Better New Year’s Resolutions

Other than with our New Year’s resolutions, how often in life do we gift ourselves a fresh start? Well, that is precisely part of the problem with making a New Year’s resolution. This once-a-year opportunity fills us with optimism, so much optimism that we overestimate our potential accomplishments. We set monumental goals with good intentions, but they lead us to the early experience of defeat that reinforces our old patterns of behavior. Let’s try something different this year!

Dream Big

Goals are not enough; we need big dreams! Our dreams keep us going even when the outlook seems bleak. They provide us with direction when we are not sure which way to go. They help us to let go of our short-term failures in favor of our many moments of success. They guide us toward what is most important in life. They also help us to come up with new solutions that are not tied to old problems.


To get the most out of dreams, we need to experience them as if they were happening. Try to imagine that your dream is occurring in the present moment. Start to notice that everything you previously hoped for is now a reality. What do you notice yourself doing? How do you feel about yourself? What is it like to feel this way? How do other people see you and interact with you?

Start Small

Some of us know our dream so clearly that we are propelled to take massive action. However, this usually only works long-term if a crisis has occurred and there is no way for the system to return to its prior way of functioning. More often, massive action results in short-term success and long-term failure. Basically, the systems you are a part of do not have time to adapt and it becomes too difficult to maintain that level of change. Even worse, you may start to feel like a failure and give up trying all together.


Some of us know our dream so clearly that we become immobilized by all that needs to be accomplished. In other words, our dreams can be so large that they feel impossible. When this happens, we may never take any action, or we may get stuck perpetually in the planning phase. Here, our lack of action starts to compound over time and, a year or two down the road, our dream seems even further away because we have less time to achieve it.


In either case, starting small is usually the best solution. Let’s go back to thinking about your dream and compare that to where you are now. What is the next, small step toward your dream? Here, you should come up with ideas that are almost effortless that you could easily do. Consider starting with one thing until you have mastered it before adding something new.


Yes, doing something small is incredibly difficult! If you just cannot wait to do more, then consider setting this as your base goal and letting everything else be an extra bonus. In other words, use the base goal to evaluate your success and allow yourself to feel successful. Otherwise, you have done the opposite of starting small.

Be Kind to Yourself

If your best friend or closest family member came to you and said that they felt awful for messing something up, then you would likely try to comfort or reassure them. For some reason, this is incredibly difficult for many of us to do for ourselves.


When you think about your dream, you have to consider that it is a dream. It is something fantastic and wonderful, but you may not reach it in its entirety. Think about what is reasonable long-term. You are never going to be perfect at relationships, anxiety will never disappear completely, and sometimes life gets in the way of going to the gym. However, you can still choose this imperfect version of your dream where you still experience significant levels of success.


Even if you only do what you are already doing, you are still enough!


I personally am not making any New Year’s resolutions this year because I am already following my dreams and I have a few, small goals that I am continuing to progress with. Me creating this post is a product of my goals and my dream for starting this business. I may not produce a blog post regularly, but I still make progress over time and that is what I am most proud of. This blog post then becomes further evidence that I am succeeding and that is an incredible feeling.


If you would like to talk further about setting goals or anything therapy related, then feel free to Contact Us.


This post was intended for informational purposes only. Please do not delay reaching out to a mental health professional if you need help!