Historically, January has been a month of resolution building. Each year we hear endless buzz about ways to improve our lifestyles and reach new goals. Some people become obsessive over making these self-improvements which can add stress and anxiety to an already hectic start to the year.
Often times we see these resolutions struggle to surpass even their first month of practice, and we are left wondering: why did they fail? Although there will never be a perfect plan to suit everyone, we at Cornerstone Counseling believe that a shift in perspective will do wonders for your 2019 ambitions. We challenge you to create consistencies instead of resolutions!
Doesn’t it seem jarring that as we leave a season of thorough thankfulness, we immediately enter one of severe self-criticism? Over the holidays many of us take time to appreciate what we have, but with the flip of a calendar’s page we deem it insufficient. This inconsistent ideology is likely a byproduct of our endlessly fluctuating society, but it will not lead to progressive change. If we continue to shift our priorities with the seasons it is likely that none of our goals will be achieved.
Here is Cornerstone’s suggested plan of attack for your 2019 Goal Setting:
Consider some of the most popular trends like extreme dieting or quitting bad habits, or take a look at your own New Year’s Resolutions, then ask yourself the following…
· Are these sustainable?
With the momentum of the New Year, many people overshoot their expectations for certain goals such as dieting or saving money. We would ask that you consider whether or not the plan you have set is sustainable for more than just a few months. Will it leave you unhealthy or struggling to make ends meet? Will it make you happy and able to continue with your daily lives undisrupted?
If the goal you set is not something that can last, give it an adjustment so that it has legs for longer than the first 31 days of the year.
· Will they leave you worse off in any way?
It is important that the plans you make are not going to be harmful to you in any way. Be sure that you are able to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle while working towards your goals or else you could experience negative effects that could leave you worse off than where you began.
· Will these harm anyone else in your life?
New Year’s Resolutions usually leave us focused on ourselves. It is important that we do not become so self-centered that those who love and depend on us are left behind. Be sure that you are able to uphold your various responsibilities while achieving your New Year’s ambitions. If you see any barriers or issues be sure to adjust the goals accordingly so that you are not letting anyone down while building yourself up.
· Have you set up accountability checks?
Have you scheduled time to monitor progress on your goals? This is an important piece in long term success building. If you have no way of holding yourself accountable for the things you set forth to accomplish, then it will be easier to give up on your plans. If you do not have good self-accountability, perhaps you can include someone close to you who will help to ensure that you are staying true to the goals you have set. Honesty is a big part of making resolutions work!
· Do you need additional resources to achieve them?
Finally, with the extreme nature of some of the goals that are set this time of year, be sure that you have lined up the appropriate resources. There are many things in life that we can achieve on our own, but it is important that we reach out to professionals or peers who are able to help us achieve more challenging feats.
For things such as breaking addiction, improving attitudes and relationships, or simply becoming more balanced and happy- Cornerstone Counseling is here to help and would be honored to be a part of your journey. Give us a call today if we can assist with any of your 2019 goals and ambitions.
It is true that New Year’s Resolutions can be a productive practice, but we ask that you work to elongate the potential of successes. Beat the seasonal goal-setting trend and create true consistent plans that become more of a behavior shift than a fleeting fix.
Happy New Year to you and yours from Cornerstone Counseling!