As we settle into the new year, it is normal to experience emotional changes as the excitement of starting anew gives way to waves of greater fatigue and lesser motivation. Beginning a new year can come with big expectations and hopes. Whether you have set resolutions and a game plan for the year, or loosely set intentions, we are here to acknowledge the challenges that arise with staying motivated and committed to a goal.
Commitment comes and goes, just as our thoughts and feelings do. Our level of commitment to specific goals in our lives can vary based on several factors. For example, we can feel a strong level of commitment to attend a morning workout, and then a snow storm hits over night and our commitment lowers as we think about trucking through the snow. External factors not only play a role in shifting our level of commitment to goals, but also our internal sensations and feelings. Feeling over or under aroused internally can shift how we interact with our commitment to goals. Sometimes we can make mood-dependent choices that may provide short term relief to immediate discomfort, but may move us further away from the longer term goals we are working towards.
This week at Metro we are revisiting our commitment to goals. In DBT, we talk about active problem solving as a way to move the needle when we want to be different in our lives. When feeling a burst of commitment fatigue, we invite you to revisit the steps of problem solving as a way to elicit a recommitment towards your goals. First, redefine your goal clearly and specifically. Often, we start engaging in behaviors or solutions that do not line up with the goal we originally identified. Returning to defining the problem that generated the goal is an essential step in recommitment. Next, review your action steps. It is common that when we map out a goal and objective, we sometimes become overly enthusiastic and set very high expectations. Allow yourself to review your goal and set plan to determine if the objective is achievable and realistic. Finally, stay mindful. Can you create a way to actualize your goal and stay aware of progress? Have you shared the goal with anyone else? What are ways to positively reinforce yourself? Can you come up with a self encouraging mantra to stick to? We look forward to hearing from you about your relationship to commitment.
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