• Christen Murphy, LMFT

Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions Alive

New Year, New you? Right?

The start of a new year is a great time to motivate towards creating the change you want in your life. Sadly, most of us have fallen "off the wagon" on our resolutions already, just 10 days in to the year. So, what does it take to stay motivated for the long-term?

I've found that staying motivated to achieve a goal requires a strong "why". Why did you choose this goal? What would accomplishing this mean for you? What would not making this change mean for you? The more thorough and clear reasoning behind our goal, the more likely we are to remember it every day and actually do it. For me, when I'm creating a new goal for myself, whether it's work related, personal, relational, etc, I need to write it down and a really dive in deep into the purpose behind my goal. The reasoning for this is two-fold; one, when I've gotten off track I am able to refer back to my writing and remind myself of how important this goal is and two, there's a new level of commitment when writing down a plan rather than just thinking about it.

Next, creating and working towards positive change requires a specific plan. How am I going to achieve this goal? What do I need to be doing every day to make sure this goal is met successfully? How will I know when I'm making progress?

This is a great time to talk about breaking your big goals down into smaller, easier to achieve parts. Sometimes our goal is just too big and overwhelming (ie: losing 100lbs or growing your business to 6 figures in one year). Deciding to lose 2lbs per week might feel more attainable, and thus, easier to remain committed to in the short term. Along with this, make sure you are celebrating your small successes. Take some time to reward yourself for how far you've come, because let's face it, change is hard.

A huge part of maintaining motivation for change is having an accountability partner. Who can help me achieve this goal? This could be your workout partner, a friend, relationship partner, parent, cousin, whoever! Who in your life is also committed to a similar goal? Who can you count on to be honest with you when they see you sliding away from your progress? Find this person and create an accountability plan ahead of time. Be sure to check in with this person every day or every few days. Have a plan to reach out to this person during times of weakness or when you find yourself in that "I really don't care today" mood. Make sure that your accountability plan includes what you expect from your accountability partner in the event that they see you shying away from your goals. Some people just need a simple nudge in the right direction, while others want something more direct. Avoid conflict and hurt feelings by planning this out ahead of time.

Last, How will I know when this goal is met? How can I reward myself and maintain the positive change I've worked hard for? Your plan for positive change MUST include a reward for yourself. Have a celebration and be sure to include your accountability partner! You've earned it!

Need a little more? Give us a call to discuss how we can help with increasing motivation, finding "stuck places" and helping you meet your goals.

Hope for the Journey, (828) 457-4673.