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  • Lagniappe Counseling

Letting Go of "New Year, New You"

When was the last time you made a new year resolution and achieved it? If you are like 91% of adults, the answer is NEVER! While we love to start the year with a clean slate (hence the cliche of "New Year, New You"), this annual ritual of setting overly ambitious goals are really just opportunities for creating unnecessary pressure, anxiety, and negative self-comparison.

So let go of the cliches and set intentions instead!

When we set an intention, we leave ourselves open to new ways of thinking that support the behaviour that we want to change. An intention is less measurable in terms of ‘success’ or ‘failure’, and more about creating new mindsets and taking smaller steps toward a bigger picture goal. Intentions support you in focusing on the day-to-day.

For example, resolving to quit drinking could fall by the wayside quickly with a single lapse. On the other hand, an intention to address your relationship with drinking could be approached by changing small behaviors, downloading a sobriety app, or talking to a therapist.

Sometimes when we set goals for ourselves we tend to place time-restrictions on achieving those goals, for example, losing a certain amount of weight by a particular date. Alternatively, when we set an intention, we set less concrete limitations on ourselves, for example, setting an intention to enjoy more physical exercise in nature. An intention like this has the potential to open the door to numerous healthier, and more enjoyable habits.

Remember to stay realistic and be kind to yourself with your intentions. Write them down so they become real. And most importantly, celebrate your little wins, this is how you’ll set yourself up for positive changes in 2023!


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