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"Perfect" New Year's Resolutions
last updated:
Wed, 1/05/2011 3:50 PM

A New Year: The “Perfect” Time to Consider Too Much of a Good Thing

Most of us strive to do our best in our work and personal lives. We set goals and are pleased when we reach those goals. Sometimes we don’t reach them, and we’re okay with that too. Perfectionists, however, often set unrealistic or unreachable goals then become depressed or frustrated when things don’t proceed “perfectly.”

Give yourself and those around you a break! Accept that we all have limitations and strengths, then begin to change your perspective.  Try some of these techniques to tame those tendencies:

Set realistic goals. By setting attainable goals, ones which have a good chance of being met, you can learn to celebrate your successes instead of cataloging your mistakes.

Avoid “all or nothing” thinking. The sun will rise tomorrow if you’re not perfect. Completing two of the three things on your to-do list is still progress toward your goal.

Be aware of the difference between high standards and perfectionism. Concentrate on personal success instead of avoiding failure.  You may be surprised by the opportunities that arise when seen from a new vantage point.

Take notice of ways in which your perfectionist, critical attitude affects those around you. Others may feel unappreciated for their efforts or feel unable to meet your expectations.

Accept your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. This is what makes you part of the human race. Others may see you as more approachable and likable when viewed as human. Plus, the added bonus for you is a reduction of anxiety.

Think positively. Change your thoughts from critical to reasonable ones. Get rid of your “ANTS” (automatic negative thoughts) by changing them into affirmations. Give yourself credit for what goes well in a less than perfect world.

The Memphis EAP team wishes you a healthy and positive New Year. As always, we are here to help you work towards your goal of avoiding the pitfalls of perfectionism or any other New Year’s resolution.


Author: Colleen Bonadio, LPC, CEAP is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been in the field of behavioral health at Methodist Healthcare for over 20 years. She has been with the Methodist Healthcare EAP as a counselor since 1997 and received her Masters in Counseling from the University of Memphis.



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Methodist Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system, dedicated to the art of healing through our faith-based commitment to minister to the whole person. 1211 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • (901) 516-7000