Although it’s commonly thought of as effort towards positive change, making a New Year’s resolution can sometimes do more harm than good. A resolution is essentially a personal goal and if, or when we don’t reach it, we often feel like we’ve failed. I recently read 70 percent of resolutions fail within the first 3 months, which is not very encouraging.
Instead of declaring a resolution, try starting with a little self-acceptance and love. Ask yourself what you did well in the last year – what you’ve accomplished or achieved. Or try asking yourself where things didn’t go wrong; where you didn’t fail or fall behind. Sit with that recognition for a bit and appreciate the achievement in it before diving too deep into identifying areas you want to change. When and if you do declare a New Year’s resolution, try using this simple framework we often use in healthcare to guide you:
- Problem: What is the problem, issue, or area you’d like to work on?
- Goal: What is the end result you’d like to accomplish?
- Intervention: How are you going to get there? Be realistic. Work within your capabilities and resources. Setting yourself up for small achievable successes is usually better than large or lofty goals that require a lot of input to accomplish.
- Progress: How will you measure your progress? Measure along the way rather than just at the end of your timeline or deadline. Be flexible and if you’re not seeing progress or fall off course, correct and get back on track.
The clinicians at Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry are here to support you in all seasons of life. Whether you’re reflecting on the past, focused on the present, or looking to the future, our trained and knowledgeable team is here to help you meet your goals. Please call (847) 440-2281 if you would like to schedule with one of our clinicians.
New Year, Same Wonderful You!
Heidi Napolitano, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry