New Year, New Beginnings

      It’s a new year and time for new beginnings. This is a time of year when many people want to make fresh starts and get jump starts on goals they have been thinking about for a while. Just because the year has already started does not mean you are already behind. There is still plenty of time to set reachable goals and be successful.

         As time goes by and obstacles get in the way, it’s very easy to get into the mindset of not being able to reach your resolutions, but I will be sharing some ways that I have found to help you make sure that whatever you have resolved to do, you will be able to achieve. Resolutions don’t necessarily have to start day one of the year, they can start when you feel the strongest and most ready to achieve them in the in the year. However, seeing as that the calendar has turned over and it is classically a time to start thinking about new beginnings, I would like to challenge you to take on the task to think about a goal you would like to set for yourself. To help you achieve that goal, I would like to share some tips I found on that I’ve found that I think would help you be successful.

1. Write goals down and review them periodically – Writing down goals helps makes them a reality. When you write them down, put them in a place where they are visible and accessible regularly so that you always have them in sight.


  • Tape your goals to your bathroom mirror where you’ll see them first and last thing every day.
  • For goals that require some accountability for success, affix them to your fridge. Just make sure they’re ones you don’t mind your kids asking about because ask they will.
  • Take a photo of your resolutions and post them as your computer screensaver or as your smartphone wallpaper.

2. Create goals for different areas of your life – It is a great idea to spread goals out in different areas of your life. This way your life is balanced and you’re successful in many areas of your life.


  • Relationship goals
  • Work goals
  • Spiritual goals
  • Health and Fitness goals
  • Finance goals

3. Set goals that are realistic and attainable – You can reach for the stars, however, take it one step at a time. Create a solid foundation so that you can reach higher heights instead of setting your self up for failure from the start.


  • I will replace my nighttime snack of a bowl of ice cream with sugar-free pudding.
  • I will pay $25 a week towards my smallest debt.
  • I will revise my resume and then begin to look online for available jobs in my skill set.

4. Make goals that are measurable – When thinking about setting your goals, try to set goals that you can measure over periods of time or in some other obtainable increment. This way you can track your progress and have something to look forward to as you go along in reaching your goal.


  • I’ll sit at the table with my children for breakfast at least five mornings a week. Instead of, I’ll make more time for my family.
  • I’ll invite one friend out for coffee every other Wednesday evening. Instead of, I’ll be better at keeping in touch with friends.
  • I’ll straighten the house for 15 minutes every day after dinner. Instead of I’ll keep my house cleaner.

5. Design goals that can be accomplished with a partner – Having an accountability partner helps increase your chances of sticking to your goals. They can keep you motivated and give you the support you need when you are feeling unmotivated and/or overwhelmed. It is nice to know that someone else is counting on you to achieve this same goal and that can be the extra push you need to follow through!


  • Sign up for a fitness challenge at your local health club with a friend or group of friends.
  • Swap off nights with your spouse to check your kids’ homework or read aloud to them from a favorite book.
  • Agree to teach a Sunday school class with your best friend.

6. Reward yourself for achieving your goals – You’ve done the work, now it’s time to celebrate! Reward yourself for a job well done! As well as make sure the reward fits the accomplishment. Do not shortchange yourself or overcompensate for what you have done. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas or are unsure about what you should do, try talking it over with someone you trust.


  • Treat yourself to a girls’ or guys’ movie night out after you accomplish that fitness challenge.
  • Take a weekend off after you accomplish a specific number of goals.
  • Allocate a few dollars more to savings each week you pay down debt, and do something fun with the savings when the debt is paid off.

Hopefully, these tips will help you get a jump start on making your resolutions come to fruition. For extra help, it is always a great idea to seek help from a therapist to help keep you on track. Just remember this is not a race, you don’t have to rush to get anything done. Simply stay focused and work hard and you will be able to achieve what you’ve set your mind to do!

Garcsa Brooks

Intern, Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.

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