Happy New Year, everybody! Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions?
I know I’ve talked about resolutions before, but I think it’s important to talk about again because I think it’s really important to check in with yourself for the new year. Each year we gain some more insights and I wanted to update this blog to include other key questions that may be important to ask ourselves to set ourselves up with success.
That question, which people seem to ask every year, can be such an overwhelming and personal question. It’s not always easy to answer. The person asking the question is basically asking you if you’re making any goals this year.
A lot of times people “fail” at their resolutions. There’s a lot of personal reasons for this, and I’m not going to pretend to know what all the reasons are for each individual. I suspect some of the reasons include feelings of being overwhelmed, being burnt out, creating internalized pressure, all-or-nothing thinking, and other cognitive distortions.
What is your resolution? If you have more than one resolution, what is the priority order of your resolutions?
What do you need to accomplish your resolution(s)? Any material items? Memberships? Clubs? Time? Support?
What’s the very first little step that you need to take to get started on this resolution? How long do you want to give yourself to take this first step? What’s the second step? Repeat these questions for however many steps you need.
How can you tell you are starting to get overwhelmed by your resolutions? Was your initial goal and timeline realistic? Do you need to re-assess your plan? What are you telling yourself about needing to adjust your timeline? How do you know when a goal is realistic?
If you need to readjust your resolution, it is not failing. You do not need to give up. As you gain more experience and knowledge you are able to make a more informed plan! If anything, you are gaining wisdom by and practicing self-care by adjusting your goals to meet your needs.
Do you need to take a break? How do you know you need one? How long does it need to be? How will you get back to your resolution when the break is over? Taking a break is different than giving up. How often do you need to “check-in” with yourself to assess your needs?
Is your support system truly supporting you? What’s the difference between positive support and negative feelings of pressure? What do they look/feel/sound like? How important is external accountability? Does each person in your support system need to support you in the same way? What you decide to share with people is entirely up to you. Remember to set boundaries when developing your support system.
While on your resolution journey, what are you finding out about yourself along the way? Is the resolution you set out for yourself still what you ultimately want? Have you discovered anything new, or better, along the way? How do you know it’s better and not just something new and exciting? How can you not confuse what you ultimately want with what you want now?
Are you engaging in negative self-talk, catastrophic thinking, mind reading, all-or-nothing thinking, or other cognitive distortions? Is it impacting you on your way to your goals? How can you challenge these distortions, ground yourself in reality and the present, and get back on track with your goals? What gaps are missing that need to be filled?
Also, I think it’s important to reflect on where you are now versus where you were a year ago. What has changed since then? Where are you now compared to then? What did you learn this past year that can help you with your future goals?
A resolution, or goal, can be as big or as small as you need it to be. Everyone is on a different journey, so don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. They can do them, you do you. Are you telling yourself any stories about others judging you for your goals? Are they true or rational? Is it helpful? What would be helpful? Are you judging other people’s resolutions? What about their goals makes you judge? What does this tell you about yourself?
Even reading this blog with all these questions may seem overwhelming. That’s okay. Save it and come back to it as needed if you want. Reach out to your coach or counselor if you need help. We’re more than happy to help you combat the feelings of overwhelm and burnout and break down your resolution one little step at a time.