New Year's Resolutions - Can You Finish What You Start?

Goal Setting Self Improvement



It's a new year and everywhere we turn there are articles and conversation about resolutions.

A resolution is a promise that you make to yourself. Usually the promise involves deliberate changes that will improve your situation over the ensuring year.

Some individuals focus on improving their health with exercise and eating of nutritious foods. Others might determine to spend less, save more or develop a financial plan for the future. Many state that they will travel, quit drinking or smoking, spend more time with friends and family or perhaps become more organized.

The sad part about resolutions is that frequently the promise dies long before the results are realized. In fact, it is often only days after the start of the new year that people revert to their old habits.

The gymnasiums that were packed in January are almost empty at the end of February. The number on the scale remains the same. The bank account is still in an overdraft position. Visiting with others falls down the priority list. And the stress continues so the drinking and smoking habits remain for those who claim that they facilitate relaxation.

Change isn't easy and we sometimes have to "trick ourselves" into doing well by developing strategies that will keep us on track. It is not enough to just think about the end result. You also need to have a plan that consists of measurable, achievable steps. that will help you to reach the goal.

Change usually doesn't occur as quickly as we would like, especially when we are stopping or reversing habits that have been ingrained for years.

You will likely not get out of debt or reach your desired weight in the first month but you can get a good start on developing new habits in that timeframe. Saving twenty dollars and losing two pounds each week would give you an extra thousand dollars and a body that is one hundred pounds lighter at year end.

You see, resolutions should not be viewed as projects that will be completed quickly so that you can get back to your old ways of living. If you do that, you will soon watch your hard work and achievements disappear. Instead they need to be about process and lifestyle that can be adopted and then maintained throughout your life.

When you are setting your new year's resolutions, it is important to remember that they are promises which you are making to yourself - not to others or for others. You therefore will need to not only be passionate and determined about the outcome but also ensure that you have laid out achievable steps that you can honour on a long-term basis.

There is no use in trying to fool yourself. Goals are not realized without effort and if you haven't developed a plan you will just find yourself feeling very disappointed and experiencing lowered self-esteem a few weeks from now.

It's time to begin a new year. It is also time to begin creating a new plan so that you will be able to fulfill the promises you are making to yourself in the form of resolutions.

If you want to get started on the right foot, begin right now by scheduling an appointment with a psychologist who is trained to help you make the changes you desire!


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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