It may not come as a surprise that more than two-thirds of New Year’s resolutions fail each year. The question is why? Although the answer is complicated and personal for each of us, here’s what it boils down to. Number one, our goals are based on society’s expectations of what we should do and who we should be, instead of our own (which obviously isn’t healthy). And number two, we don’t have a plan in place for how to actually follow through and achieve our goals.

Here’s how to set healthy goals

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Number one, start with why. What is the purpose behind the goal? What is the reason and the motivation for wanting to make the change? For example, wanting to lose weight in order to look a certain way or fit into a certain size jeans is much, much different than wanting to be and feel healthy in order to run around and play with your kids. Knowing the why behind a goal or New Year’s resolution reminds us why the goal is important and gives us purpose and focus.

Number two, focus on one thing at a time. Choosing too many goals to accomplish or habits to break is overwhelming and often results in failure. 

Number three, break your goal into smaller, more attainable pieces. If your goal is to write a memoir, break it down and focus on one chapter, even one page at a time. Also, don’t forget to celebrate the small victories. Small, daily improvements are the key to long-term results.

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Number four, find the balance between realistic goals – ones you can actually accomplish, and stretch goals – ones that are difficult enough to make you reach, but easy enough that they aren’t impossible.

Number five, focus on the positive. Frame your goal in a way that is focused on what you want instead of what you want to change. For example, “I’m going to eat vegetables with at least one meal each day” is focused on the positive. In contrast, “I’m going to stop eating all junk food”, is flipped to the negative and keeps your attention on what you want to change. 

Therapy for reaching healthy goals.

Even with the best of intentions and healthiest goals, there is a big difference between setting goals and actually accomplishing them. This is because many of our behaviors and ways of thinking stem from old wounds and unresolved issues that are affecting our lives in the present without us realizing it. Therapy is a fantastic resource for reaching healthy goals because it gets to the root of what is actually causing the behavior you want to change.

Additionally, a therapist is an accountability buddy – someone to help you keep your commitments or to help you understand what might be getting in the way when you don’t. 

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Therapy is also a resource for learning to embrace a growth mindset. Because when we reach beyond our current comfort zone, obstacles will show up and failures will happen. Contrary to what we might think, failure and obstacles are actually positive and signs of growth. In therapy, gain tools to change your mindset from “failure is the end” to “failure leads to success”. 

When we set goals for ourselves, it’s also vital that we are patient and give ourselves grace. Change doesn’t happen overnight and new behaviors take around sixty days to become habits. A therapist can help you stay on track while allowing the natural ups and downs to occur. 

Interested in learning more? Contact the Relationship Therapy Center in Fair Oaks and Roseville, California. We are excited to support you on your journey towards greater health. There is no better time to begin than now. 

Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

In addition to individual counseling, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. We will discuss the importance of self-care and emotional support to help you cope and to discover ways to find healthy ways of dealing with stress.   

Individual counseling can be beneficial, with the right therapist. Our compassionate therapists are trained to walk you through the process and help you find healing and peace. Please contact our therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you and your loved ones heal, grow, and love healthy.