A couple of weeks ago, we talked about News Year’s resolutions. It is very common at the beginning of a new year to make goals for the upcoming months. And this is usually when (the middle of February) the busyness of life starts to interfere with those good intentions. We have a tendency to gravitate to the familiar, and put off the new behaviors. The new has not become part of our regular routine. So, what do we do? We could choose to get frustrated and give up, saying that this is not the right time to be making these changes. Or, we could step back and take a harder look at what and why we wanted to accomplish these goals.

What might be helpful is to define the “why” behind the desire. So, many times, as we are starting new behavioral patterns, we spend so much energy on the “how” we are going to accomplish these new behaviors, that we lose sight of our “why” we started it in the first place. The purpose (the why) for starting something new, is the life-blood driving this new behavior. If we do not have reminders of this reason, then we are going to lose motivation when it starts to get tough. The internal motivation of why we are doing this new activity, will also help us when the excitement of starting something new wears off. These two reasons: it starts to get tough, or it starts to get boring, are why individuals lose momentum, and stop working at their New Year’s resolutions. Revisiting the real purpose behind the reasons that you wanted to make these behavioral changes, will help in getting a boost to push through tough times.

Do you still know your “why” behind your goals for this year?

Kevin Polky, CADC, LCSW