New Year, New You

By Cara Griffin-Locker

It is a new year and a new you.  This time of year is a great time to embrace starting fresh and a good time to think about new aspirations and meaningful goals.  It is a time when we ponder on what our story will be.  It is also a time when many of us set the wonderful eagerly anticipated New Year’s resolutions. Sounds great, right? Maybe the part about the goals and aspirations and the possibility of writing a whole new story, but what about the resolutions? If you are like most people, you set the resolution knowing it is going to be broken or soon forgotten.  Or better yet, you set a resolution just because everyone else is setting one. Who loves setting a resolution that is often not kept and leaves one feeling discouraged, defeated and depressed in the middle of January?

Why do we do this to ourselves? Is the societal epidemic of keeping up with the Joneses partially to blame? Or can we simply blame ourselves for the lack of time and ability to achieve our goals? If we are being honest, we will admit that most of us do not know how to start accomplishing a resolution. If you have set a resolution and really want this to be the year in which you succeed, set your goals with sincerity. Here are six helpful tips to help you achieve a successful year and a new you:

·         Be specific. Set specific resolutions, with tangible, achievable outcomes. For example, instead of saying you want to save money, determine how much you will save and what it will be used for. Then visualize what good will come out of meeting your goal and what it would feel like. 

·         Write it down. Write down your goals and outline the steps you need to take in order to achieve them. By planning and accomplishing one small thing at a time, you will be able to stay on track, be focused and positive.

·         Make time. Being intentional about setting aside time for your goals is vital. Some goals may need more time than others.

·         Move past negative thinking: It is normal to have feelings of fear and worry. Our negative cognitive thinking can destroy a goal within seconds.  It is important to be able to identify faulty thoughts and understand the truth within our self and to stay in control.

·         Get an accountability partner: Having a group, partner, friend, or professional to encourage you can be beneficial. Find someone with similar goals and agree to a weekly check-in. Or ask a family member or significant other to keep you accountable, as long as they are supportive and positive.

·         Treat yourself: Treat yourself for meeting goals. If you’ve committed to going to the gym two or three times a week, promise yourself a reward, such as a new workout outfit.

If you have been guilty of falling off the "resolution wagon," it's time to try something different. Follow these steps, take this journey one day at a time and be on your way to a better version of yourself this year.

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