How to Choose the "Right" New Years Resolution?

KD Holmes, MS, LPC | New Year's Resolution 2023

What if for your New Year's resolution you did not choose something that was perfectionistic, self-hating, idealistic, and counter to how you live your life? So many New Year's Resolutions are created from our emotional minds.  

What if you threw out expectations of yourself, idealized images, and cultural views super imposed upon you?  Do you think listening to these parts keeps you from giving into a hedonistic life style? What if you wiped your internal slate clean? Would it frighten you to choose from your authentic self?   

How to Identify your Authentic Self?

What I am suggesting is to get in touch with your authentic self and let that part of you choose!  Is your resolution authentically yours, or did you take it on from someone or something else?

Identify what is influencing your Resolution:  

Your History

What drives New Years Resolutions is all this "crap" from the our own history, the way we were socialized in our childhood by parents, society, and cultural affiliations.  

Current Influences

What we observe as success on social media, the news, and in the world around us.   These influences become internal reference points that drive our choices and behaviors without us even knowing. We are like drones being shaped by an external machine.  

Your own Emotional Thinking

Our choices can be driven by expectations that are perfectionistic, irrational, and emotional.  

Identify Your New Year's Resolution with Your Inner Wisdom, teasing our your influences that are not inline with your authentic self.  

So make sure your New Year's Resolution comes from your inner wisdom.  A goal you would suggest to friends, or loved ones, because we are often kinder to others than we are to ourselves.     

When to see a Therapist?

And if as you read this blog you are totally lost and don't have a good grasp of your history, current influences, and your own own irrational thinking, then it's time to see a Therapist. You may need another person to help unpack your inner world and take a deeper dive with in yourself.  

Maybe you have a slight sense of what I'm talking about but can't differentiate what's authentically you and what's your history.  Then seeing a therapist can help be more intentional about your choices and achieve success.  Deepening our understanding of ourselves through therapy results in more intentional behaviors in our lives.  

When we can't complete a New Year's resolution there are many factors that could get in the way.  

Helpful Problem Solving Questions to Achieve your Resolution:

Did you think of the Resolution or did you have a hard time remembering what it was?

Reminders might need to be up around your house, or in your phone to remember the goal you are working on.  

Were you willing to do the Resolution?

Sometimes we say want to do something but our willingness is not completely there.  I love a pros and cons list and reading it at certain times during the day can keep us on track.  

What got in the way of your New Year's Resolution? 

Sometimes emotions or unforeseen circumstances get in the way of our goals.  If its emotions identify a way to manage your emotions through creativity, exercise, meditations, journaling, and communicating needs.  Unforeseen circumstances arise because life happens and sometimes we can work through it and sometimes we need to be flexible with ourselves and realize we are doing the best that we can.  

New years resolutions are not about perfectionisticly sticking with a goal or giving up.  It's not all or nothing thinking, it's about learning.  

New Years Resolution are about learning...and Learning takes time, patience, and persistence  

So stick with the goals throughout the whole year and continue to tweak whatever's getting in the way so that you can successfully and within reason maintain it.  This year take a deeper look into what you are agreeing to with your New Years resolutions.

Are they reasonable, realistic, and can you take the journey with a kind heart and commitment to yourself to see it through till the very end? Being kind to yourself does not mean giving in.  It means taking a deeper look into barriers and problem solving through them.  If you can't do it alone, therapy is a great place to hash it out.  Just make sure your therapist doesn't just understand.  Make sure they hold you to the goals and move you through your barriers.  

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