Go ahead, admit it.
For the last few weeks, you’ve been eating greasy foods, drinking tons of booze, smoking, and probably spending more than you should. The whole time you’ve been telling yourself that it’s okay because you’re turning other a new leaf on January 1st.
Now it’s January 3rd (or 5th) (or 19th).
You have a vague sense of how you’d like to feel this coming new year, but you still haven’t got a clue what a ‘new leaf’ means or how to make it a reality. I hear the same concerns from many of the clients that I work with every December and January. Hell, I’ve been there myself, wondering if the second (and sometimes third) week of the new year is too late for starting resolutions.
The truth is: It’s NOT!
People like starting resolutions in January because the start of a new year serves as a transition phase, clearly defining ‘then’ versus ‘now’. Therapists call these natural endings. The end/start of the school year and end/start of summer are other common ones. During these times of the year, people are psychologically primed to start new behaviors and stop old ones. The reality is, though, January 1st is just as arbitrary a date as March 23rd.
Getting a clear sense of your vision for your life in the new year is what matters most. Not sure how to do that? Well, you’re in luck.
Here are my tips for getting uber clear about your goals for 2017:
Put a positive spin on your goals.
Phrase your goals in a way that speaks to what you’re hoping to benefit from making this change, not what you’ll be losing. For example, you can say, “I will adopt a healthier lifestyle in 2017,” or “I’ll workout and eat well to reach my ideal weight,” instead of “I will lose weight.”
What would it look and feel like if you were consistently engaging in your goals? Using the example above, ask yourself: What does it look like when I’m being healthy? What am I eating? Am I pre-prepping meals? Am I exercising – if so, how often?
Create space in your life.
If you’re working 70 hour week, you’ll be hard-pressed to make it to the gym or prepare healthy meals. Ask yourself how you can arrange your daily schedule so that it facilitates doing the things that will help you reach your goals.
Know your why.
Stop and ask yourself, “What are my motivations for these new year resolutions? Why is this change important to my life right now? What’s at stake if I don’t actively engage this goal now?” Trust me, you’ll need these because when temptation comes knocking on your door in 2 weeks or so.
Write your goals and your whys down often.
Bullet journal, paper planner, or a monthly desk calendar. Whatever fits best for you. There are lots of new variations on the market that integrate personal, professional, and other of life’s demands. My favorite is the Passion Planner because it’s so versatile. You can add a calorie tracker, a water tracker, a budget, and all other sorts of useful items to keep you on track. I also love the exercise at the initial vision exercise and monthly reflection exercises.
Most people make blanket resolutions for the entire year, and it’s easy to get off track like that. Size your goals and related activities down into small chunks, like monthly or weekly. At the end of each week or month, reflect on what’s enabled you stay consistent and/or what’s been an obstacle. Keep what’s worked, and tweak or toss the obstacles for the next week or month.
Have you tried these (or similar) tips before without much success? Here’s a bonus tip to make sure that this year you achieve the results you know you’re capable of.
Expert Bonus Tip – Consider getting support.
If you really struggle with keeping yourself accountable, then you might want to consider getting some external accountability. Consulting with a professional, personal coaching, or even counseling can be helpful. Check out my post about it here.
We hope you have a kick-ass 2017, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support. You can reach us at (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult if you’re ready for your personal breakthrough to kick some new year resolution ass! While you’re here, share this post with a friend, brother, sister, mother, or colleague by clicking the share boxes to the left.
Envision Wellness is a private practice that offers psychotherapy, psychological testing, and life coaching in Miami, FL. Our team has a passion for helping others achieve happy, fulfilling, and change-making lives that make the world a better place. Each therapist has their areas of expertise. Not sure who you’d like to work with? Click here to schedule a free 20-minute phone consult to help you decide.
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