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Setting realistic and manageable goals in the new year


Setting realistic and manageable goals in the New Year!

For many of us a new year represents a chance to turn the page from the previous year and an opportunity to create positive changes in our lives. While the new year can be exciting; it can also be a challenging time due to the increased pressure we place on ourselves, resulting in an unsuccessful resolution. The American Psychological Association reports that many of us experience an increase in anxiety and feelings of frustration as early as the month of February. When we are ready to make a change there are things that we can do to increase our success rate! The American Psychological Association and Psychology Today recommend the following:

Start small and set realistic expectations

A new year’s resolution may feel overwhelming because we are looking at the end goal rather than the small steps, we can take to achieve the goal. Ask yourself: Is your goal realistic? Is there a specific plan you can create to achieve your goals? Will you be able to accomplish this goal within a certain period of time? Will this goal benefit you long- term?

Give yourself grace

Many of us struggle with perfectionism and using the phrase “I should have ____.” We are all human and while creating more manageable steps for achieving our goals is helpful it is only half the battle. We all miss the mark sometimes and have things happen in life that do not go to plan. In these moments it is important to meet yourself with grace and compassion. If you are kind to yourself, it will be easier to pick yourself up from the misstep and avoid falling completely.

Connect with your support system

During periods of change it is important to remain connected with a support system and surround yourself with those who are capable of providing encouragement and support. You may find support through your family, friends, or groups in your community. Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers are also helpful resources for assisting you in your goals for the new year!

In the season, consider what it is you might be able to offer yourself. If you want to add to your support system, The Refuge Center is an available resource for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 615-591-5262.


American Psychological Association. (2019, November 10). Making your New Year’s resolution stick. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from

American Psychological Association. (2010). Making lifestyle changes that last. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 17, 2021, from 

Blog written by Master’s Level Intern, Michaelia Savage

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The Refuge Center for Counseling is a 501c3 nonprofit organization (20-3831943). We are also a United Way of Williamson County Partner Organization.