The New Year tends to be a time when people decide to make resolutions, start the year with a blank slate and work towards new goals. Deciding what resolutions to make can be quite daunting and we often make the mistake of setting unattainable and lofty goals which quickly dissolve over a couple of months. Instead of focusing on changing something big like a personality trait, set attainable goals that focus on lifestyle changes. Below are some tips adapted from the American Psychology Association (APA) on how to effectively achieve your New Year’s resolution.
Be specific and take baby steps: It is easy to make a resolution goal to lose weight or get more sleep. In order to be successful, it is best to make your resolution specific and do-able. Break the goal down in to steps. If you want to get in shape, set an attainable goal like going to the gym a couple days a week instead of every day. Set yourself up for success and let yourself take small steps forward instead of huge unrealistic changes right away.
Lifestyle changes take time: It is not an easy task to undo behaviors that have developed over time. Making changes to daily behaviors we have developed can be overwhelming, try to remember you cannot change overnight. Learning new behaviors will take time and that is okay.
Share with others: Talk with your friends and family about your goals and resolutions, you may even find someone you know has a similar goal and can be your accountability partner. Having support systems as you make healthy changes in your life can be extremely helpful. If your friends and family aren’t the best people for the job, think about finding a support group to help you work towards your goals.
Be kind to yourself: It is easy to be too hard on yourself as you are working towards your goals, try to not beat yourself up too much, perfection is unrealistic and often unhealthy. Be kind to yourself, don’t give up if you experience a slip up, make part of your goal to recuperate from mistakes and keep moving forward toward success.
Find professional support: Sometimes trying to accomplish goals and resolutions can cause stress, if you feel helpless, defeated and can’t manage your goals by yourself, think about reaching out for professional help. Psychologists and mental health professionals are trained to help you with successful strategies on how to change your goals to make them attainable and work on fixing negative behaviors and emotions.
If you need help with organization and executive functioning, we have coaches you can work with here at Center for Neuropsychology and Development. Contact our office for more information about our services and our expert clinicians.