New Year’s Resolutions

Wow, can you believe we made it to the end of 2020, Part 2? Since the schedule I’ve been following with this blog just so happened to land on New Year’s Eve, it felt like a good time to talk about resolutions.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Waaaay back in 2019, before I had a website, I posted on my Facebook page about what makes a good New Year’s resolution. Well, it is still appropriate, so I am re-sharing it with appropriate updates here.

(By the way, my Facebook page is almost entirely auto-shares of this blog. If you try to reach me there and I do not respond, I’m not ignoring you. I simply did not check it. You will have better luck with my Contact page here, unless you are a current or past client or potential client, in which case you need to contact me at my full-time job, Sioux Falls Psychological Services.)

When I first wrote about New Year’s resolutions, the Washington Post reported that about 40% of Americans make a resolution for the new year, but a survey by Discover Happy Habits found that this number dropped to 27% in 2020. This was before Everything Happened in March, so I do not know exactly what made many of us decide that resolutions were not for us.

If you do decide to make a resolution, I’m sure you are aware that it’s a challenge to make them stick! So how can you make a resolution that you will stick to?

  1. Make it Measurable. How will you know you’ve made progress on your resolution? Be specific, and choose something you can see. For example, if your resolution is to “write more,” choose a weekly word count.
  2. Make it Doable. A trap many of us fall into when setting resolutions and goals is that we try to do too much, or we try to do the impossible. If I set ten goals for myself, or I try to go from “Haven’t written in six months” to “Finish a manuscript in two weeks,” I am unlikely to succeed.
  3. Leave Room for Mistakes. If I tell myself, “I’m going to write every single day this year,” and I miss one day because I am tired or sick, it’s easy to see the goal as a failure. Then I am less likely to keep that resolution. If I give myself room to make a mistake or fall short of my goal, I’m more likely to pick myself up and keep trying.
  4. Less is More. Prioritize one or two things you really want to change, and reward yourself for making small steps toward your goal. Progress, not perfection!

Are you making a resolution this year? What can you do to make it achievable?

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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