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  • Kayla White, LPC, CCTP

New Years Resolutions


The ending of this December is bringing about a lot of feels. The ending of another holiday season, another year, and another decade. It seems like only yesterday Justin Timberlake was telling me to cry a river in his angelic tone. (That might be because it’s still on my playlist and I was listening to it yesterday. Click the link to enjoy the vid.) With the new year often comes New Year’s resolutions. Some people will read those words with delight while others will read them and groan. I’m here to tell you that either reaction is okay. While we don’t have to wait for the new year to give us permission to set goals we can absolutely be motivated by the newness to do so.


If you are a person who doesn’t set New Year’s resolutions, I get it. It’s January. It’s winter. It’s cold. It is hard as hell to get motivated when it’s cold. It’s also the end of the holiday season that may have been stressful, depressing, or a reminder of someone or something you lost. Those are also not motivating factors for change. I can understand how people may think resolutions are commercial (companies literally make commercials about them), feel annoyed because the gym is more crowded for a few months, or hold back vomit every time they see an unrealistic post such as “good vibes only in 2020.”


If you are a person who does set New Year’s resolutions, I also get it. Often times there is hope in newness. There is a sense of a fresh start. Maybe your desire for a fresh start is motivated by an exceptionally hard year, learning new things about yourself, or simply wanting to change. I can understand why people may not be motivated to make changes throughout the year. We get into habits and routines that are tough to break and there is a lot of commercial hype and energy to break those habits and change those routines in the new year. You can use this gimmicky hype and energy to your advantage.


Whether you are a resolutioner or not, we all have goals we want to achieve. Most people don’t achieve their goals (or resolutions) because they are too broad and there’s no accountability. So let's learn how to set SMART goals whether you decide to do so in a few days or in a few months.


There's a whole lotta truth to that meme. You want to start exercising? Great! You want to improve yourself? Awesome! You want to read more? Fantastic! But what the hell does any of that mean? The entire definition of more depends on what already is.


S- Specific (Having clear and concise goals gives you a roadmap and keeps you accountable)

M- Measurable (Having the ability to track goals shows you real-life progress and increases motivation)

A- Achievable (Having realistic and achievable goals sets you up for success)

R- Relevant (Having goals that are significant to you motivates you to actually put effort into achieving them)

T- Timely (Giving yourself a deadline also contributes to accountability)


One of my resolutions is to start working out more. That isn't a SMART goal. So, what would it look like if I turned it into one?


S- I will start working out 5 days per week by the end of February.

M- I can keep track of the days I work out on a calendar.

A- This will be achievable if I complete a mixture of at-home and gym workouts.

R- This is relevant to my life plan of living a healthier lifestyle.

T- I have set a deadline for the end of March.


While goals do need to be smart, rigidity is often a recipe for anxiety. I allowed some flexibility with my SMART goal by incorporating both home and gym workouts and by giving myself three months to complete the goal so I can figure out my schedule without becoming overwhelmed. Leave a comment if you have a question regarding SMART goals!



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