January 2020

In the New Year we often set New Year’s resolutions. The problem is that sometimes the new goals and standards that we set for ourselves are unrealistic

When you set yourself exceptionally high goals and standards of performance and you strive to attain these standards, you evaluate your own behaviors and achievements by the ability to reach them. Inability to achieve your own strict standards or high goals can have various implications among which are low self- esteem, depression, low self-efficacy, frustrations, stress, anger etc.

You can recognize your high set goals and standards by their common formulation such as I HAVE TO achieve my sales goal this year.. My kitchen MUST always be spotless… I SHOULD exercise 2 hours every day and only eat nutritious food… I CAN NOT takes breaks at work….. but they also originate from IF ..THEN…. formulations e.g. If I will not lose 20 kilos this year THEN I will not find a man….

Test yourself! Are you setting yourself up to disappointments by being a perfectionist?

  1. Reasonableness- is it attainable and achievable? Is it realistic to ask this of yourself or of others?(unattainable and unrealistic = perfectionism)
  2. Is your standard flexible? That means, can it be adjusted to different contexts and circumstances? (inflexibility= perfectionism)
  3. Costs and benefits (is it helpful to your life? if the costs outweigh the benefits = this standard is not beneficial to you)
  4. Is it accurate? Is it true and accurately reflecting the gathered facts in reality? (inaccurate =perfectionism)

Now that you can test your own standards and goals-
Are you demanding perfectionism of yourself?

Exercise

Try reformulating more flexible, accurate, reasonable and realistic standards and goals for yourself.
If your goals now seems to be too high or unattainable in the coming year, maybe you can divide it into sub-goals that will be more achievable. Setting more manageable and attainable goals will boost your energy, self-efficacy and motivation to continue and reach your goals.