Remember the famous quote, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint,” so go slow and pace
yourself? Well, consider for a moment that finding success in achieving your New Year’s resolutions should take on a similar strategy. With so many people setting out to find solutions to the things they would like to start doing, or stop doing, why does it seem as though more and more people are failing to maintain their goals after January 1 or not setting them at all? Take the next moment, sit back, and ask yourself if you are totally annoyed and frustrated by a history of failed resolutions, or feeling stuck in how to create longer lasting change?
Your first step is take a deep breath and think that it is usually not the problem (or resolution) that’s the problem, but the way you are attempting to find solution that’s keeping you stuck.
Your second step is to stop just visualizing / thinking about what you want to change and write out one (JUST ONE) small, concrete, and attainable goal. For example, “I want to go to the gym 5 days a week” and “I want to spend all of my free time with my kids” will get you on the first train to “Ain’t Gonna Happen!” Your goal needs to be specific and realistic enough to have a life to succeed, and, even more, when you set too many competing goals simultaneously, your motivation to take a step forward will vaporize and sadly fade away. Instead, shoot for a more reasonable resolution (with options) to head to the gym / jog / yoga class two days a week, or sit down with your kids and set a family goal to spend two nights a week for one hour having game night / cooking dinner together. The former goals are too vague and filled with pressure while the latter are more flexible and possible. And, even better, you are allowed to slip back one step and not be perfect with your goal, especially if were already two steps ahead.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we need an outside perspective to support our goals and offer a unique spin on how to move forward.
Dr. Rachelle is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and earned her doctoral degree in Marital & Family Therapy from Alliant International University. Dr. Rachelle has extensive training in a therapy approach that is problem solving, solution-oriented, and her clients appreciate that her technique is unique, short-term and effective. She also enjoys helping clients who struggle with weight, find themselves on a constant yo-yo diet, or are still dealing with an ongoing eating disorder and want to find solutions to move on with life. For more information please visit her website or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 858.610.1490.