Down with Resolutions, Up with Goals!

Have you ever wondered what the entire lyrics are to the traditional New Year’s Song, “Auld Lang Syne”? Better yet, have you ever wondered why it would ask, “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” and do you know your answer to the question? How often do you reflect back on “times gone by”? (the English translation of the Scottish phrase Auld Lang Syne) Or do you let each year go by, without pausing and bringing to mind your successes?

New Year’s is a wonderful time of year because it allows us to look ahead into the next year, clean and fresh like newly fallen snow. It’s unmarred by our mistakes and mess ups and feels full of hope for accomplishing our goals. New Year’s is also a time of reflection; a time to look back on the past year and reflect on how we’ve grown, how we’ve stayed the same, and how we were able to accomplish (or why we didn’t) accomplish our goals.

In regards to relationships, both close and acquaintance, this is the time of year where we can take a look at how our personal growth allowed us to create stronger and healthier connections, while also identifying those relationships which we need to let go of, as it no longer serves our best interests.

I’ve got a few questions for you, to help you reflect on how this past year went and plan where you want to go next year, so grab your paper and pencil (or laptop) and get to writing!

What goals did you achieve this year?

Be honest. Countless New Year’s Resolutions fly out the window by January 3rd. The hardest part with New Year’s Resolutions is sticking to them and keeping up a maintenance plan, especially for couples who wanted to feel closer or more connected, by doing monthly date nights or one romantic trip last year. Today, write down the goals you wanted to achieve over these past twelve months and highlight which ones you didn’t achieve. Then, write down why you didn’t achieve them. Was it money, time, lack of commitment, work that got in the way? Was the goal a little too unattainable at this point in your life (run a marathon when you haven’t been able to run a 5K?) Identify your roadblocks so you can strategize on how to avoid them next year. As for the goals you did achieve…

What difference has this made in your life and your relationship?

Was one of your goals to take your therapy private practice to six figure levels (which you can learn how to do if you head over to ThePrivatePracticeStartup.com). Congratulations! Be proud; that’s an accomplishment. Now take a moment to answer the the question above. Did having more financial freedom and flexibility allow you and your partner to take that romantic vacation you always wanted? Did an achieved weight loss goal increase your confidence in your appearance and improve your sex life with your partner? Whatever the case may be, look at how achieving your goals has set you up for more success in all areas of your life. It’ll motivate you to keep up your next set of goals, which are…

Which goals do you want to continue?

Learning about finances and ways to protect yourself and family? Eating healthier? Keep it up! Exercising more? Spending more time connecting with family and friends? Now’s the time to reevaluate your goals and see which ones have turned into healthy habits for you and your family.

Which goals do you want to drop like a bad habit?

This is a tough one because you might think “All my goals are positive” and you’re mostly right, yet it’s possible to go from goal oriented to obsessed if you’re not careful. Striving to reach one million Instagram followers, spending a majority of your time crafting the perfect picture and still not getting the results you want? It might be time to direct your energy elsewhere.

As the year comes to a close, sit down with your partner and have a discussion about where you’d like to focus your attention and energy this year. Is it your health and wellness, your relationship, your family, spending more time fun and leisurely activities, taking up a new hobby, getting control of your finances, your career, or your growth and development.

I know that after the initial phase of excitement motivation and momentum to achieve your goals my start to dwindle, which is why it’s important to have a Maintenance Plan. A maintenance plan allows you to plan for the roadblocks and obstacles that’ll inevitability pop up along the way to achieving your goals, especially when you’re goals relate to you and your partner moving forward and growing together.

As always, if you’re having trouble getting started on your New Year’s Goals, I’m a phone call or click away at 954.401.9011 or Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com.