At this time of year, many people choose to make resolutions, but how many people are still sticking to these habits later in the year? Clinical Director of Counseling Solutions, Dr. Mark Taliancich, has a few tips to maintain your goals for 2020.
- Something > nothing. When we make lofty goals, we often set ourselves up to fail by expecting to achieve it all in an unrealistic amount of time. Making small progress even if it means taking a short walk when your ultimate goal is running a marathon is still significant. Small steps over a long period of time add up to a bigger reward than quitting because you couldn’t run 5 miles in your first month of training.
- Accept slip ups with self-compassion. Expect to slip up, but don’t remain in self-judgment and guilt. When you fall off the wagon, hold yourself accountable, but move on to curiosity by asking yourself, “What have I learned from this, and what am I going to do about it?” Allowing yourself to make mistakes actually strengthens your ability to try new or difficult things.
- Get support. Change can be hard, and forming habits takes consistent action over time. Support and encouragement from friends, family, a mentor, support group, or therapist are vital until new patterns stick. Look into local Meet Ups with similarly minded people or share your goal with a loved one so that they can become your cheering section.
Most importantly, remember it’s never too late to get back on track or try something new. While these small steps can lead to improved mental and physical health, they should not be used to replace therapy for those of us facing difficult issues. If you need help, contact Counseling Solutions at 985-785-2113 to schedule an appointment at one of our six locations.