I love the new year.
I feel fresh and alive and ready to tackle anything that comes my way.
And while this is SUPER COMMON (I know I’m not alone here), the flip side of feeling this way is that I often try to do too much…then end up doing nothing.
I’ve worked on this for the past few years and here are 5 tips drawn from how I’m approaching things this year.
1. I set goals, not resolutions.
I’m not resolving to fix anything. I’m setting goals for myself and my life and I’m working toward them.
2. I leave room for mistakes.
I’m sure that I’ll relapse some, and I’m okay with that. I’ll just start back up whenever I make a mistake. Plus (bonus), I’m nice to myself when I make mistakes. I’m compassionate and understanding, not judgmental and mean.
Who ever wanted to work for a boss that said mean things as a motivator?! NOBODY. I’m my own boss when it comes to goals, so I’ll choose to be loving and nice when I make mistakes. I can still be frustrated that I made a mistake, but that doesn’t equal beating myself up.
3. I break it down monthly.
Of the 15,000 goals that I have (maybe a slight exaggeration), I am only doing two this month. Just two. And they are related. That means, at the beginning of next month (hello, February), I’ll add one (or two) on. Then the goals become habits and I just keep building on them, rather than getting overwhelmed with all of them at once.
4. Building new habits can get monotonous and boring.
I prepare for that. I know that I’m going to want to slide back into my pre-goals behavior once the goals don’t feel exciting. I know it’s going to come up, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give in to it. By mentally being aware of that and allowing for its existence, I’m setting myself up for success through the plateau of monotony. It’ll pass and it’s not enough of a reason to stop me from working on my goals.
5. Obviously, accountability.
I let some folks know what my goals are (for this month) and I fully intend to be at the end of the month cheering for myself and letting them know I finished the month out strong.
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Tara Vossenkemper, MA, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor working with both couples and adults at Change, Inc., the premier counseling, wellness, and psychiatric center of South City, St. Louis, MO. Contact her for counseling at 314-669-6242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.