Psychologist shares how to set realistic New Years resolutions

How to set a New Years resolution after our nightmare year: Psychologist shares her five steps for setting realistic goals to suit an unpredictable 2021

  • An Australian Clinical Psychologist has shared how to set realistic resolutions 
  • Dr Emmanuella Murray said the start of the year is the best time to set goals 
  • The Sydney psychologist said making meaningful goals is the key to success  
  • She also suggested starting small and to avoid being too ambitious   

As the new year draws closer, many begin to consider setting new goals – although this may prove to be difficult with the unpredictability of 2021 due to continuous COVID-19 restrictions.

Sydney psychologist Dr Emmanuella Murray (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia the start of the new year is the best opportunity to set goals

But an Australian Clinical Psychologist has revealed how to set realistic new year’s resolutions and the best way to stick to your goals.

Sydney psychologist Dr Emmanuella Murray told Daily Mail Australia the start of the new year is the best opportunity to make changes, set goals and improve your life in some way.

‘Goals give us a sense of direction and purpose, and the more we work towards them, the more focused and motivated we feel,’ she said.

While 2021 limits aspects of goal setting due to the global pandemic, Dr Murray said setting meaningful goals is the key to success. 

Why is goal setting important?

It’s essential to set goals in order to improve the quality of life in some way – whether this is through a personal, financial, mental or physical aspect.

‘Setting a date like New Year’s Eve can kickstart your goals but we must remember change does not happen overnight, so we want to be working on our goals throughout the year,’ Dr Murray said. 

Make sure your goals are meaningful

Dr Murray’s first recommendation when considering setting goals is to ensure your targets are meaningful.

‘Find your meaning, and set meaningful goals to thrive,’ she said, adding: ‘Setting goals helps us to stay focused on moving towards the things we want.’

While overseas travel may be unachievable in 2021, consider physical, emotional and mental targets.

Some options could include reading a book once a month, meditating once a day, joining a gym or seeing family more often.

DR MURRAY’S TOP TIPS FOR SETTING REALISTIC RESOLUTIONS 

1. Small goals lead to success – start small and set goals you think you can keep.

2. Find your meaning – set meaningful goals and you will thrive.

3. One small change at a time – change one behaviour at a time and it is likely to last.

4. Rally your supports – share your goals with your loved ones and let them support you.

5. Own and accept setbacks 

While overseas travel may be unachievable in 2021, consider physical, emotional and mental targets

Avoid being overly ambitious

Due to the uncertainty of 2021, Dr Murray said to avoid being too ambitious when setting goals as these are less likely to be achieved.

‘If we expect too much, we are likely to feel exhausted at the thought of even starting the resolutions,’ she said.

‘Setting overly ambitious goals and zooming out too much right now will only make us feel exhausted and overwhelmed.’

Rather than setting huge objectives, Dr Murray suggests to ‘start small’ then gradually work towards larger goals. 

Own and accept setbacks

When working towards personal objectives, it’s likely setbacks will occur – but it’s vital to push past these hurdles and continue working towards to goal rather than giving up.

Dr Murray said: ‘Accept the setbacks and re-adjust, and enjoy the mood lift when you achieve them.’

Coming to terms will a setback will put you on track to working towards the end goal, regardless of what it might be.

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