Psychotherapy for adolescents, adults, and families.






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Three Gentle Reminders about New Year's Resolutions

If you’re like me (and a lot of other people!) you’ve already made some transgressions in your New Year’s resolutions and might even be feeling a little bit low about it. Here are three gentle reminders to let that go and keep on with your big picture goals!


1: Make this your Mantra: Progress Over Perfection.

Black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking is a deep crevasse that we can all fall into from time to time. Watch out for this one, call it what it is, climb out, dust yourself off, and carry on. Take the next good step for you and expect that the sink hole will appear again soon. Also keep in mind that motivation and willpower can be elusive. It goes a long way to accept this and prepare for those moments when you just don’t seem to have it in you to do what you set out to do. Sometimes you will work through it and sometimes you won’t - it's all about progress over perfection!


2: Allow for Flexibility and Consider Paring Back or Fine-tuning your Resolutions.

When we are rigid with our goals, we often become self-critical and that in turn can add to our sense of failure and overwhelm. Once we’ve hit that state, it is much easier to toss in the towel and use it as “proof” that we couldn’t do it anyway. Be sure to pick just a few resolutions that hold true value to you and have both specific and realistic bite-sized tasks to reach that are sprinkled throughout the year. If you accomplish one before 2019 and want to mix in another goal, you can!


3: Remember that setting New Years Resolutions Do Appear to Yield Higher Results than Other Times of the Year.

According to Dr. Mike Evans, who reviewed a study by John Norcross, Ph.D. (a psychologist who studies self-change), people that set New Years resolutions were 10 times more successful after six months than those that chose resolutions at other times of the year. This is quite compelling information (even if there is a placebo effect at play) so why not just give it a go!


The bottom line is to keep your goals small, specific, and task-oriented, while allowing for flexibility both with your mind and behaviors. If you find that you are still struggling to finalize your what you would like your resolutions to be, check out the Greater Good Science Center’s 2018 Happiness Calendar for some inspiring ideas! I would also love to hear from you - what helps you stay on track?


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