January 1, 2024

 "Day 1"  or "one day" Resolution Thinking Patterns

Well, here we are, January 1st, 2024.   Day 1 of this new year.  You might have guessed that I am the type of person that LOVES New Year's.  

I get excited about the fresh calendars, the new plans and all of the possibilities! But not everyone nerds out to New Year's.


"Time magnifies the margin between success and failure.  It will multiple whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.  James Clear, Atomic Habits

New Year's Personality Type 1:  RESOLUTION PEOPLE 

Are you a person who loves to make resolutions? You might follow through with some or abandon them by February. Resolution people often get trapped in Day 1 thinking (you start off with a big plan on Day 1 for changing everything: the way you train, eat, write, live, etc) and it's too big that it's unsustainable.  

Day 2 comes and you are sore, starving or back at work and things slowly slide back into your default network mode which is more like "one day, I will..."

If you want to increase your chances for success...set smaller goals that have shorter end points.  

Think "Atomic Habits" that you can build on. Atomic Habits (James Clear) are things that are so tiny that you can't not do them.  

Examples are things like: Floss one tooth, do one push-up, put your gyms shoes on. It sounds ridiculous but the key to sustained change is creating the identity of a person with those habits and then adding to it over time. 

If you are a resolution person that has found success, you are likely the type of person that can break big goals down into smaller chunks. 

New Year's Personality Type 2: WORD People

Are you a person that choose a word or theme for the year? These people are often more abstract in their resolutions so rather than a specific target (lose 50 pounds), you choose a word of intention like "HEALTHY" or "STRONG" or "DISCIPLINE" to represent a mindset that you can cultivate throughout the year. 

WORD people look at New Year's Day as Day 1 of a 365 day project.  Perfection is not expected so if there's a day or week that doesn't go according to plan, that's okay - there's plenty of time to incorporate new behaviors and beliefs throughout the year.
           
If you want to make your word more successful throughout the year, look for books to read on that topic, save quotes with that word in it, and set specific smaller goals to challenge you to put that idea into practice in small ways.

If "healthy" is your word: schedule your yearly physical, eye exam and mammogram.  Commit to learning one new recipe per month to make the word more measurable or more meaningful.

New Year's Resolution Personality Type 3: "I'M GOOD" People

Are you the type that doesn't get excited about the new year?  You might feel quite satisfied with your current life as it is or you just might not see the turn of the calendar as anything magical to get excited about.

It's an awesome thing to be satisfied with your current life -  enjoy that!

For you, it's often helpful to remember what it is that you love so much and make a list of things to KEEP doing.  Bringing a tad more awareness to the current habits that make life meaningful to you is a great way to continue to deepen and grow what is already working.

Resist "ONE DAY" Thinking

Regardless of your resolution personality, my challenge to everyone is always to do less "ONE DAY" thinking. 

Every day we have to live is a gift and if there are things that you've always wanted to do... go do them!

Setting a (reasonably far away) date for something that's been on your "one day" list is like planting a seed. You will be surprised how powerful date setting is.

Decisions make things possible. They turn "one day" into a journey that starts to-day.

New Year's Resolutions Journal Prompt

Picture it done.

Whatever your goal is - whether it be a resolution, a word of intention, continuing to live your satisfying life or doing that "one day" thing that's been on your bucket list...

Picture it done.

Imagine yourself at the end and write about your experience. 

Put that future date at the top of your page (1/1/25, for example).

What does your life look like now?  Describe your routine or your environment?  What helped you become successful? How were you able to pull it off? What does it feel like to have had that experience?

If you can see it, you can be it.  Jen Taylor


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About the Author

Jen Taylor, LCSW-C, RPT-S is an EMDR Approved Consultant and Certified Journal to the Self Instructor.  She is a therapist specializing in complex trauma, an international play therapy teacher and a published writer of multiple play therapy chapters.  Jen is the creator of the original 2017 Play Therapy Summit and many other innovative programs for mental health professionals.  Jen uses writing therapy, play therapy and expressive arts for her clients and for other mental health professionals so they can lead more joyful and meaningful lives.  Jen encourages people to try new things and create daily habits that allow for incremental progress towards previously unimaginable results.   Jen is a travel enthusiast, an avid reader, and a girl who lifts weights and runs for fun.  

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