As we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020 many of you will begin the tradition of setting new year’s resolutions/goals. Whether you participate in the “new year new me” way of life or not, setting resolutions/goals for the new year is almost inevitable. These resolutions can be anywhere between concrete goals or a simple idea.
Some of the most common new year’s resolutions/goals that will be put into place as we countdown to the new year includes:
As the clock strikes midnight, the motivation to succeed is at a peak but then it begins to fade. Studies have shown that less than 50% of people actually succeed when it comes to following through with their resolutions and less than 10% of people reach a goal that they have set.
How do we make sure our 2020 goals succeed?
Set positive goals!
Try to set a goal where you are adding more of something rather than taking something away.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals!
This format that makes your goals much easier to track. It is an easy tool that can add structure to your goals moving into 2020.
Specific- What exactly do you want to achieve?
Measurable- What will it look like once the goal is achieved?
Attainable- Is the goal possible when you look at time, money, and effort put into it?
Relevant- Is this goal important to you?
Timely- When do you want to achieve this goal by?
Plan action steps!
Come up with a plan with action steps that will help you achieve your goal. Also consider potential issues that you might come across when trying to complete you goal and brainstorm ways help.
What do we do if we mess up?
Apply what you learned!
This is where you look at why the goal was not achieved. Were these reasons out of your control or could you have done something different?
Reevaluate the goal!
This is where you will ask yourself, do you still want to accomplish this goal? Is this goal still important to you? How can I prepare differently this time to where I have more success in achieving this goal?
Try again or Set a new goal!
You’ve seen the Instagram or Facebook memes that post what you expected something to turn out to be like (for instance, a really awesome cake you wanted to make for your kids’ birthday) versus what it actually came out to be like. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
When you first think about coming to therapy versus what therapy actually looks like can seem like it needs its own meme. As a therapist, I’ve been in therapy for years now (it’s so much different from the other side of the couch!) and even though I know what it will be like, it was nothing like I expected!
Expectation: I’m going to go in and lay on a couch while talking about my childhood and feelings.
Reality: I sit in a really cool chair or upright on a couch. I get to decide what I talk about and how much information I share. It turns out, I don’t even know what emotions I’m actually feeling, so I get to explore that, too.
Expectation: The therapist is going to tell me the exact answer to my problems and give me advice on what to do...and it’s going to make my life so much better!
Reality: The therapist asks you questions that make you decide what your next step is. My therapist actually didn’t give me any advice on what to do but gave me tools that helped me decide what my next course of action was.
Expectation: I’m going to leave therapy feeling good.
Reality: Wow, that session was really hard. I didn’t even think I was still hurt by that anymore.
Expectation: I’m going to leave therapy feeling awful.
Reality: I actually feel a lot better after talking about that situation and finding other perspectives. Maybe she really didn’t mean it that way at all.
Expectation: My therapist is going to be old and not understand me.
Reality: Finding a therapist is like trying on shoes- you have to find the right fit! I got to read a bunch of profiles and see what person I might think would be best for me. And, after the first session, I didn’t think it would be helpful, I got to go a different route!
Doing anything we haven’t done before is going to be scary the first few times. It’s completely normal to feel nervous. Did you identify with any of the expectations above? Do you have other expectations? Once you start, you will find yourself on a unique journey. Going through therapy doesn’t have to look a certain way. Growth is not linear; it’s not easy. But whether you are dealing with a past experience you are struggling to get through, wanting to be the best version of yourself, struggling with life transitions, or just wanting to develop some tools to deal with life, it’s a completely unique and life-changing experience.
Robin Kluttz, LSCSW, LCSW, CPT
As the new year quickly approaches, I am beginning to reflect on my past year and set new intentions for 2020. Are you someone who sets intentions or goals each year? I am, however, most years I fall short on my goals. I set my intentions too high and always allow my excuses to hold more power than my vision. This year, though, I am setting only one intention. In 2020, I intend to take a chance on myself. Meaning, I will bet on myself, my dreams, my health, my relationships, my passions, etc. And so should you.
Your dreams need you - bet on them, bet on yourself. Maybe you want to continue working on your mental wellbeing, or learn a new skill, get back into the dating scene, or make a career change. Perhaps you want to start a new evening or morning routine, or spend more time outside, or even watching an hour less of T.V. per week. Whatever it is, take a chance on it. The point in this is that you are investing in yourself and your wellbeing. You are showing yourself you are capable of being stronger than your excuses. Start your year by making yourself a priority.
This new year is yours to make of it what you will. You deserve to do what makes you feel good - mentally, spiritually, physically. How will you take a chance on yourself in 2020?