Time to Reflect, Re-evaluate, and Reset for the New Year

As the year comes to an end, and it is an opportunity for us to reflect on all that has happened and take the time to evaluate resolutions for the upcoming year. It is always exciting to consider the next steps in our lives, but we are sorely disappointed when we cannot meet the goals we set for ourselves in the new year. Below are some things to consider before creating your resolution for the new year.

Photo credit: Tim Mossholde on Unsplash

Take time to reflect

When reflecting on what has happened in the last year, many of us tend to focus on many negatives, especially when we are looking for areas of improvement. It is crucial to consider the accomplishments, reasonable, and not-so-good moments as well.

  1. Don’t be afraid to list out your accomplishments – they are yours, and taking the time to acknowledge them is very important. These accomplishments can assist in focusing on the positives from the year.
  2. As for the not-so-good and negatives that occurred, it can be tempting to perceive them as failures. However, instead of looking at them as failures, identify them as learning opportunities.
  3. Remember not to overanalyze these experiences. The most important thing is to acknowledge, accept, and ascertain lessons from them to make us better versions of ourselves.

The New Year’s resolution

After reflecting on this year’s achievements and learning opportunities, the next step usually involves creating resolutions and sticking to them. Sometimes, the goal is not as easy to adhere to, and we are then left hopeless, helpless, and disappointed for not being able to accomplish what we set out to do. Below are just some guidelines on how to set some achievable goals for the year ahead:

  1. Break it down into smaller goals. Take the overall goal in mind and break it down into smaller, attainable parts. As you slowly check off each part, there will be a sense of accomplishment, which can keep you motivated to continue
  2. Smaller, specific goals. When creating goals for yourself, make small, clear, simple, and measurable goals. For example, if the overall goal is to become physically fit, a starting goal can be, “I will complete a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood three times a week .” Eventually, goals can increase in intensity, frequency, and duration. To increase the chances of changing behavior, write down your goals to visually refer to them and keep yourself accountable. 
  3. Be realistic. Make sure the specific goals you create are achievable within the parameters of the schedule you have. Many have family obligations and responsibilities that may need to take priority. Nevertheless, carving out the necessary time in your schedule can make it easier to achieve your goals. 
  4. Buddy up to keep motivated. One of the best ways to achieve your goal is to partner up with someone else. This way, you can motivate each other to continue the journey in achieving your goals.
  5. Expect setbacks. Although there is a possibility that setbacks may not happen, if they do, you can always try the next day again. Often, individuals who could not achieve their goal for that day may feel defeated and will abandon their goals altogether. Allow yourself some space to re-evaluate, modify, and reset your plans. Just because there was a need to adjust the objectives does not mean you have failed. Perhaps the goal was not realistic or small enough, and further re-evaluation may be required.
  6. Have fun. Setting small goals can be fun, but it is essential to have fun while achieving them. Consider having fun with the process of change instead of looking for the change itself. What is the point of setting these goals if you are not having fun along the way? 

An important factor in instilling change is remembering that it does not happen overnight. Instead, it happens with small, incremental goals which we can set. Nevertheless, much like everything else in life, the change is most likely not linear and instead is an evolving process. Cheers to celebrating the process of change and wishing you all the best in the year ahead.

If you are interested in scheduling a session with Dr Kaili Chen or have further queries, please contact us today.

About The Author

Kaili Chen

Dr. Kaili Chen is originally from Singapore and has lived in various countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, China, and the United States. She has worked in the field of psychology for six years in several non-profit organizations and community mental health centers providing therapy to individuals, conducting group therapy sessions, and psycho-educational seminars. Read more about Kaili here.