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Want to make an effective New Year’s resolution?

Want to make an effective New Year’s resolution?

Written by Amanda Turco, LPC

It’s almost the new year, which means many of us are thinking about resolutions, you know, the ones that often fizzle by February. There’s a variety of reasons why New Year’s Resolutions don’t stick for most people. One of these is that we set goals based on what others might expect or are the social norm, but those might not be what works for you. And, it might not even be what you value and brings you joy!

For some people, making goals at a time that’s high pressure is not a supportive and sustaining practice, and that’s okay too. You can decide to just keep on keeping on. That said, if you like the opportunity to reflect and assess how you might like to grow and make progress in your life in 2024, here is my favorite tip in thinking about your personal goals that are meaningful, realistic, and totally achievable – and the best part? You don’t need anything except a pen and paper to get started.

You’re going to do some journaling. Yes, even if you’re not a journaler! Set time to write and do the following:

  • Write down your day to day activities including chores, work or school- related tasks, exercise, self-care appointments, hobbies, time with friends. This can be a multi-day-process, because there may be things that you don’t remember you do that are important and valuable!
    Next to each activity, rate your level of mastery (how accomplished did this make me feel) and pleasure (how happy did I feel during/ afterwards) and how recharged you felt on a scale of 1-10
    At the end of this, you should have a good idea of the daily tasks that are making you feel productive, energized, and happy. These are the things that we want to set intentions to keep doing in the new year!
    You will also have an idea which things cause you to feel drained, unproductive, and unhappy. This is powerful information! Next, your work is to problem solve, set boundaries, and create intentions to reduce these behaviors and help foster more of the positive energy and cup-filling-activities, as us therapists like to say (you know, you have to fill your own cup first before you give to others!).

Remember, change is hard and takes time. Setting small intentions to change the trends in your daily routines can create that upward spiral into improving your mood, energy, and overall well- being.

If you notice in your daily journal more stress, loss of pleasure, sadness, and burnout, don’t be afraid to reach out to us, or another therapist, to help! You don’t have to struggle alone and there’s so much help and hope out there.

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