By Dr. Whitney Wall

Do you find that you make the same resolutions year after year without much progress? This is all too common and a discouraging way to start off a new year! Try these best practice strategies to increase the likelihood that you will reach the goals you set for yourself and become the best version of “you.”

Make your goals as specific, measurable, and realistic as possible.
Instead of saying – “I’m going to eat healthier this year” – identify exactly what, when, and how you plan to change your behavior. For example, a better goal might be: “I will eat salad three times per week for lunch for 1 month.” Then, you can re-evaluate and adjust your goals as needed.

Identify what motivates you.
What is the why behind your goal? Dig deep to find out what is true and unique for you even if it’s not glamorous. I once had a mentor who claimed her motivation to live a healthy life was fear that her husband would remarry and another women would spend her hard earned money! What is your unique motivator? Connect with this. Visualize how meeting your goals will impact what motivates you, especially when you find yourself losing steam.

Know your barriers and make plans for overcoming the obstacles that stand in your way.
You likely already know what stands in the way of your success. Make a list of what barriers you anticipate limiting your progress and prepare in advance specifically how you will prevent these barriers and/or address them when they arise.

Don’t set it and forget it!
Regularly assess the progress you’ve made towards reaching your goals (or lack thereof) and make adjustments as needing using the suggestions provided in Tip #1. It’s helpful to schedule check-ins in advance.

Practice self-compassion.
Carl Rogers famously said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Sometimes it’s the negative self-talk that stands in our way more than anything else! Take a deep breath, acknowledge how hard it is to change well-worn patterns of behavior, know you are not alone in your struggle, and cut yourself some slack. Ironically, you may find that this change in attitude frees you up to actually move in a positive direction towards your goal!

Reach out to KKJ if you’d like professional support in reaching your goals – we are here to help.

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