A new year brings with it so much hope and optimism that the next year will be THE year! New hopes, new dreams, and new goals. As an Atlanta anxiety therapist, I hear about it a lot. We start out with all the best intentions but somewhere around early February, motivation wanes and those intentions are long forgotten and left unfulfilled.

If you find yourself here, don’t give up hope. There is still time to get back on track and make this year the year you finally reach those goals that were so important just a short time ago. Try these tips from an Atlanta anxiety therapist to get back on the path to success!

Remember Your Why

Your “why” is not the resolution you made. Your “why” is the reason for the intention in the first place. It’s what drives the desire to achieve that goal. It’s what lights the fire in you. Finding your “why” is important because it is that energy that will sustain you when your motivation and will power have waned. And, consider challenging you why, and taking a look if it actually lines up with your morals and values. If not, consider pivoting. Getting really in tune with what really drives us, what’s really important, what really connects us…that’s where our why lies.

Recall Your Intentions

If you wrote down your intentions and maybe even some thoughts at the time, read them. Are they still important to you? Were they realistic when you set them on New Year’s Eve? Are they realistic now? If so, great! You are one step closer to achieving them. If not, that’s ok too. The cool thing about resolutions is that you can always make new ones or revise the ones you have.

Turn Intentions Into Goals

Chances are, when you wrote down your intentions, you didn’t really write them out as goals. Without a goal defined, it’s hard to figure out where to start or where you’re trying to go. Rewrite your resolution as a specific goal. Make it SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited. For example, if your resolution is to increase your health, then you have to define what that means. Is it a number? Is it a certain amount of nutrients? When you define your goal, you’ll be better able to see where you want to be and you’ll know when you get there.

Planning for Success

Some wise person said failure to plan is planning to fail. And there’s truth in that. A plan is your roadmap. It tells you how to get where you’re going, in this case, your destination is your goal. A plan can also tell you what you need to do – the action you need to take. When you have a plan with specific steps in place, you can see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re headed. A plan gives you control over your journey and let’s you know when you’ve achieved a milestone. Planning helps you to not stress over where to go next. You already know. As an Atlanta anxiety therapist, I’ve met many people who struggle with actually setting out a realistic plan. They put all of this pressure on themselves to be perfect and achieve, but struggle with realistically setting out small steps that lead to big change.

Write It Down

So, now you have your updated intentions for the new year, your why, your goals and a plan for getting there. It’s time to write it all down. Why? Because writing it down makes it real. Writing it down signifies a personal investment and commitment. Essentially, you’re making a contract with yourself.  And, when you have everything written down, you have a place to come back to when it’s time to update your plan or just remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Motivation fades. There will be days you need to rekindle the determination you have today. Having it all written down is a powerful reminder.

Remember, intentions are not all-or-nothing and it’s never too late to start again. If your unfulfilled intentions are still out there waiting for you, take a second look and get back on track. Any day is a good day to start again. And, if you need support, feel free to reach out and set up an appointment with a therapist.