Making Realistic Changes for 2020

The start of the New Year is often filled with hope, excitement, and a fresh outlook on life. It can be a wonderful time to reflect and make positive lifestyle changes. However, even the best intentions can sometimes leave you feeling more anxious, frustrated, and hopeless, especially if you find yourself struggling with your “resolutions” only a couple of weeks into the year.

With the right mindset and a realistic approach, you can begin to establish long-lasting, healthy habits and follow through on your goals.

Tips for realistic and achievable goals in 2020:

1. Keep it Simple
While there may be many things you would like to work on in the new year, trying to tackle them all at once can be overwhelming and bring on feeling of disappointment and guilt. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals and channel your energy into just these.

2. Small Steps 
Don’t set yourself up for failure. Goals should be clear, realistic, and attainable. For example, if your goal is to exercise more in the new year, choose a workout regime or schedule you know you can stick to. For example, instead of running 5 days a week, start with a brisk walk or light jog twice a week and work your way up from there.

3. Go Easy on Yourself 
It’s ok and even expected to take a step back or two during the change process. It’s important to acknowledge this and learn to accept set-backs from time to time. Just because you ate those couple slices of pizza doesn’t mean you need to abandon your healthy diet altogether or harbor feelings of guilt.

4. Enlist Support 
Sharing your experiences with others, whether positive or negative, can elicit feelings of validation, acceptance, and motivation. Talking to family or friends, joining a support group or speaking to a therapist about your daily success or struggles can be very beneficial in assisting you in your efforts.

5. Be Intentional 
Everything we do is out of habit. Just as habits can be formed, they can be broken as well. Make it a point to be aware of your daily choices, emotions and energy. Take time out to breathe, meditate, or reflect on these things daily to begin creating meaningful habits that last.

Here’s to your Well Being and a fabulous 2020!
-Erminia Severini, LPC