Authored by Chris Bereshnyi, Youth Services Crisis Therapist
It’s that time of year again where we start thinking of resolutions to make for the new year, or re-visit old ones that we never quite got around to keeping. There are numerous reasons why people make resolutions, such as to adopt a healthier lifestyle, or to get rid of bad habits.
When making resolutions, as in planning treatment goals in therapy, the idea is to set expectations that are realistic. According to an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Susan Weinschenk, PD, pick an action that is small and easy to achieve. For example, if your goal is to get more exercise, you can set a goal of running for 30 minutes once a week for the next two weeks, then increasing the length and frequency of your runs accordingly.
Also, if you’re trying to get rid of a bad habit, the science-based approach tells us to replace it with a good habit. If your goal is to stop arguing with your child about grades, you can replace the way you communicate with them with a more positive approach. For example, instead of lecturing your child, you can start out by mentioning the areas in which they have improved, or at least made efforts to do so.