How to Make Realistic New Year's Resolutions

Are you tired of making New Year resolutions that don't last? I know I am!

Resolutions can be difficult to accomplish! I think the reason they can be so difficult to reach is because we have unrealistic or unspecific goals. Now that I am working as a therapist, I have learned of new ways to create goals. A large part of my job is helping clients create their goals. An acronym I learned is SMART- this stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based
Let me provide more details...

How to make realistic goals for this new year:

1. Make them Specific
  • Some goals that are popular during the New Year is “eating healthier” or “exercising more”. However, this goals can be more specific. For example, we could say that we are going to eat more fruits and vegetables rather than saying we are going to eat “healthier”. The more specific we can be with our goals, the better.

2. Make them measurable
  • We also want to make sure that we can measure our goals. How do we know when we have reached the goal? For example, to continue with our “eating healthier” example, we could say that we will eat 3 different fruits and 3 different vegetables every day. If we want to exercise more, a measurable goal may be to go to the gym 3 days a week for 1 hour each.

3. They're attainable
  • Is this goal something that you can achieve? Does going to the gym 3 days a week make sense with your schedule? When thinking of attainable goals, it is helpful to figure out if this is a goal that you can obtain in a reasonable timeframe.

4. They're relevant
  • When considering goals, we want to make sure that this goal is relevant to who we are and what we do. It is important to consider if these goals correlate to what you value.

5. There is a timeframe of when you will accomplish the goal
  • When do you hope to achieve this goal? In a month, 6 months, a year? Think about when you want to reach this goal and plan accordingly 

I hope this technique of goal-setting was helpful for you! Making goals can be challenging (and reaching them even more so)! Take one step at a time, and you can achieve them! I know that you are going to do great things!

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