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New Year's Baby Steps

By Melody M. Ott

LCSW with Wellbeing Collective

Happy New Year! Welcome to the time of year when everyone seems to make resolutions! I strongly dislike resolutions (I want to say hate but that seems like overkill)! I dislike them because they are often unsuccessful. There is so much pressure. And so often, there are way too many things that can get in the way of our success. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of reasons to set goals. Goal setting is a great idea. But when we set successful goals there are some important things to consider. And often, in setting goals we notice that there are some things we need to attend to before we get to the actual goals... So this year, I challenge you to make New Year's Baby Steps!

Webster's Dictionary defines “resolution” as the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones...The definition goes on, but this is all I needed to make my point - baby steps! My point is we like to make sweeping resolutions that ultimately set us up for failure, or we make resolutions that simply don’t fit with our temperament or personality. So, this year, I challenge you to make baby steps that are fit for you and will ultimately lead you to success.

How do we do this? It starts with understanding all of the puzzle pieces of our need or desire. Get ready to dig deep for a few minutes here, because if we make a broad sweeping resolution we can likely sweep it right out the door in a matter of weeks.

The definition of resolution includes taking something complex and breaking it down into simpler, smaller parts. What does that mean in your life? Let’s use the weight loss example, because this seems to be a common one this time of year. We all know that this starts with a gym membership and shiny new sneakers. We also know that it often ends with those beautiful shoes sitting in the closet by March. Why? Well, when we utilize the definition listed above, and break this down into simpler parts, we can see what some of the challenges to this goal might be.

When setting a resolution, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What are the reasons you want to set this goal?

  • What are some of the challenges that you face (in our weight loss example: are you a stress eater, do you have physical limitations, do you hate the gym)?

  • ·What have your habits been with this thus far in your life?

  • What are your time constraints?

  • Are there people in your life who might sabotage you?

  • Do you have self-destructive self-talk?

  • What has worked in the past and what hasn’t?

  • What are some other considerations here?

Whew – that is a lot to deal with.

If you answer these questions and you notice that there is a big issue with one of them, consider making your focus on resolving that issue. Start with that baby step. When we address the underlying issues that cause us to slip or struggle, we ultimately create solutions that will support us in all of our future goals.

This year, consider making a New Year’s Baby Step that can help you in all of the areas of your life. As always, if you need support or to explore some of the things that get in the way of your goals, give us a call!



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