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Did you know that 80% of the New Years resolutions that we commit to fail by February? It’s true. And only 8% of them will make it through the whole year. With statistics like that, it may be a better idea to reflect on the past year, honestly decide where your struggles interrupted your desires and put together a plan to be successful, long term. Have you tried to set New Year’s resolutions and have issues keeping them? It could be that a new approach is needed.

Reflect on Last Year.

Reflecting on the last year is an important part of growth. We do not need to dwell there or allow the things of the past to keep us frozen and moving forward. However, we do need to be able to look back and analyze what went well, what we accomplished as well as where our holdups or failures are. Being able to be honest with ourselves and make a plan forward keeps us growing toward our desires for ourselves. Have you spent time reflecting on last year? If you could use some help with questions to reflect on, I have suggestions below. Make sure to schedule time and be intentional with your purpose so interruptions don’t discourage you.

  • Who are my closest and most healthy relationships?
  • What was my most important goal? Did I achieve it?
  • What did I enjoy the most at home and work?
  • What did I waste the most time doing?
  • Can I recognize my biggest mistake from last year?
  • What was my best memory?
  • Where did I have the most fun?
  • What advice would I give myself over last year?

Take your time with these. If emotions are evoked, it’s ok. Allow yourself to feel them, take some deep breaths, and refocus on the present.

Set Goals for This Year.

Reflecting on last year isn’t to just rehash the past and ignoring the topics that evoke emotions can cause further issues. You can use your time spent looking at last year to help you set goals for this year. As you determine what you will spend effort in changing this year, keeping your eyes on how it affected you last year can help be a motivator with perseverance and follow through. Does all of this seem exciting but overwhelming? I understand, sometimes change is hard. Below are some suggestions that could help you set goals for this year.

Sometimes change is hard but change is necessary to grow. We simply can’t do the same things over and over and expect positive change to come. Are you excited to try this process and identify what will you work to change this year?

Celebrate the Small Wins.

Recognizing a win is something to celebrate. They shouldn’t be taken lightly, sometimes it is hard to break an old habit. Did you know that celebrating your wins will actually make you more likely to work on something the next time something needs some change? Below are some suggestions that you could use to celebrate yourself and your recent accomplishment.

  • Do something you enjoy like a hike or a massage.
  • Share your gratitude with someone who understands your effort in change.
  • Journal the things you are grateful for in this achievement.
  • Plan dinner or an outing with someone special and share with them.
  • Thank all of the people who helped you accomplish it.

These are just a few suggestions to get you to thinking. Whatever you do, celebrate you and your win! You are worth it.

If you are someone who has tried to implement change and find it difficult to set aside the pain or wound from the past, Upstate Restorative Counseling can help. We have counselors trained to help with depression, anxiety, life stages and other needs. Reach out today if you are ready to help.