I think we’ve all agreed that after a year like 2020, that we are entering 2021 with our head down, very humble, and graciously accepting what is coming our way in hopes we do not have a repeat of 2020. Eeekkk- what a disaster that would be. However, there is ALSO room to claim that 2021 will be a better year for you and your family!
With the new year comes a great opportunity to start fresh and focus on healthy living and better oneself. Thousands of people every year set a New Year’s Resolution that often focuses on improving ones’ health, either physical, mental, financial, or spiritual health. Sadly, most people start off strong with making positive changes but only within a few weeks into the year, their resolution slowly fades.
The good part is that it does not have to be this way! With that, it is important to set yourself up for success with your new year’s resolutions so that you can improve your health and overall happiness in life. Read below on how to increase your chances of success towards your personal goals:
Replace “can’t” with “can”
The first step towards success is to eliminate excuses. All of them. Take the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary all together. You CAN! And furthermore, you WILL! You have to believe in your goals and your own ability before anyone else. Your thoughts lead to your feelings and your behaviors, so if you believe that you “can” you are probably right! Do your best to keep a positive mindset and start by believing in yourself despite your flaws.
Start with One Goal
Sometimes we think of so many things we want to change. We want to lose weight, we want to manage our money better, we want to end toxic relationships, etc. All of these are great and wonderful goals that are worthy of your time and attention. However, let’s be realistic. Change is hard enough on its own and when we overwhelm yourself with multiple changes, we are less likely to be successful in making the changes stick. With that, it is best to start small with ONE specific goal, then move on to others.
Setting a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based) goal gives you the best chance for success. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to eat fast food less” – let’s take it a step further. You want to set a SMART goal, so you would rather say “I will work out twice a week for thirty minutes so that I can lose five pounds each month”. Another example of a SMART goal is “I only want to eat fast food twice a week”.
Remember to start small and then work your way up. You can always readjust your goals if needed.
Talk About It
Share your goal! Make it known that you are making positive changes in your life. Those who love and support you will continue to do just that. Not necessarily share with everyone, but at least share your goal with one or two positive support persons. The benefit of this is so that they can check in on your progress and help hold you accountable. They can also help problem solve any struggles or barriers you may have along the journey as well. Making your goals known makes them real to not only yourself but to others as well.
Be Your Biggest Cheerleader
Don’t beat yourself up- perfection is not the goal! Be gentle with yourself if you have a setback or a problem with reaching your goal. This is normal and perfectly okay. You are human. You may stumble, trip, face plant, etc. But most importantly, you are able to pick yourself back up, refocus, and get back to the game plan. Remember to resolve and recover from your mistake and get back on track to reaching your goal.
Reach Out for Support
Making changes can be difficult at times. Remember that you can seek professional support related to your goals. Having a discussion with your primary healthcare provider, dietician, personal fitness trainer, if your goals are related to your physical health. It is imperative to seek professional input if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are considered high-risk within a medical capacity.
Also know that you can seek assistance from a mental health counselor to help guide you to a smart and safe action plan to help reach your goals as well. Counseling doesn’t always have to be about the “sad” things. You can discuss the exciting things such as goal setting and bettering yourself.
Thinking ahead to 2021, what are some of your goals? In what ways do you want to better yourself? Let's remember that life is a beautiful gift and worth celebrating through self-love, positive changes, and pursuit of happiness. I hope 2021 has that and so much more in store for you!
Interesting in starting counseling? We are here to help make those positive changes! Call the office today at 901-232-1956 to get started.
Blog written by staff Therapist Heather Thomasson, LPC/MHSP