As we move into the end of this year and into a brand new year we get the chance to reflect on how we have set and made our personal goals, or how we have not. Looking into the new year we begin to think about setting ‘resolutions’ or new personal goals. But, how can we make an maintain a goal that sticks? This can often be frustrating so setting ourselves up for success is really important. Take a peak at goal setting made easy!
One of the most important reasons change is so difficult is one’s lack of commitment. If there is no commitment made to accomplish a goal, it won’t happen. There are some coping skills or positive strategies that can help you make your behavior changes, such as healthy eating,exercising regularly, or stopping substance use last. Coping skills can be internal (our thoughts) or external (visible to others).
The following coping skills will help tolerate significant change such as giving up unhealthy habits or not giving into impulses.
1. Involve others-having support of other people is helpful because it speeds up our learning process. We learn to make changes by watching others.
2. Remember to reward yourself-deciding to make changes takes effort and can create stress and anxiety. Rewarding yourself can help you through those tough moments and keep you motivated through the ups and downs of change. Rewards should be immediate and not too big, for example a new outfit or a nice meal.
3. Plan ahead-change is less stressful when you have a contingency plan in place
4. Reframe your thinking-become aware of what’s going on when you are struggling or when you break negative patterns. When you become aware of these negative thoughts you can train yourself to shift them into a positive thought. So instead of “I don’t deserve this” you could think, “I worked hard for this.”
5. Take time to reflect-Before diving into something new or changing your lifestyle, take the time to mourn what you will be losing. Putting your thoughts down in a journal, talking to a friend, or therapist, or writing a poem or a song gives your thoughts a voice.
6. Stress relief-incorporate stress relief into your daily routine; listen to relaxing music, meditate, or take a warm bath
7. Express gratitude-noticing a sky or sunset, talking about the highlight of your day at dinner, or keeping a gratitude journal can reset your mind
Setting and maintaining your goals can be easier with a simple set of coping strategies that work!
If you would like to evaluate your goals or set some new ones, please give me a call or send me an email today! Maggie@Cardinalpointwi.com
You can also schedule an appointment by CLICKING HERE
See you soon!
Maggie is a Certified Social Worker, Addiction Counselor and Wellness Advocate.