By GRACE HALLOCK

Happy 2018! I’m pumped to be back for Mental Health Mondays so let’s jump right in…

 

It didn’t take me long to figure out what my first topic of the new year would be because it’s certainly on everyone’s mind. RESOLUTIONS. As the clock winds down on a year gone by, our brains begin to swirl with the possibilities of a fresh new start. There’s just something magical and motivating about a fresh start, and I’m all about growth and goals.

 

Here’s some goals I’ve seen floating around:

  1. Eat better
  2. Exercise
  3. Lose weight
  4. Get organized
  5. Find a job I love
  6. Be a better person
  7. Travel more
  8. And the list goes on…

 

But here’s the deal, how realistic are these goals? And how long before these goals get pushed aside? Let’s look at the actual definition of GOAL:

 

“A goal is an observable and measurable end result that you intend to achieve or accomplish. A well-planned goal also includes some sort of timeframe.”

 

So most (if not all) of the goals listed above would not meet these criteria. The key words are observable and measurable. The general vagueness can make achieving these goals overwhelming. I say start small.

 

Instead of “eating better,” maybe simply: “For the next month, I’ll substitute sparkling water for soda or coffee” or “I’ll limit myself to dessert only on the weekends.” Also, if exercise isn’t part of your current routine, but you are hoping to make this change, I would suggest implementing 1 or 2 days of light exercise a week and see how it goes! This will give you little boosts of confidence along the way because you are actually accomplishing your goals.

 

A note about perfectionism: Growth means letting go of perfection. So when you slip up (and you will), be courageous and try try again! Remember, new beginnings don’t have to start with a new year. You can implement positive changes anytime.

 

And for those of you who aren’t in to resolutions…that’s totally ok too! This is my encouragement for you, “What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?” I can’t take credit for this quote, but I absolutely love it. So, be well my friends! And treat yourself with love and compassion like you would a friend. Wishing you love, health, happiness, and success this year and always.

 

Grace Hallock, MA, LPC-MHSP (temp), NCC, is the founder of R.E.A.L. Counseling Services in Brentwood, TN. She’s passionate about restoring and empowering others to embrace authenticity and cultivate lasting change. Learn more about Grace’s counseling services HERE.