Therapist Tips for Starting the New Year Strong

How many of us have set New Year’s Resolutions? Probably most of us at one time or another.

And how many of them have lasted past January 15th? Let me just say, if yours have, I applaud you and believe you should be the one writing this blog.

New Years balloonWhile the New Year is a time of possibility and new beginnings, it’s also a time of great pressure. We create expectations of how we can “do better” and set goals that, while ambitious, aren’t always sustainable. Yes, setting resolutions has its benefits. It motivates us to see a clearer vision and create a fresh start. But there is also a detriment to putting such high expectations on ourselves, ultimately leading to a feeling of failure when we can’t sustain the goals we’ve set.

The New Year is a perfect time for your family to reflect on the past and set intentions on the future. There’s a balance however, between setting intentions while maintaining realistic goals. Below are tips to help your family start the New Year off strong:

boy and parents coloring Reflect on the Past Year

Gratitude is a crucial step in ending one season well and starting the next strong. Sit your kids down as you all create a list of what you’ve been grateful for the past year. Have your kids reflect on their accomplishments, positive memories and even challenges they encountered.

Set Family Goals

Encourage open communication within the family and involve everyone in setting goals for the upcoming year. Whether it’s fostering stronger communication, spending more quality time together, or setting a communal goal, establishing shared objectives can create a sense of unity and purpose.

daughter and mom cooking Set Individual Goals

This is an opportunity for your children to look inward and invest in their individual passions. Maybe they want to read a certain number of books over the next year or learn a new instrument. Create space for them to share their personal goals with you.

Take the First Step

Once you’ve created the space for your family to reflect on individual goals, you can work together to create opportunities for achieving these goals. If your child wants to read more, give them a monthly book allowance. If they want to learn a new instrument, begin researching music lessons in the area. You can support your children (and yourself!) by taking the first steps in accomplishing your goals.

mom and daughter calendar Create a Family Calendar

Once you’ve created the space for your family to reflect on individual goals, you can work together to create opportunities for achieving these goals. If your child wants to read more, give them a monthly book allowance. If they want to learn a new instrument, begin researching music lessons in the area. You can support your children (and yourself!) by taking the first steps in accomplishing your goals.

Create Small Habits

Rome wasn’t built in a day. As big as our goals are, they typically start with small disciplines. So start small! Breaking our goals into bite sized pieces makes them more manageable and less intimidating.

family photo in grass Prioritize Rest…

Come the New Year, there’s a lot vying for your attention. It’s important to carve out time for you and your family to rest, whether it be a weekly family movie night, or leaving one night of the week protected with no plans. Rest is crucial in maintaining energy and avoiding burnout.

…and Play!

Play is SO important. And while it’s easy to let play fall to the side when everything else demands our time, play is actually crucial in fostering connection. Carving out time to have fun with each other will not just build positive memories but play a role in strengthening family bonds.

The new year can come with its fair share of stressors and expectations. In the midst of societal pressure to set a resolution, it’s important to reflect on your personal goals and honor your capacity. Doing so will then allow you to support your family’s personal goals and well being entering the New Year. If you need or your children need support in the New Year, connect with a member of our team today!

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!