Dr. Amy Stark
Child Psychologist, Author & Speaker
Teaching Families How to Live Divorced
and Self-Esteem for Girls and Boys
Food For Thought
Are Your New Year’s Resolutions the Right Size?
New Year’s resolutions. Why do we make them? Every year we have the desire to start the year off right and vow to correct troublesome behaviors or turn a new leaf in our relationships. Typically people pick impossible to do goals that have not been successful before, which make them believe that goal-setting does not work.
Individuals vow to lose weight and get in shape. Good goals if you had an action plan you could commit to and the support around you to start. Getting married or in a loving relationship by the end of the year are also common resolutions. Or a person might want to have their dream job or start their own business, all without a longer-term action plan to help them achieve it.
Goals are nice, but goals should include a stepwise action plan that is achievable. Here are a few examples:
- Losing 30 pounds is a good longer-term goal. What if instead you started to change your diet and made a goal for the first 30 days to eat more fruits and veggies and actually walk or join a gym that you go to twice a week. After you take on one distinct portion of the goal for 30 days, you are then ready to add the next step.
- In the case of a loving relationship or marriage goal, instead focus on improving your social networking, finding things you enjoy doing, working on loving yourself. Deciding on your own that it is time to marry does not always work for everyone around you. Being open to a relationship is a good goal and then stepwise making plans to try new things and being more social are very achievable.
- Starting your own business requires an action plan and a business plan. You need guidance on how to proceed and a solid action plan about the funding before you simply quit your employment before having a way to earn money and obtain medical benefits.
You can pick the larger goals as overall targets for a one, two, or even three year plan. Then make little plans that will bring you closer to achieving the goal and remember that as you do make change, the ultimate goal might change as well.
It’s lovely to set up a goal to work towards – don’t stop doing that – just be realistic and continue to fine tune the goal along the way.
Dr. Stark's Web site is not intended to take the place of a court-ordered advice or the advice of another professional. Although you may use the input found here to your best advantage, we recommend that you do so in conjunction with the work that you are doing with your individual therapist. Remember: this Web site is not therapy; it's knowledge and support.
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