Real Change vs. New Year's Resolutions

Around 80% of people make New Year’s resolutions, and then totally abandon them in the following weeks.

If you’re part of that group, here’s an idea: Approach how you go about resolutions differently.

If you’re serious about making real change, here are some questions you can ask and perspectives you can take to ensure your goals remain in the forefront of your mind. This way, they won’t accidentally get boxed up with the Christmas decorations; shoved high in a closet and forgotten until the following year.

Is it Meaningful?

Some resolutions are formed from an inauthentic place of doing what we think we’re supposed to do. Others lie in direct conflict with the way we perceive ourselves.

In order to discern if a resolution is worthy of clearing schedules and working on inner beliefs to make room for it, it has to be something deeply meaningful. Something that resonates with your values.

Why do you want to make this change?

How will it positively impact on your life?

Is it worth the ‘sacrifice’ of time and energy?

Is It Beneficial?

Similar to the previous point, it’s important to reflect on what areas of life your goals will benefit.

What do those perks look like? How and in what ways will this help you in your everyday life?

How Will You Do It?

Human beings are creatures of habit and err on the side of being lazy. This means that if we don’t actively structure our days to make room for the resolution we’ve made, it is likely to slip off our radar.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, you’ve got to pull out all the stops:

  • Add the resolution into your schedule.
  • Set alarms to remind you.
  • Print off a calendar and give yourself a check mark or a gold star every day that you do it.

The more fun and visible you can make it – the more you can gamify the experience and make sure that it doesn’t get buried under the myriad of the rest of your life – the easier it will be to integrate into your day-to-day.

Another important aspect is to focus on how much you enjoy the benefit, even if it’s only a small part. For example, nothing beats that post-gym feeling. Nothing beats knowing that you’re treating your mind and body with the care, love and respect it deserves.

If you want to change your negative self-image or are sick and tired of living with low self-esteem, empower yourself by signing up for therapy. Share your resolution and goals with a therapist and set yourself up for success by having a professional in your corner rooting for you and helping guide you along the way.

What Happens If You Skip a Day or a Week?

When it comes to implementing positive change, many people have an all-or-nothing attitude. The do well for a few weeks, skip a day, and allow that to derail all the progress they’ve made by quitting.

What’s your plan if that happens?

Don’t let something as miniscule as a missed day undermine all your hard work and progress. Pause and reflect on what happened and think about what you can do in the future to prevent it from happening again.

Then try again the next day.

Simple, right?

Just come back to it.

How Will You Measure Your Progress?

Having a way to measure your progress is always helpful.Having a way to measure your progress is always helpful.

If you keep your streak going and have a month after month calendar sheet depicting your progress, excellent!

Create markers where you check in. Note how you’re feeling. Adjust your strategy if necessary. And don’t be shy about celebrating your accomplishments, whatever they may be.

How Do You Want to Feel?

For many of us, the way we want to feel as we go through our day (and consequently our lives) gets cast aside in favor of other markers.

If you have a health-related goal, chances are a big part of that is because you want to feel better.

Make the feeling just as important as whether or not you achieve the goal.

Note how you feel after engaging in the thing you want to implement. Notice all the positive impacts, and how in many cases they outweigh the negative. For example, the resistance you always feel at the prospect of going to the gym or meditating for 20-minutes pales in comparison to how strong and centered you feel afterwards.

Pay attention to how good it feels to quiet the chatter in your head and connect with the breath.

Aligning the goal with the positive feeling provides added incentive to keep going.

So often, people tend to select resolutions geared toward certain physical behaviors. However, you can also make resolutions centered around your mental wellbeing. Things like reducing stress in your life or wanting to learn how to center yourself and take a few breaths before reacting is a worthy goal, and its benefits touch many aspects of your life.

If you’re struggling with keeping consistent with your goals, get curious about your mindset. If you’re struggling with keeping consistent with your goals, get curious about your mindset. If you notice certain patterns or behaviors that are holding you back, make it a priority to try and reframe them.

If you need some extra help here, therapy is an excellent resource. We take pride in helping people work through their inner conflicts so that they are able to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

If you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or feel like you could benefit from some peace and clarity, give us a call.

Therapy in Roseville, CA, Fair Oaks, CA, or Online in California:

If you are ready to change your life for the better, we can help. To begin therapy at our Sacramento area locations or online, follow these steps:

Services Offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include, anxiety treatment, therapy for children,  teen therapy, depression treatment, and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.