It happens every year — we begin to think about the NEW YEAR — about goals and aspirations and change and fresh starts — about MAKING MY LIFE BETTER!  AND that’s truly a good thing. Just add a touch of realism — consider what you know about yourself and New Year’s Resolutions…. if you have a good track record, go for it…  if you are frowning a bit as you recall your history, challenge yourself to be honest with yourself about goals and new directions.
    Here are some thoughts about setting goals for the new year……….
    I suggest paper and pen….I know all you high, high tech people resist that, but something different happens when we write our thoughts and feelings ON PAPER….Wish I had an amazing amount of research to reinforce that….it’s simply experience with clients…and with my own journaling. Regardless, do what works for YOU!
    REVIEW this past year.  Consider two lists: Things That Went Well and Things That Missed the Mark.  Do some serious reflecting and if it helps, pull out your calendar to jog your memory. Be realistic without being hard on yourself.
    Ask these questions (and any others you have)
     -What contributed to my successes?
     -Do I know what contributed to my lack of success?
     -Are my resources for the coming year different?
     -Do I want to try again with things I did not accomplish last year? Or do I need a new or adjusted goal/aspiration?
     -How realistic were my goals? Or did I set the bar too high/too low?
    Now answer two more general questions:
    -When was the last time I felt really well?  Physically – emotionally – intellectually – spiritually?
    – What would I do if I were not afraid?
    Now you are armed with good information from self examination.  Set goals and go back to the title of this post…..factor in one day at a time in your goal setting; and consider even more importantly, one thing at a time.  My discovery with hundreds and hundreds of individuals in therapy and workshops – as well as myself – is that over load is as close to a guarantee as you can get to throwing yourself off track.  Let’s say you want to go for that promotion, build exercise into your weekly routine, learn to meditate, finish a writing project (oh, that’s one of MINE!), volunteer for a worthwhile cause, find a new relationship or fix one that’s not going all that well……LONG LIST.  And all good things. Just know that too many things at once will over load and stress most people.
    My suggestion:  work on one thing at a time and do it for at least a couple weeks, maybe 30 days….then add in another activity/goal….go slow and build things in one by one….AND remember you are a one day at a time person.  Falling off track on any day of the week means you have another ONE day in front of you to get back on track.
    Here’s an example. I have a friend who wants to lose 10 pounds.  Her one thing/one day at a time has started this way:  1st she did a sugar detox.  JUST a detox and that’s hard enough. Next she increased her daily water intake dramatically — far more than 8 glasses.  She’s sticking with that for a couple of weeks before stage three — eliminating wheat and dairy.  That’s all I know so far… POINT?  plunging in to do all that at the same time causes failure for “most people.”
    Know yourself, your abilities and pit falls…. then set those new goals and go for it.  If I get lots of questions, I’ll share more info on resolutions/goals…. change is the issue… change in the direction that makes you feel better. You deserve it.