Happy New Year! This is the date when people often make New Year’s resolutions. They’ve thought about making changes and believe they are ready to implement them. However, only 19% of individuals keep their resolutions according to a study by Scranton University researchers cited in Psychology Today. Why do the rest fail to keep their resolutions? Changes need to be made when the person is actually ready. They can’t be superficially motivated by a certain calendar date, persuaded by the chatter of others making their resolution plans, or because someone has made them feel that they should make changes. Real change comes when individuals are ready and being ready comes when an individual really gets to know themselves. Knowing what you want in life and who you want to be means doing internal work.
Why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail?
If we consider that approximately 81% of New Year’s resolutions fail, it is important to ask the question, “Why”? The first answer is that change takes effort and that means the client has to work at it. Exercising more and losing weight are the top New Year’s resolutions, followed by a long list that includes saving money, spending time with family, and working toward a career goal (statista.com). These are reasonable aims but they require time, dedication, and significant effort. A lack of instant gratification can create feelings of doubt and insistent thoughts of “This is never going to happen”. This can contribute to frustration and, eventually, failure. At this point people often think, “What can I actually do to succeed?”
How does real change happen?
Change takes real work. Often clients come to the office hoping the therapist will tell them what to do. This is not what therapists do. Therapists can help the client gain insights, but a therapist is not able to lead the journey to change. Yes, there can be times where therapists may challenge a client’s thoughts and invite the client to see things in a different light, but the answers must come from within the client. Since a therapist is unbiased, unlike family and friends, the therapist encourages the client to view things differently, outside of the box. Clients that want change eventually embrace the information they learn about themselves in therapy sessions because this information supports the change they have desired but were fearful to initiate. Once a client has established trust with the therapist, real desires and opportunities are realized and understood and this is where permanent change occurs.
So, for your resolutions this New Year‘s, take time for yourself and reflect on what you want and where you want to go. With guided insight, dedication, and effort, your dreams can come true. Call today to schedule a 15-minute phone consultation or to book an appointment.
My client-centered approach encourages individual clients and couples to create individuality and self-awareness that inspires growth and stronger relationships with themselves and those around them. Call or message today to schedule your free phone consultation or arrange your first appointment.