STRONGER TOGETHER: The goals we set ourselves

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Last updated: 06/02/2023

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses the goals we set ourselves, and why we give up easily.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

How are your New Year resolutions going? If you’re anything like millions of other people, at the beginning of 2023 you probably set yourself a list of goals for the new year. You might have even decided to totally reinvent yourself.

Research suggests that most people give up on their New Year resolutions between one and six weeks into the new year, with only about 16% of people able to follow through. By now most people will have given up. If you’re still going and are one of those 16% - well done you! Take a moment to celebrate and bask in the glory as you appreciate and recognise all that you have achieved during this time.  

As for the rest of us - why do we give up on our goals?

Because change is hard! Unlearning behaviours that we practice every day requires fortitude, persistence and a commitment to relearning new ways of doing things. It is about finding a reason and purpose for doing things differently.

Perhaps imagine this as a process of reinvention, changing those parts of yourself that no longer serve you. It might involve changing your habits or traits, or even changing your profession and pursuing new skills.

Staying the same is easy, it keeps us within our comfort zone. Creating change however is hard, even when we know that it is good for us. Getting started is the hardest bit, however when we commit to creating change, it is absolutely worth it.

Relearning behaviours that enable us to live in greater alignment with our values can increase our overall life satisfaction and give us a greater sense of purpose, which is associated with a host of mental and physical health benefits.

Remember that big goals can be overwhelming, so try chunking them down into small, actionable targets that help you to see that progress is being made. Write down your goals and track them regularly. Remember that it’s okay – and normal – to experience setbacks. My team work on creating change within 90-day cycles, so be patient, and be kind to yourself if things slide. And remember, you don’t need to wait until the next day to reset, you can do it right now.

Knowing that when you do, you are a step closer to achieving those things that are important to you.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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