Updated: May 21
We make resolutions at the beginning of the year in hopes that we can improve on areas of our lives during the coming year... and then give up on them 3 weeks into the year. (If we even last that long) Here are 4 ways to help keep your resolutions this year!
Look at your values
Create SMART goals
Recruit some help!
Look at Your Values
When creating resolutions, it is important to first look at values. If we create goals that are not aligned with our values, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Even if we manage to meet these goals, we will not feel satisfied when we reach them. If we know that our short-term and long-term goals are setting us up to be more aligned with our values, our achievements will feel more satisfying. Let's say we have the values of fun, adventure, and efficiency, we might not want to set a goal of going to the gym every day. It is not fun at the start and will be hard to be consistent. Setting a goal to dance every day for 30 minutes, might be more achievable! It fulfills the fun, and adventurous and yes, dancing is effective in working out!
What is a SMART goal? It is something evidenced based therapists use to help our clients reach their goals! We set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. If our goal is "to be happier in the new year", we will have more success getting there if we are more specific. What does being happy mean? (Here are where the values come in!) the SMART goal here might be something like "I will say positive affirmations to myself in the mirror after I get out of the shower for 2 weeks." This is a short-term goal that will help with being happier. It is more measurable and achievable! Once we meet this smaller goal, then we can move on to the next and build momentum.
For more on SMART goals read this post.
Practice Setting Boundaries
Finding the time to make our New Year’s resolutions usually means that we have to cut other things out of our lives. It might mean taking more time away from the family to journal or work out, spending less time on social media, spending less time on work so that you can have dinner with your family, or even cutting people out of your life that drain resources. These changes can be hard to make because they are either habits, and the people around us are used to us acting a certain way. If you are setting boundaries for yourself, you are fighting your habits and will need to have strategies in place to make doing the desired behavior easier and the undesired behavior harder.
If we are placing boundaries that affect others, they will probably push back in some way. We will probably feel guilty for the change that is happening, maybe even feel selfish. Setting boundaries effectively is all about having a soft start-up, being assertive, and being willing to have a conversation about compromise. Boundaries are also about being able to tolerate the distress of other people being upset with us or being mean to us. This again is where values and goals come in. If we are aligned with our values and working towards a goal, it will be easier to tolerate the distress of setting and maintaining boundaries.
Recruit some help
When working on our resolutions, we forget that we are human! We are not perfect, we make mistakes and we are social beings and are meant to be in a community! If we know that keeping resolutions is hard, recruit some help! This can be as simple as talking about our resolutions with someone that we know will ask about them. It could be asking our partner to do a resolution with us, or asking about our progress. Find a support group, or make a goal with a friend or two. If you feel like you need a space to just talk about yourself and work on yourself, then recruit some help from a therapist!
Get the support you need this year so that this can be your year for keeping your New Year’s resolutions!
Hi, I’m Kristina Anzell, I am a Clinical Social Worker dedicated to providing compassionate and tailored mental health support for moms at all stages of motherhood. My mission is to empower you to thrive in your role as a mother while nurturing your own well-being. If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my blog here! If you want more information or are seeking treatment, feel free to reach out!