Updated: Oct 7, 2022
September already! Such a cliche to say it, but how did the year go so fast!?
This time of year, is often where we can start to slip into our old crappy, entrenched and not so helpful habits. The year can get on top of us, we start squeezing extra work, getting too flexible with boundaries, or just dropping our exercise routine and perhaps slipping in the extra glass of wine or 2 that we shouldn’t have on the weekend (or is that just me ooops)!
Then we can look back on the year and think how did I get here and why am I still doing exactly the same thing I always do?
Then we might say "Ah well, screw it, I've done it again" and then maybe you just continue with your old habit.
Did you set yourself any goals (or dare I say New Years Resolutions) at the beginning of the year?
If you’re pretty on track, well done!
And if you’re not, treat yourself kindly, it's all good, we're humans and our brains are wired for the same old habit.
Kicking a habit or creating a new one, takes regular reflection, self compassion, perhaps some accountability from a friend, therapist or compassionate partner. If you've had a difficult year or particularly stressful things happen, our brains often quickly kick back into an old pattern. They do what's familiar and what feels comfortable, in the short term.
It's really ok.
How to Set Yourself Goals You'll Actually Do...
Specific and achievable (but also challenging yourself a touch) goals, are better than setting yourself a grand resolution at the beginning of the year. If you say you want to be healthier, then get reaaalllly specific.
- Break down healthier, maybe this means you need to increase your exercise or eat better. - - Think about what you could easily do each day. E.g. Drink a glass of water in the morning and increase your steps by 2000.
- If your goals isn't realistic, you're just not going to get it done, in the long run.
James Clear says that creating habits, is about the 1% you do everyday.
- So sit yourself down, reflect on your goals, reflect on where you got off track and reroute your compass back towards where you need to be going. And drill down on getting specific and achievable.
- Then add it to your goal everyday to your calendar, so you have a little pop up notification happening every day.
- Work on the art of self compassion. You'll understand if your friend struggles to meet her healthier eating goal or getting to the gym, so why not be understanding of yourself?
AND don't just make health goals, schedule in something different, something fun, something you don't do every day. What is it? What does your heart dream to do?
Life is for living after all, the years are short. Make yours count.
Sarah Purvey is the founder and director of Eastern Shore Psychology, in Hobart, Tasmania. Sarah predominantly supports those with PTSD, workers compensation matters and parents during the perinatal period and well beyond. Sarah also enjoys supporting psychologists to have rewarding and long psychology careers.