Happy New Year! I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010. I know new years can be full of resolutions, goals, and new starts, but only a select few end up keeping their resolutions. Why is that?

Intellectually, we know what we want to change (our relationships, addictions, weight, etc.) but until we DO something different, all the insight in the world won’t help. Often our resolutions are unrealistic, or too myopic. Plus our feelings of worthiness – or lack thereof – often derail us.

On that topic, I want to bring your attention to Darren Hardy’s article here (bottom of the page) that was recently published in Success magazine. Coming from a very left-brain, CBT background, he writes that our problems (the ones we want to change with resolutions) are only symptoms of the bigger picture. And that bigger picture is ourselves – and yes, our self-worth. Although I find his style  opinionated and slightly off-putting, there are some gems of wisdom interspersed.

More generally, here are some tips about making New Year goals, resolutions, and/or intentions:

1. Add something you like to do, rather than eliminate something you don’t like to do.

2. Every behavior you want to eliminate must be REPLACED by a new behavior.

3. If you’re having trouble attaining what you want, ask yourself if you’re putting in as much as you’d like to get out.

4. Set your goals in ranges (for example, go to the gym 3-5 times a week; lose 10-15 pounds; drop cholesterol by 10-15%, etc.)

5. Be accountable. Find a measurable way to determine progress and let others know (friends, family, and/or therapist) what you’re working on.

6. A wise person once said, “Don’t make any decisions while lying down.” Stand up, get grounded, and then make the decision.

I wish those of you who are setting goals the best of luck. If you’re not setting goals, that’s okay too!

All the best for a successful 2010.

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  2. Julian Weinstein, LMFT says:

    Hi Laura,

    I just wanted to thank you for bringing my attention to the work of Darren Hardy. The article you referenced led me to his website, where he is offering a free 8 week on-line seminar in goal setting and achievement–quite remarkable!

    Best of luck to you in 2010, and I’ve already had occasion to direct JFK students to your website, citing it as an example of an excellent site.