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How to follow through with your New Year's resolutions

Venturous Counselling + Consulting can help you make goals before the new year
Here are a couple of key tips to help you achieve your goals.

No, it's not that time of year—yet. That's the point. If you're planning to make a New Year's resolution, don't wait until January. Embark on goal setting any time of the year, or better yet, right now.

"Going into the new year with success is already more motivating," says Abby Chow, clinical director of Venturous Counselling + Consulting. "You have a shorter checkpoint than a year to start, which is less daunting and more realistic."

Instead of subjecting yourself to the pressures that January 1st can present, your best bet is to set your goals and resolutions at any other time of the year.

Despite your best intentions and can-do optimism, if you're like most who struggle every January to see your new goals through and feel immediately defeated—you're not alone. 

An Ipsos Reid poll reveals, of 31% of Canadians who make New Year's resolutions, 73% eventually break them.

"It’s exhausting to continuously beat yourself up for what or who you're not, especially when you haven’t had the support you needed to be that way yet," says Chow. "It’s not strategic nor useful. So, stop. Instead, lean into cultivating self-compassion. You'll get more out of your year by nurturing and fostering a growth mindset, than by enumerating all the ways you think you're deficient. "

How engaging in bodywork helps with achieving goals

Counsellors you can work with. Photo by Venturous Counselling + Consulting

Venturous Counselling + Consulting is a purpose-led, self-growth-oriented wellness group, where their counsellors pride themselves on moving "beyond the talk," a fundamental value of their mind-body-community approach, incorporating multidisciplinary practices into their work.

You can expect somatic-based approaches in your sessions, which are founded on the principle that change can be drastically expedited through engaging in bodywork and consciously shifting the way emotions are held in your body.

"We usually think we’re more logical than we are. The truth is you’ll move forward with a decision if you’ve cultivated the will to do something, which in itself is a felt sensation originating from the body. For example, if you have a food craving, you will make up reasons why you should get that item. Rather than the other way around," says Chow.

"So, we want to capitalize on your body wanting something because that's really where the will comes in," explains Chow. "And when the will comes, you'll naturally make your logic support it. Some of the work we do is unlocking what your body is holding on to that we don't necessarily, cognitively, have access to yet."

Here are a couple of key tips from Venturous Counselling to help you achieve your goals.

1. Make the goal work for your life (not the other way around)

"Proximity is really important," says Chow. "When you make things more accessible, integrating them into your life is easier. Always remove the barriers for things you want to do and add barriers for things you don’t want to do. This goes for counselling - virtual sessions with us means you have convenient access to accountability and supported processing."

Studies indicate movement with nature-based therapy helps to quiet the part of your brain responsible for producing ruminative and negative thoughts while promoting quantifiable health indicators.

"Our nature-based therapy is located at a beautiful farm in South Surrey," reveals Chow. "Movement propels us forward—literally and figuratively, so walking in nature and adding that as part of your mental health support works cohesively with how we’re built as humans. And it's also something exciting that you can access whenever."

"There's something about being in nature that makes you feel rejuvenated because that's exactly what our bodies are built for." 

2. Review what worked in the past

"Most people look at their past and see regret, but it's not regret, it's data," says Chow. "Use that data to help you make better decisions moving forward. If forcing yourself to make one New Year's resolution that will expand for the whole year, doesn't work, don't do that anymore. Take that data to move forward in your life, whatever that looks like."

Help yourself stay accountable by sharing your successes with someone. Chow adds, "It's more fun, too, referencing Mariame Kaba, 'Everything worthwhile is done with other people.'" 

"When you implement your goals, you begin building new patterns and your identity starts shifting towards a new you," says Chow. "Resolutions are not just habits, they're an identity shift. It's not just doing something; it's becoming something different."

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