When I told my husband I didn’t have any New Year’s resolutions, he asked, “don’t you believe in self-improvement?” Of course I do, I’m a therapist, but self-improvement does not just happen over night once a year. I know that for myself and for the clients I have helped.
I think the idea of setting new goals is great, but if you are like me and have fallen back into old habits a week into January, it is discouraging to think you have already “failed” at your resolutions.
Here are some new ways to think about goals and self-improvement:
- Habits can take about 3 months to create, according to some studies.
- Missing a day of your new habit does not reduce the chance of forming the habit.
- You don’t have to wait until next year to find new motivation; each day is a new start!
- Messing up” is OK; two steps forward and one step back is still making progress.
Something I enjoy as a therapist is helping individuals to work through discouragement and feel empowered to keep making changes in their lives. If the first week of January was discouraging, January 18 can be your fresh start. It doesn’t matter if it is January 1st or January 18th.