Sticking to New Years Resolutions with ACT!
Keeping New Years Resolutions! How tricky can it be, right??
We all have good intentions when we make the promise to ourselves for the New Year. Whether it's to: lose weight, give up smoking, or spend less time at work... But how do we make it stick?? Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT principles, we can start a process of Goal Setting with a Purpose...
Who and What's Important? Make a list of who is important in your life, and what is truly important. What do you want your life in 2019 to be about, and who do you want to share it with? These are not Goals, these are Values. Goals come latter. Values capture the essence of your life's meaning and purpose... So, if it's "Getting fit... to play with my kids at the park so I can Be There with them" - that has a sense of meaning and purpose. Versus a singular goal of" Getting fit... so I can wear the size 6 dress".
What's the Mental Barriers? What is going to get in the way of you doing what's important? Is it fear, stress or dread? Is it the thought that "I can't cope without x, y, or z"! It's important to identify what thoughts and feelings are going to get in the road of you living your Values. Even though these internal experiences feel uncomfortable and, at times, intolerable, Awareness is half the battle. By being Aware of our thoughts and feelings we can acknowledge their presence and make a Choice on how to act...
Choice moment and Goals!! OK, so this is where it counts and where lots of us slip up! How we choose to respond to our Mental Barriers, in the moment, can keep us stuck in old unhelpful habits or pull us in line with our Values! We can either make a Choice to push away the painful internal experiences, or to act in a way more consistent with our Values!! Act in a way that is in line with Who and What's Important! So what Action can you take in that moment that brings you closer to living a life with meaning? These Actions become your Goals!!
What to do with Slip Ups! Guess what, you are human! Just like the rest of us you are going to hit bumps in the road and act in ways inconsistent with your Values. You'll miss the workout, or yell at the kids for hounding you to play... So Be Kind to Yourself! and the kids! Give yourself a break, show some compassion! Then redirect yourself back on track, to the course of Who and What's Important!
So here's to a year full of hope, meaning and purpose. Lets's live 2019 to it's fullest! Wishing you all Peace and Joy.