by Erin M. Moss, LMHC

For many, the New Year is looked at as a time to reset and work on getting somewhere. We tend to jump full force into our goals. So why doesn’t it work? I think our intentions are good but the expectations could be unrealistic. Instead of aiming for immediate results, lets shift into embracing the process. Here are some tips that could support you in accomplishing your goals:

Pace Yourself

What is that saying? “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well, it wasn’t. Most things that are great take time to develop. You are no different. Instead of racing to reach your goal, enjoy the ride along the way. Embrace that at times you will have different levels of energy. Try to work with yourself instead of against yourself. Remember, as long as you are still moving you will get there.

Plan for Setbacks

In a perfect world, we would cross the finish line of meeting our goals with no bumps on the road. In real life, things change day to day. Your life is constantly moving. We are impacted by our own obstacles and those of the people we love. Success doesn’t equal a life absent of problems. It’s learning how to ride the waves of life. It’s adapting to changes. It’s falling and having the courage to get back up.

Positive Self Talk

In my practice, I sometimes see people stuck in a cycle of negative self-talk. This is the person that will constantly beat themselves up because they are not where they believe they should be. I
have to help them understand that it is unlikely that you will reach your goal by shaming yourself. Try replacing negative statements: “I can’t do it. I’m not good enough” with realistic positive statements “I’m trying every day. I’ll get there eventually”. You will find that
encouraging yourself helps you to stay focused on your goal. It also can serve as a motivator when you hit a setback.

Make it a Lifestyle

I think part of our problem in accomplishing goals is the timer we carry with them. People tend
to set Jan 1st as the starting point for their New Year goal. This is often followed by an estimated completion time. So then you start, you stop – then you try to start again but, it’s coming up on the time you “should” be completed with your goal… so you give up. How about making it a lifelong goal instead. It can have a start point but it doesn’t have to have an ending point. Most of the positive things we desire in life (good health, better relationships, career success etc.) work on a continuum. We don’t just stop when we get there. Very much like a garden, your life will always need tending to.

Surround Yourself with Support

Reaching a goal is so much better when the people you love are included in the journey. There will be times when you need encouragement. There will be times when you need accountability.
The people that make up your support system have your best interest in mind. They are people who want to see you grow and reach your goal. They are also the people who are waiting to celebrate you at the finish line. Your tribe is everything! If the people around you now are not working to build you up, this could be one of the reasons why you have had trouble reaching your goals.

You got this! Wishing you all the best in the New Year.