Goal-Setting In The New Year

There is often a great deal of hype around the start of the new year. Lots of people make resolutions to get fit or lose weight or set reading challenges for the year. It can feel exciting to mark a fresh start for yourself, and some of us really like and are motivated by the flip of the calendar into a new year.

However, if you aren’t motivated and seeing others set ambitious goals makes you feel like something is wrong with you, don’t fret. There are plenty of people who don’t like the expectations that often come with the movement of the big hand to 12:00 am on January 1.

Winter can be a challenging time to set any kind of goal because the gray days and cold weather can make you feel sluggish. Isn’t this the time when we should be hibernating? This is actually not a bad idea! Most of us are all a little too busy for most of the year, so taking things OFF your plate in the winter months might be exactly what you need to reset and recharge.

Part of self-care is knowing when you need to step back and relax. There is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding to do more puzzles, reading, and stretches in the winter months (or even watching several streaming television series).

Maybe spend your winter months thinking about what you’d like to achieve once the weather warms up and you’re feeling more motivated. Sometimes people get a little too excited and set goals for themselves that aren’t totally realistic, and if they don’t meet their expectations, they feel like failures. It also does not help that everyone seems to be asking you what your resolutions are for the year. If you’re spending time reflecting on your goals, consider adding in wiggle room for yourself. Instead of committing to exercising every day, promise yourself you will just do 15 minutes today. Take the pressure off. Set goals that are reasonable for you.

Parents have a special motivation for setting realistic goals and not giving up if they don’t quite meet them: your children are watching and learning from you. If they see you aim ridiculously high, they might too. If they see you call yourself a failure and quit when something interferes with a goal, they might too. Remember to model goal-setting and achieving in healthy ways for children, as kids are likely to follow your lead. When setting goals for yourself it helps to think of how you would want those you love to treat themselves.

If you’re looking for a book to read with a child that touches on setting goals and staying motivated, check out Deedee Cummings’ book Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess: These Shoes Are Made for Dancing. It is a great way to get the conversation started about why we need to have goals and a plan and how this should enhance our lives- not drive us over the edge.

Whatever your goals are for the year, we at Make A Way Media wish you success, health, and prosperity. We can do amazing things when we set our mind to it, but we don’t have to do it all today.

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 16 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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