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When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, I always remind myself that as human beings we’re all flawed, so I try to be realistic with my goals. I don’t look at flaw with any contempt or judgment. That’s what allows me to inspire and motivate people as a therapist. I embrace and cherish human flaw as an opportunity for growth, redemption, education and as a path forward. So this year, I want to continue on my own path forward. One of my resolutions is to find a new exercise routine that fits into my schedule routinely two times a week for twenty minutes. I’d also like to make sure I have a singing lesson at least once a month and sing karaoke at least once before the end of the year. Here are five tips that will help you make resolutions that are achievable for the New Year:

1. Stick to your goals

Many goals we make at the start of the year are too lofty. It might have something to do with the perceived weight of entering a new year, which seems more important than entering a new week or month. Perhaps we feel like we’re supposed to make resolutions but don’t take them seriously. And sometimes we choose resolutions based on what a professional suggested or that mimic a friend’s resolutions.

Setting New Year’s resolutions can offer a fresh start and a path for shifting your life in a positive direction. I recommend setting resolutions in a different, smarter way so they fit your life.

2. Make your resolutions realistic

The key to creating and reaching resolutions is to make them achievable. If a goal is too far outside our reach, we can become discouraged and lose faith in ourselves and our dreams. For example, many people will create a resolution like trying to lose 10 pounds this year. But a goal like that can start to feel impossible, especially since slow progress can be more effective for major and lasting change.

3. Start with small steps

Rather than trying to take a giant leap and falling, I would suggest creating smaller goals to bring you to a larger one. It’s easy to want to see results right away. But when we expect too much too fast, we often don’t make it where we want to be. It tends to be more effective to strive for slow progress. Settle into the process, and start small.

And if you’re really struggling to reach a small goal, you may want consider seeking guidance from a professional who is knowledgeable about the type of goal you want to reach.

4. Don’t listen to anyone else but yourself

I also advise people that goals should be completely based on ourselves. They shouldn’t reflect anyone else or be dependent on the outside world for success.

5. Make goals you can control

When we set goals but don’t have full control over the outcome, we set ourselves up for failure. For instance, instead of resolving to get a raise, which is dependent on the company and superiors, consider setting a goal to improve your work performance.

Other types of goals you can control include:

  • Exercise
  • Healthy eating
  • Reading and learning
  • Cultural activities
  • Taking time off by using vacation days

Remember, even if the progress is slow, reaching small goals provides a rewarding experience and helps us see that we’re moving forward toward a healthier, more fulfilling life.


Originally published on Thrive Global.