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Reframing New Year's Resolutions: Creating Lasting Change

It’s only natural to want to move into a new year with optimism and the best of intentions. We want to leave all of our unhealthy habits, toxic relationships, and self-sabotage in the past—out with the old, in with the new, right?

Reframing Your New Year’s Resolutions: Creating Lasting Change

Most of us have lived long enough to be able to recognize the New Year’s resolutions cycle: we set goals that are quickly forgotten or abandoned, telling ourselves we’ll attempt again next year. What if we could tweak our approach to resolutions, ensuring that the changes we seek are not only attainable but also lasting? The good news is that we can, with a simple little tool called “reframing.”

What is “Reframing?”

If you’ve ever been in therapy or explored personal growth, you may already be familiar with the term “reframing.” Reframing is a tool used to help you adjust your mindset. It essentially means looking at your situation differently or shifting your perspective. Basically, the situation doesn’t change, but the way you look at it does. So, what does reframing look like in the context of New Year’s resolutions? 

Progress over perfection

Many of us were brought up in an achievement-centric framework, leading us to believe that anything short of perfection is a failure. Now, we could be projecting here, but we’re guessing many of you are nodding along as you read that. If you’ve ever abandoned a goal because you didn’t feel like you were able to absolutely “crush” it, or if you have a habit of turning your hobbies into side hustles or borderline competitive endeavors, you might be a perfectionist… or perhaps a recovering one. The truth is, perfection is an elusive goal that usually leads to frustration and disappointment. 

Setting lofty goals and pursuing them with discipline and focus isn’t the problem. The real issue comes in when you find yourself ready to quit because of a setback. If you hold yourself to perfection, you’re bound to fail every time. Have you ever totally derailed your goals because of a minor slip-up? That all-or-nothing mindset is almost always the path to failure, because let us tell you a secret: you’re never going to achieve perfection. You’re going to have days where your nutrition is off, or you slip up and fall back into old habits. Forgive yourself and recognize it for what it is: part of the process. And speaking of the process…

Fall in love with the process

It’s easy to fixate on the results. That’s the sexy part of New Year’s resolutions. We want the fit body, the clean home, the new degree, or whatever end result we set out to find. Unfortunately, those end results only come with a lot of hard work. And if the process of getting where you want to go isn’t something enjoyable, it can be hard to stick to it. It would be so much better if we could fall in love with the process, wouldn’t it? 

If doing the work was more enjoyable, or at least part of it was, wouldn’t you be less likely to resist doing it? What if you had special tea, but you only allowed yourself to drink it while you worked on that book you’ve set out to write? Maybe you have a favorite podcast, but you only listen to it while you’re out on your walk. The trick here is to find a way to fall in love with the process of getting to your goal. Think about what habits you’ll need to adopt to make your New Year’s resolutions a reality, and then ask yourself how you could make those habits more enjoyable.

Shift from “should” to “want”

Have you ever found yourself resisting something simply because someone told you to do it? Being told we should do something or we have to do something rarely leads to the desired results. We’re much more likely to tackle the things we want to do, aren’t we? If we can reframe our resolutions to focus on what we genuinely want to do, we’re more likely to follow through on them. 

Focus on what you will do, not what you’ll stop doing

Reframe your resolutions with the power of positive affirmations. Instead of framing goals with negative language ("I will stop doing X"), use positive affirmations that reflect what you want to cultivate in your life. For instance, replace "I will quit procrastinating" with "I am embracing productivity and taking proactive steps towards my goals." Positive affirmations can reshape your mindset and reinforce the positive changes you seek.

Growth mindset

It really all boils down to mindset. A growth mindset sees challenges as opportunities for learning and believes in the potential for improvement. Reframe your resolutions by adopting a growth mindset. When faced with obstacles, ask yourself, "What can I learn from this?" or "How can I grow through this experience?" This shift in perspective not only helps you navigate challenges more effectively but also contributes to lasting personal development.

Personal growth is a never-ending endeavor. Let’s make 2024 the year we finally create lasting change in our lives. Remember, the key is not only in reaching your destination but also in enjoying the transformative journey along the way. Here's to a year of meaningful growth!

Give us a call at 402-372-0166 or schedule an appointment here. Visit us at to learn more.


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