Common Mistakes For Setting New’s Year’s Resolutions

As the new year and the new decade of 2020 approaches, it will probably bring a lot of thoughts about your life. Whether it’s a concern about what you have done in the past decade or worrying about what the next 10 years will bring, this landmark occasion that presents the passage of time, is an aging process that affects all of us, and makes us consider a lot of different things about our life. As stressful as this process might sound, it’s also an important time to consider changes and goals you want to achieve for the next month, the next year, and the next decade. 

That’s why New Year’s Resolutions are a popular trend, and if you can look past the trendiness of it, it’s a pretty effective tool that allows you to make some real goals for yourself to achieve in this start to the decade. It is December already, so it’s probably time to start considering your resolutions! To help you be successful in accomplishing your resolutions that you set out for this coming year, this blog post will review some common mistakes that people make when setting their New Year’s resolutions, so you can avoid them, and set realistic goals for your future.

  1. Setting an unrealistic goal: One of the hardest things that come with setting a good New Year’s resolution is setting a realistic goal. You want a goal that will require work, effort, and growth for yourself, but if you set a goal that sounds amazing and awesome, but is very unlikely to be accomplished in a year, then it can actually have the opposite effect of motivating you and improving self-confidence. A year goes by a lot faster than we think and it is important to keep in mind that there will be slips and mistakes made during the process of achieving your goal. Consider all the steps and work that will be required in accomplishing your resolution and then decide if it can really be accomplished in a year.
  1. Setting a goal with no plan attached: A goal is a satisfying thing to set because you have something to work towards that will fulfill you. But many people decide on their New Year’s resolution goal without developing a realistic plan to accomplish it. To be successful with your resolution, it is important to spend time reflecting on your goal and breaking it down into smaller action steps. Because setting a goal and just hoping for the best is not the best way to achieve that goal, nor will it provide the growth that you want. Ask yourself, what will I need to do to accomplish this goal? What resources do I need? Who or what can help me? And don’t be afraid to modify your goal to fit your plan if it comes down to it. One way you could approach it is to break it down into manageable chunks. For instance, instead of 10 goals for a year-long period, how about four goals to be accomplished during a 3 month time period? These four goals should be then be broken down into smaller action steps. Breaking your New Year’s resolution down into smaller, actionable and achievable steps will help you be successful in accomplishing your goal. Additionally, this will make your resolution much less intimidating in your mind, and therefore, make it easier for you to achieve.
  1. Not checking in: Like many ideas in our life, the initial idea and process of a New Year’s resolution, imagining the possibilities of the idea and how you will feel when you achieve it is the most fun part. But following through with your resolution, and taking the actions to make it happen, is not as fun or as common. After the first few months of the New Year, most people lose sight of their resolution and forget about it until the end of that year. To prevent yourself from losing motivational momentum; plan a way to check-in with yourself about the progress of your resolution. You can set calendar reminders in advance, schedule an email to yourself, or create a buddy system with a friend; take the step that will make your future self accountable for the desire to grow and progress you feel right now. It can also be helpful to write a letter to yourself, explaining why you chose this resolution and why it is important to you. Having a written reminder of the original motivation and intent behind your resolution can be a great source of inspiration later in the year, when you are feeling less excited or motivated about your goal.


Setting the tangible goals that come with a New Year’s resolution is not an easy task, but if you take the time to set the right goals, and avoid mistakes that set your future self up for frustration, you can get the most out of your New Year’s resolution and the growth that comes with achieving it. Here at Accepting Therapy, we all hope this blog post helps you prepare for the New Year and provides you with some helpful strategies to make this New Year’s resolution a success. We have a variety of counseling services for folks in Chicago and the surrounding areas, so if you are still stressing about your New Year’s resolutions, give us a call and set up a counseling appointment today!