Orange County Depression CounselingOrange County Depression Counseling – How many times over the years have you made a New Year resolution?  Maybe it was to be more organized, excel at work, study more, be less stressed, take a vacation, spend more quality time with your spouse, partner or kids or simply, have more fun?  Perhaps you have joined the ranks of many with a desire to lose weight, get more fit or get control of your finances?   So, you make a vow to do any or all of these resolutions beginning January 1st.

A majority of Americans start the year enthusiastic with every good intention of making these changes.  For example, you glance at the mounting pile of mail and promise to tackle it over the weekend.  You start the work week fully charged and ready to go.  You tell your significant other you would like to plan a weekend getaway as you think of all the places you’d love to visit and things you’ve been dying to do. You go grocery shopping and buy healthy food for your new plan.  And you go to the gym.

Your work week starts off great but soon enough, the usual problems crop up. You leave work looking forward to a good workout but find the gym so packed with other New Year hopefuls that you opt for going the next day.  Tired and hungry, you head home to make a healthy dinner. You open your refrigerator only to decide that it is easier to grab whatever is appealing and prepared rather than put the time and energy into cooking a meal.

The weekend approaches and you start thinking about all the work you haven’t got done that needs your attention. Never mind the pile of mail. Stressed, you make the decision to postpone the weekend plans for a more convenient time. You feel guilty because you don’t have the time to spend with your kids so you give them money for entertainment such as the movies, dinner out or shopping at the mall. Instead of cutting back, you find yourself spending again.

Why does this happen to most people who make well intended New Year resolutions time and time again?  Old habits are hard to break.  Human beings are creatures of habit. It is much easier to do what is familiar and comfortable, even if it hurts us. Taking one foot forward often brings us back to where we were before.

Change means getting out of your comfort zone. It takes energy, commitment, time, hard work and above all, practice. A New Year resolution is a goal said aloud to yourself and possibly others. If your behavior matches the goal for three to four weeks, you will have established a new habit.

I offer therapy services and Orange County Depression Counseling in my office. To be optimally effective, I typically recommend the following to people wanting lasting change with various aspects of their life:

  1. Tackle goals one at a time. If the goal is a complex one, break it down into smaller components. The goal should be feasible as opposed to daunting. For example, if the goal is to find a job, then make both a short and long term objective as in the actor waiting tables while auditioning for the acting career.
  2. Take small steps. Overenthusiasm will likely lead to failure.  If your goal is to exercise more often, start with the plan to exercise twice a week.  Frequency can be increased once exercise becomes a routine.
  3. Take time to plan your goal and think it through.  Start by writing down what you want to change and how you will achieve success.  If your goal is to lose weight, then write down how many pounds you want to lose, establish a timeline and a nutritional plan for home and outside.
  4. Join others who are pursuing the same goals.  This not only motivates but also gets you to stay focused and committed to your challenge.
  5. Repeat the behavior leading to change as frequently as you can. The more you repeat the behavior, the more routine it becomes.

If you are looking for Orange County Depression Counseling and New Year resolutions don’t have to fall by the wayside.  If you are serious about a new you, following the steps to get you there will ensure your success