At the beginning of each year, many people find themselves reflecting on the year that has passed and picking out specific things about themselves and their lives that they may wish to change. Whether it’s the sense of fresh opportunities or simply the social acceptance of making New Year’s resolutions, the practice is one that scores of people adopt, though a significant number of even the most seemingly dedicated hopefuls end up falling short of attaining their goals. In many cases, resolutions revolve around improving one’s appearance or professional life; the goal may focus on mending finances or quitting an unwanted habit.
Recently, however, a psychotherapist in Arizona has discussed the issues that lead most people to lose touch with their resolutions; a disconnection from the principal areas of inner self-improvement, she suggests, is often responsible for disappointment.
Working towards a greater understanding of and compassion for the self may not often make it to lists of resolutions, yet these goals may be among the most important not only for realizing greater happiness, but for providing a powerful foundation for the achievement of extrinsic goals, the psychotherapist notes. Setting realistic goals is also noted as being of primary importance. All too often, people may expect extraordinary results, which, when combined with a casual attitude towards considering such results in-depth, can create ample discouragement.
Overcoming natural setbacks and knowing how to ask for help, along with understanding the acceptability of reaching out to others, notes the psychotherapist, can greatly increase chances of sticking to resolutions and enjoying positive benefits throughout the year. When people begin with themselves in terms of who they are rather than what they do, she suggests, life-changing resolutions are possible.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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