A new year, even a new decade is upon us! For many people, this seems like a perfect time to set goals, as if a turning calendar will magically make those decades-long goals seem possible. If you’ve tried to set goals in the past without much luck, don’t worry! Try these psychology-based skills to build your “resolution” to do whatever moves you most!
Have a Partner
Ask any preschooler if they want a friend to help, and most will say “yes!” This is because most tasks are easier with a partner, even if the partner cannot actually help. The role of social and emotional support, as well as accountability, is vital to achieving your goals. Sure, it can be nice if your best friend commits to going to the gym every day, or if your partner agrees that less TV and more quiet nights spent reading would be great, but even if your loved ones are pursuing different goals, you can still find ways to support one another. Spending time apart , but still thinking about one another, can help build positive feelings and commitment. If one person seeks to walk for an hour a day, and another seeks to read for an hour a day, these activities and celebrations of accomplishments can be done together to build positive mood. Even better, these tools can improve your relationship with your partner!
Make it Routine
No matter what new habits you are trying to establish in 2020, make it a scheduled routine. Why? Because it makes it easier for your brain to switch to the task and actually get started. Set alarms if you need, post a visual calendar, but once you’ve built a routine for a few weeks, you’ll notice yourself actually missing your goal task!
Use Intention Cues
Intention cues are a great tool that psychologists in Highlands Ranch teach to children and adults alike. These cues serve as primers to get started on a task, and facilitate it getting done. For example, if you want to start your morning tech-free and with journal writing, plop that journal right down next to your toothbrush as a reminder. The phone, of course, should be banished to a drawer or other place where it can’t distract. Making clear intention routines (I will tidy up the living room immediately after dinner while my partner washes the dishes) will give even the least motivated person an internal reminder to get going again.
Just a Little…
If you’ve ever been stuck pushing a car stuck in ice and snow (and who hasn’t?), you know that the hardest part is getting it started. In fact, you can often get lucky and get rolling again after just one big push. Keep this metaphor in mind when you feel zero motivation! The hardest part of any task is getting it started, so try doing just a little and see how you feel. Not into sorting your old clothes for donation? You don’t have to do it all. Just do one piece of clothing, or set an alarm for two minutes and see how you feel after that. If you really still aren’t feeling it, give yourself a break! But often, just getting started will start that momentum and get you rolling again.
For little goals, these tips can be just what you need! However, if you’ve tried everything you know and are still struggling with lack of motivation, challenges in your marital relationship, or something else, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Steve Lazarus for expert psychological assistance.