of the population, you set resolutions at the beginning of the new year and within a few months, they are thrown to the side and forgotten. There are a few reasons for this. One, a resolution is “to make an absolute decision to do or not to do something.” The issue here is that you are telling yourself you WILL or WILL NOT do something and the first time, or even the second time you fall short of this it seems like too much, and the idea is abandoned. Additionally, it implies the need for instant change. Change in and of itself is terrifying and most people shy away from it. It is uncomfortable and there are many unknowns with change, which gives more reason to abandon these resolutions.
A better way to approach the New Year is not to set resolutions, but rather set goals.
Goals are things that you can miss the mark on here and there but still make progress. You can alter goals as needed and they can be formulated to fit the changes you wish to see and be unique to you. As you head into the New Year you face enough stress and challenges as it is, there is no benefit in adding additional stress by putting yourself in a position to “absolutely” do something with little fluidity allowed. Here are some top tips to make sure that you head into 2023 prepared and ready to make the changes you wish to see in your life.
Do something scary or challenging.
One of your goals in the new year should be something that either scares you or challenges you. Fear is subjective. For some, it may be skydiving, for others, it may be leaving a job they hate, and for others, it may be ending a bad habit. When it comes to you and your personal experience choose something that will push you beyond your comfort zone. This is where true growth comes from. It may even be something small that you think is irrelevant. But if it is challenging to you that is all that matters.
Set short, mid, and long-term goals.
Short-term goals are those that can be accomplished within 3-4 months. These might include things such as ending a bad habit, developing a healthier lifestyle, being more mindful, or engaging in self-care. Mid-range goals are goals that take 5-8 months. These are things that might include entering a race, reaching a goal weight, going back to school, paying off certain debts, or beginning a new job. Long-term goals are those goals that are 12 months or longer. These generally include major life goals such as starting a new business.
Utilize SMART Goals
Setting goals is the first step but without a plan, they are no more likely to be accomplished as a resolution. You can use these for your short, mid, and long-term goals and it is suggested to utilize this with each and every goal. SMART is an anagram that stands for Specific, Measurable, Accountability, Realistic, and Timely.
Your goal needs to be as specific as possible so that you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish. For example, “Be healthier” is not a specific goal. “Healthy” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Whereas, reducing stress, working on my mental, emotional, and spiritual health, or walking 10,000 steps a day are more specific goals. These goals are also measurable.
You should have a method by which you can measure the progress made on your goals. If your goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day then having some sort of step tracker and monitoring the steps each day or each week is a good way to measure. If you want to reduce stress then keeping a journal to track how your stress levels are throughout the week is a good way to measure it.
When setting forth on a goal it is important to have some form of accountability in place. This may be telling a loved one or a friend about your goal or even asking them to join you. It may be posting your goals on social media and posting updates. This way there is accountability in place so that you stick with the goals you have set. Even working is a life coach or a counselor from True You Always Counseling can be a form of accountability. Their life coaches can work with anyone in the United States and the counselors are able to help anyone in Florida.
The goal must be realistic. If the goal is to work on limiting stress or anxiety then a goal of “being stress-free” is not realistic in any time frame. There will always be stress. However, “building resilience” or “coping with stress in a healthy and effective way” are both much more realistic. If your goal is to partake in a race “finishing the race” is more realistic than “winning the race.” If you set goals that are not realistic you will feel overwhelmed and not be able to celebrate the progress you did make in your goal.
Having a deadline is important as it is another form of accountability but also helps keep you oriented on the goal. If your goal is to improve mindfulness then perhaps you set the goal for February or March to allow yourself time to find a life coach, therapist, or meditation group and create the new habits that go into living a more mindful life.
Show yourself grace
As mentioned before, one of the reasons resolutions often fail is due to the absoluteness implied by a resolution. If you fall short of the resolution a time or two you feel as though you have failed and therefore giving up becomes much easier. However, allowing yourself the grace to find your footing in making these changes, knowing that consistency overcomes perfection, and giving yourself permission to be fluid rather than rigid can help you keep on track with the goals you set.
Celebrate your victories
If your goal is to become more mindful and you find yourself still thinking about the past or future at times that is okay. Celebrate moments you notice you are being present. Celebrate moments you practice mindfulness when in the past you may have thought about something in the past or future. If you are receiving the assistance of a life coach, therapist, or meditation group, celebrate taking the steps to find and consistently work with them.
Allow room for change
If you set the goal to open a store and find that in 6 months you are unable to, perhaps the goal changes to selling online, renting booth space, or attending trade shows or festivals. As you achieve goals or continue working with someone your goals may change. There is nothing wrong with this. Allow yourself the flexibility to make the goals suitable for the things you want to accomplish and not suitable for what you think you should accomplish.
You may feel that you need to improve your physical health and find that your emotional or psychological health is what really needs attention. In that case, you would adjust your goals to help improve those areas of wellness. Or perhaps you meet a goal ahead of schedule but want to expand on it. You can add to that goal as you go along as well.
As you head into the new year and set goals you want to accomplish in 2023 it is important to remember to celebrate your victories, show yourself grace, and allow for fluidity in your goals. Choose things you feel will help you live a happier and more fulfilling life in 2023. Part of that also requires doing something that challenges you and even scares you a little bit. This is subjective for everyone and it is important to consider what that means for you as an individual.
Begin Working With An Online Therapist in Brevard County, FL
Keeping up with new goals is much easier said than done. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to support you in accomplishing goals and living a happier life. We are happy to offer support from our Brevard County, FL-based practice and across the state. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
Other Services Offered at True You Always
Here at True You Always, we offer many services with a wide range of therapists. We are here to walk alongside you no matter what you’re dealing with. Our goal is to provide a safe and accepting space for you to breathe and be your authentic self. Along with therapy for teens, we offer additional services at our Florida practice. You may also be interested in therapy for first responders, therapy for work stress, anxiety, and stress treatment, or PTSD treatment and trauma therapy.
Additionally, we offer couples therapy, family therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, therapy for disordered eating, therapy for teens and tweens, support for families with a loved one struggling with ED, therapy for adults, substance use disorders, therapy for spouses of first responders, play therapy, therapy for allergies, and chronic illness. All services are offered via online therapy in Florida so you can get help from the comfort of your own space.