Dr. Rivera

Dr. Karla Rivera is a district-wide psychologist here in Irvington. She is here to provide support for children and families as we face these challenging times.

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How to (actually) achieve your New Year’s Resolutions

2021 is probably the most welcome new year any of us can remember!  Though 2021 is here, we may continue to face 2020’s challenges for a while longer. It’s easy to feel down about it- but one way to counteract feeling disillusioned is to look forward to the future and good things to come. With that in mind, what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2021?

We always start off with the best of intentions when making our resolutions -but let’s face it, they often fall flat. We had our fill of disappointments in 2020, so here are tips to make your resolutions actually happen this year!

Setting specific goals: Break your resolutions down into small goals. When you set a goal make sure it is specific, so you know exactly what it is you want to achieve. For example, setting a goal of “getting healthy” is too broad.  What does getting healthy mean to you? Spell it out for yourself. For example, a goal of exercising at least twenty minutes a day, four days a week tells you exactly what you’re striving for.

Make sure your goals are attainable:  When choosing goals for yourself, make sure they are practical and realistic.  Setting goals you can’t actually reach will only make you feel defeated and diminish your motivation. Consider your lifestyle and be fair and compassionate with yourself.  If you have a goal of saving money, how much can you realistically save each month? If a home project is what you plan to work on, how much time is reasonable for you to dedicate to it? If your goal relates to something regarding your children, consider what’s realistic given what you know of them. Be willing to adjust your goals if you find they aren’t doable, instead of giving up on them entirely.

Establish a reasonable timeline for your goals:  Setting a period of time by which you hope to accomplish your goal helps you to stay focused, motivated, and accountable. Is this a daily or  weekly goal, or one you plan to achieve over the course of a month or a year?  If you are setting a long- term goal, it can help to break it down into smaller intervals so you are consistently working toward it.  This can also make a big goal feel easier to attain, because you are tackling it bit by bit.

Following these tips can help you to accomplish what you’d like this year and beyond, and we all deserve a brighter future!