New Year, New Motto

Resolutions seem to be the staple this time of year. People wanting to change something (eating healthier, increasing physical activity, saving more, etc.) and they set out to do so. They are motivated and enthusiastic. Yet, somehow, after only a few weeks, that motivation and enthusiasm dissipates. While there are a variety of reasons this may happen, the experience of this can be stressful. Here you are all excited about making this change and then after a period of time (usually weeks), the one thing that you really wanted, starts becoming more of a chore, more of another demand on your time and energy.

I’ve found that in order for change to be effective, not only does there need to be a plan and healthy support, but a new discovery I’ve looked at to help is having a motto. Last year was a year of discovery for me. I learned much about myself, both good and bad, in many areas of my life. I know 2014 will be a year of many changes.  And I also know that while I’m good at achieving a goal (which is a resolution), I also know that sometimes my motivation and enthusiasm wanes. As I pondered what I wanted 2014 to be about for me, two thoughts came to mind: “Just do it” and “and”.

We may want to get something done and most of us will put much thought into something. When we get to the action step, something may hold us back. It may be fear, resistance, uncertainty or any other number of emotions and/or thoughts. Most of the time, when we “just do it”, we get a lot more answers and information about whatever we struggle with, that gives us something more to work with.  This happens only after we “just do it”. We won’t have that tangible information until we take action. We can only have thoughts about it.

The second thought reminded me of the “And is better” car commercials (and not as an endorsement for the car). That’s actually where the phrase came from, because, why can it not be “and”? Maybe this is the year where you are naughty and nice. You have your cake and eat it too.  Where you thrive  in love and work.

So this year, perhaps in addition to your resolutions, develop a motto that you can use on a consistent basis to help  sustain your goals. Just do it and see what happens.

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    Dr. Serena Wadhwa

    Serena Wadhwa, Psy.D., LCPC, CADC, received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from ISPP-Chicago, specializing in health psychology. Dr. Wadhwa is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, has a Master’s in Counseling and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She is the Director of TriQual Living Center (, providing education and therapy on addiction/recovery and chronic stress, burnout and compassion fatigue. She provides individual therapy at the Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital Outpatient Group Practice and is an assistant professor/program coordinator at Governors State University, as well as adjunct faculty at a couple community colleges. Dr. Wadhwa works in a variety of roles as a consultant, presenter, trainer, lecturer, author, and contributor to ChicagoNow. She has presented on various topics in the Midwest and published various articles on topics relating to stress, addiction, and health. She also develops activities for a variety of psycho-educational lectures, and has several published. She is also a member of several professional organizations. She has a book on "Stress in the Modern World" coming out in 2014 and several e-books this year. Her latest project is an Internet Radio Show, Moving Forward: Wellness One Step at a Time.

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