10 February, 2024
Kicking goals this year
For many people, the new year is a time for setting goals to change bad habits and establish new routines.
Unfortunately, it can be easy to settle back into old patterns and watch well-intentioned plans come unstuck.
So, what’s the secret to staying on track?
Carinity Narangba counsellor Diana Clift specialises in helping people to achieve positive and lasting change.
“The number one mistake I see when clients try to make life changes is a focus on what they’re giving up, rather than what they’re gaining,” Diana said.
“Common resolutions like not using social media or not eating junk food have a negative focus and could end up making you feel deprived.
“Instead, frame your resolutions around doing something new, or adding to your life.
“For example, rather than focusing on avoiding social media, find a positive activity to replace the time spent scrolling – like listening to a meditation app.
“Instead of centring your thoughts on avoiding junk food, commit to adding lots of healthy foods to your diet.
“It’s important to re-frame the negative self-talk too, so rather than saying, ‘I’m so unhealthy’, tell yourself you’ll be healthier when you eat more fresh food each day.”
Diana said that while adding new habits was generally easier to achieve than breaking old ones, these still required dedication and focus.
“You might have a resolution to exercise more, but find that completely overwhelming when you’re tired and not in the mood,” she said.
“Start with small achievable goals. Commit to simply putting your shoes on and walking to the end of the driveway and back.
“If you can do that, you will enjoy the feeling of achieving your first goal and be inspired to continue.
“Your new habits will also be easier to create if they are intrinsically motivating.
“So if you hate running, don’t run. Instead, explore other options like dancing or tennis, find a gym buddy, or listen to your favourite music while walking.
“Finally, remember that change is a process so be patient with yourself. If you have setbacks, pick yourself up and keep going.
“If you need support, reach out to a friend for encouragement, or consider speaking with a counsellor.