How To Remain Committed To Your New Year Resolutions

As we enter the new year we often want to set a New Year resolution to work towards to improve ourselves and our lives. However, we often face habits, barriers, and thinking patterns daily that get in the way of us achieving our goals! Below are tips to help you remain committed and motivated towards reaching your New Year Resolution.

Use DBT S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) focuses on setting goals and achieving them using the acronym S.M.A.R.T. When creating a new year resolution focus on S.M.A.R.T to help you reach your goal by bringing structure and help you track your goals.

S-Specific:
Make your New Year Resolution as specific as possible. Be as descriptive as possible. The more descriptive you are, the higher chance you’ll reach your goal.

M-Measurable:
Is the goal something you can measure? The goal needs to be measurable in order to determine exactly what you will see, hear, and feel once you reach your goal. You can break down your goal into smaller measurable parts to keep track of your progress and keep you motivated.

A-Attainable:
Is this goal something you can actually achieve? You need to determine if you have access to the resources you need to achieve this goal, and if the time, effort, and other costs are worth it. If you do not have access to the resources or the time and money, you won’t be able to achieve the goal.

R-Relevant:
How is this goal relevant to you? Ask yourself, why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind this goal? Will this goal help you achieve that?

T-Timely:
Deadlines are a necessary evil! Put deadlines in place for each smaller goal to help you reach the bigger goal, and be flexible and realistic with your timeline to help yourself be motivated and committed to your new year resolution.

Barriers That May Get In The Way of Achieving Your Goal

Negative Thinking Patterns:

Challenge your negative thinking patterns with positive self-talk. Look for evidence to dispute your negative thinking patterns.

Don’t let one bad day ruin all your progress. You’re allowed to have ups and downs through this process. Focus on how far you’ve come, and continue to work towards your goal. Do NOT focus on one bad day or one mistake, instead show yourself compassion.

Habits:

On average, it takes 28 days to break a habit. Focus on breaking old habits. Habits get in the way of us reaching our goals. At one point the habit was helpful to you and served a purpose, now the habit is no longer helpful and is preventing you from reaching your goal. Identify and name the habit you want to break. Then identify how the habit was helpful to you at one point, and how it is no longer helpful to you today. Show yourself compassion for having developed this habit. Remind yourself daily why you want to break this habit. Make a habit tracker to hold yourself accountable.

Giving Up After Tough Times And Mistakes:

Remember, you’re going to face tough times during this journey. Don’t give up. Plan ahead for potential setbacks and difficulties, and identify and name how you will cope with and overcome them.

Do NOT view mistakes as failures. Remember there is a learning curve and you are going to make mistakes. Allow yourself room to be imperfect.

Mistakes are NOT failures. You’re human, you’re entitled to make mistakes. Don’t label your forward progress or your setbacks as ‘successes’ or ‘failures,’ this only makes you feel bad about yourself. Just think of it as progress in the direction you want to go, and bumps in the road you can learn from.

Other Things You Can Do To Help You Reach Your New Year Resolutions

Create Structure And Routine In Your Daily Life:

Create structure and routine in your life. If you commit to a time and place to do something, you’re more likely to do it.

Don’t Wait For Someday:

Someday is TODAY. If you did not start on the first of January that does NOT mean you can’t start a week later, a month later, in June, or any other day of the year!

Hold Yourself Accountable:

It’s important to hold yourself accountable. It may be helpful to speak with a licensed therapist to help remind you of your goals, identify barriers getting in the way, help you challenge your negative thinking patterns, and show you compassion through the ups and downs.

If you’re looking for a therapist to help you reach your New Year Resolutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to NG Mental Health Counseling for a free consultation on how we can help you!