With the arrival of the new year, one stage closes and another begins. It can be a perfect excuse to find extra motivation and introduce that change in our life that we have been thinking about for some time. This season, in addition to a period of reflection, can be a good opportunity to modify or introduce new habits.
Reviewing expectations and resolutions of the year gone by
María Jurado, one of our expert psychologists at Wemby, gives us some recommendations to better manage resolutions. Before setting goals, perhaps we can take some time to reflect on the year that has just ended, review our last resolutions and learn about that process in order to achieve new accomplishments.
What you have achieved
- If we set certain goals last year, now is the time to review what I accomplished that I couldn’t do before. Analyzing each of these things individually will help you to have a clearer vision. How about congratulating yourself for it? Recognizing and being grateful for your strengths will help you on the road to wellness.
What do you feel you have made progress on?
- It’s time to do the exercise in a more practical and visual way. Can you put in one word each of the achievements you have made? To make it more direct, you can list these words in a column, one below the other. Then you can rate them from 0 to 10 in a parallel column, according to their importance to you and the degree to which you have achieved them.
How to use it to achieve new accomplishments
- This small reflection can help you to be conscious of each of these achievements. In this way you will be doing a “bath of being”: you keep these words, you make them yours, you incorporate them into your language and you believe them.
- The exercise works through positive reinforcement. Just with language, through the strengths you write down, you can see what you are and have been capable of. You can lean on them to know what you can achieve. And at this point you can move on to setting new challenges with a greater chance of success.
Adjusting annual goals to actual capabilities
It is also important that our resolutions are realistic, adapted to our needs and measurable for you to be able to track progress over time. If we want to introduce a new habit, we are more likely to achieve it if we subdivide this habit into small actions that we will gradually introduce into our routines.
As they explain in this Business Insider article, “even if these small challenges make up the larger purpose, it’s quite rewarding to keep crossing tasks off your list.”
What do you want to accomplish this year that will contribute to your personal growth
- It’s very important that the focus is on setting realistic goals: that are within your capabilities and mostly dependent on you. It may help to define them clearly and break them down into small steps.
- It may also help to check that they are really part of your personality and help you grow, that is, that they are habits of identity. Psychologist María García Salinas comments that “when the purpose is based on a desire of your own, it is more likely that the goal will come to fruition than if the reasons are external.”
How you can anchor your accomplishments
- The next step is to always write them down, so that they are in a notebook physically and not in the “fantasy” of your mind. To remind yourself why you are doing them, you can reread them very often. What if you have them in front of you on the computer, on the fridge or on a corkboard?
- Putting our goals on paper will make us more motivated and help us take control of our life, explains ABC. In this Xataka article they recommend up to 21 different tools and applications for your cell phone with which you can achieve your goals. They can help you with sports, nutrition, meditation or organization.
- Throughout the process it is very important that you congratulate yourself for what you have achieved. Not only that, you can also give yourself permission to just try and even to make mistakes.
Looking for goals and adjusting them to your personality
Once we have our list of resolutions, the following keys and questions make up the final step:
- Do they serve to work in the here and now?
- Are they what I want to be and will they give me stability or peace?
- Are they adequate to the moment I am in my life?
- Do they respond to a need of my own or of someone or something else?
It is vitally important that they are realistic goals. It is important to go from seeking goals that do not define us, goals that are temporary trends, goals that others want us to achieve, to goals that make us really happy.
At Wemby, we will be happy to help you with your process.
About the Author
Hi! I’m Laura Lillo, a forensic and clinical psychologist. I strongly believe that psychology services should be accessible to all. I’ve worked in prisons and with kids with risks of social exclusion. This has taught me the importance of constant learning and improvement as a person and as a therapist.
If I’m not cooking, drawing or singing, the most likely scenario is that I’m playing board games. Right now, I’m busy learning and writing content for Wemby, an online psychology platform. During my weekends I’m Game Master in Exit Madrid, a escape rooms company.