Countdown to the New Year!
New Year’s Resolutions
With each new year, we feel we are granted the gift of a fresh start. Based on this belief, armed with renewed hope and optimism, we make new year’s resolutions. We make the promise to ourselves to improve our lives in some way, whether it be physically, socially, emotionally, or professionally. Often, these resolutions fade by February.
Dictionaries define resolve as meaning “to come to a definite or earnest decision about.” To me, that sounds like making up your mind about something and promising that you will do that something. However, a new year’s resolution only includes step one in the process – deciding – leaving out the critical second step: doing. We can make decisions about lots of things, but those decisions are meaningless if we don’t act upon those decisions.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
What can often derail new year’s resolutions is either making the resolution or goal too large so that it simply becomes too overwhelming, not factoring in emotional resistance such as fear of failure, having high or unrealistic expectations of yourself, or not making your initial steps small enough. The key to success is working with where you are right now and moving forward gently and with compassion.
So, what are your new year’s resolutions for 2013? Get a better job? Learn something new? Eat better? Get fit? Live a healthier lifestyle? Focus more on personal relationships? Travel more? Volunteer? Manage stress? Take better care of yourself? Whatever your resolutions are, Eddins Counseling Group in Houston is here to help you take action on those important decisions.
Focus on Your Values
The most important thing for making new year’s resolutions stick is to start with something that is high on your values list. This is something that really matters to you or is really important to you for deeper reasons. Your values are what motivates you over the long haul. For example, “It’s important to me to live a healthy lifestyle so that I can see my grandchildren grow, be active and adventurous in retirement, and feel great in my body as it ages.” Losing weight doesn’t necessary connect to a deeper value so it can easily lose its motivational power.
Now, you can’t make short-term changes and expect the results to be long-term, sustainable life changes. There are no long-lasting quick fixes. Sorry. You can’t learn a new language over a weekend, or earn an MBA in a week. Life is a marathon, not a sprint (if we’re lucky). So, in order to continue in this long-term race, we must build our strength, endurance, and flexibility. Here’s an exercise to help you focus on the goals you’d like to achieve over the long-term.
Pick something that is high on your values list. These are items in categories such as career fulfillment, relationship satisfaction and connection, family relations, health and lifestyle, spirituality, and so forth.
Next, think about where you would like to be in this area of your life within one year. Make sure the goal is measurable. More compassionate, happier, or balanced are not goals. Instead try something like, “I’d like to have greater balance in my life by leaving work on time and making sure to take my lunch breaks each day.”
So, what do you have to do within six months to achieve this goal within one year?
What would you have to do in three months?
What would you have to in one month?
What would you have to do THIS week to achieve this goal within a year?
Ask for Help When You Need It!
It may feel easy to start new goals and resolutions, but achieving them over the long haul can be difficult. This is normal. This may occur because you’ve set your expectations too high, taken on too large a task, or feel paralyzed by unknown emotional factors.
Counselors at Eddins Counseling can help you make it all the way to the finish line by equipping you with much of what you need to be successful. As your counselor, I will serve as your trainer to help you get in the best shape possible. Depending on your current “fitness level,” we will work together to develop a personalized workout plan based on your wants and needs. Sample exercises include:
- Clarifying career goals
- Managing stress
- Reducing anxiety
- Developing coping skills
- Learning effective communication techniques
- Increasing self-esteem
- Creating positive and supportive relationships
- Improving health, lifestyle, and relationship with your body
Through small regular actions on a consistent basis, you’ll end up in great shape to achieve and maintain your new year’s resolutions. It’s not enough only to make firm decisions; we’ve got to add taking action in the form of very small manageable steps to that equation in order to get the outcomes we desire. For the new year, be bold, broaden your comfort zone, and venture out to accomplish great deeds and even greater success.
You’re not alone, contact us for help
Contact one of our counselors in Houston for achieving your new year’s resolutions! Our therapists are available for face to face sessions as online therapy sessions in limited areas.
To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.
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