Welcome, 2014: Setting Your New Year's Resolutions!

Written by: Corinne Carter, Relationship Therapist

Lately it seems that New Year’s Resolutions have gotten a bad rap.  How many of you have had this experience: you tell a friend or family member about your resolutions for the new year, and they respond with a chuckle, saying something along the lines of, “tell that to me again in two weeks if you’ve managed to stick it out that long!”?  Keeping your New Year's Resolutions isn't necessarily easy.  Not long after the ball drops in Times Square, many people find that they’ve already “dropped the ball” on their goals for the year ahead!  We imagine that this has to do with a number of things, including setting unrealistic goals, lack of access to important resources, setting goals that you’re not truly invested in to begin with, etc.

But, in spite of all this, some research shows that setting goals at the beginning of the year, as opposed to any other time of year, can actually increase the likelihood of achieving those goals, particularly if you approach your resolutions thoughtfully.  The beginning of the year is a natural time for purposeful reflection.  The intersection between the end of one year and the beginning of another is a perfect opportunity to examine where you’ve been (e.g., your accomplishments and hardships from the previous year) as well as where you’re heading (e.g., who do you want to become and what do you hope to experience in the year ahead)?  As 2013 comes to an end, we encourage you to take pause and consider what is truly most important to you at this time in your life.  Ask yourself the following questions: how did I live out my values in the past year, and how can I more intentionally live out my values in 2014?

If you plan to set any resolutions for 2014, consider watching the following short video for more information on the science behind New Year’s Resolutions and tips on how to be successful in your goal setting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqbAsr6wN_I

You can also check out our previous blog post on goal setting, including how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals and the importance of planning for failure when striving for success, for more tips on how to create New Year’s Resolutions that stick.

Here's to your New Year's Resolutions!  Wishing you peace, love, and wellness in 2014!