Fort Wellness Counseling

How to Set New Year's Resolutions

how to set new year's resolutions

As we head into 2024, many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Making resolutions and setting goals can positively impact mental health. However, pursuing them isn’t necessarily easy. If you’re wondering how to set New Year’s resolutions — or how to stick with them — today’s blog reveals everything you need to know.

How to Set New Year’s Resolutions

Setting goals gives us a sense of purpose. Additionally, achieving them can boost our self-esteem, confidence, personal growth, and sense of accomplishment.

Here’s how to set New Year’s resolutions (and ensure you stick with them):

Identify Areas of Improvement

Naturally, areas of your life that need improvement will vary from person to person. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying too much at once! Instead, identify potential lifestyle changes and select just one or two to work on.

(To better motivate you to achieve your goals, make sure you know why you’re pursuing them.)

Be Realistic, Yet Optimistic

When setting goals, you must acknowledge your limitations and set realistic expectations. However, this shouldn’t come at the expense of optimism! Make sure to engage in positive self-talk while working towards your goals.

Prioritize Goals Based on Importance

If you’re setting multiple goals, prioritize them on a matter of importance, need, and time. Additionally, breaking larger goals into smaller chunks makes them more attainable.

Make Sure They’re SMART Goals

You’ll need a plan to achieve your goals. Additionally, make sure they are…

    • Specific. Consider the who, what, where, when, and why of your goal.

    • Measurable. Make sure you’re able to monitor your progress.

    • Attainable. Your goal shouldn’t be too challenging.

    • Relevant. Will it fit into your current lifestyle?

    • Timely. Set clear, realistic time limits.

Establish Routines and Monitor Your Progress

Turning your resolutions into habits will make them stick. Therefore, we recommend habit stacking, which leverages already-existing routines to build healthy habits. Essentially, the brain has strong neural connections for our daily routines, and habit stacking is all about piggybacking those connections with new behaviors. The concept of habit stacking comes from a great book, Atomic Habits by James Clear.  

Also recognize that many goals take a while to achieve, and you’re likely to encounter setbacks. Be organized and keep track of your goal’s progress. Additionally, consider rewarding yourself at milestones if you need a bit of motivation.

You Can Start Goals Anytime

Lastly, I’d encourage you to not think about “New Year’s Resolutions.”  The reasoning?  You can start a new goal, habit or lifestyle change any day of the week, any time of year, whenever you want.  Far too often we set goals that are months in advance.  You can get started today.  One of the most important keys is to work on your overall mindset about goals and lifestyle changes.  Find ways to track your progress and reward yourself.  Try to get a little bit better as each day progresses.   

Fort Worth Therapist

If you were wondering how to set New Year’s resolutions, we hope today’s post pointed you in the right direction. However, if you need help cultivating long-lasting change, our Fort Worth therapists are here for you. We specialize in individual therapy, life coaching services, and specialty counseling. Additionally, we’re well-equipped to help you achieve your goals and experience a higher quality of life.

Ready to get started? Contact our team today

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