Bloomington / Normal, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

New Year, Better You!


By Jenn Bovee, LCSW, CRADC, CCHt, EMDR Trained

My wording for the title of this article is very deliberate. Every year, people attempt to change who they are, change their habits or behaviors, or create a new version of themselves. I really don’t want that for you. I’d prefer for you to focus on changing bits and pieces of you. The whole “new year, new you” philosophy doesn’t make sense to me at all. It implies that you are somehow defective or broken as you are. Therefore this article will focus on how to enhance some really good parts of you and how to create new habits to set you up for success.

At the beginning of every year, gym memberships are purchased, diet clinics are joined, and countless resolutions are made. These well-intentioned acts easily become frustration, resentment, self-pity, and another missed goal by spring. This year, I want to help set you up for success by identifying how to set up and achieve goals from a subconscious mind perspective. My recommendations include the following:

  1. Create positive associations: Many of the clients we work with have a long-standing history of negative associations with setting and achieving goals in their mind. We encourage our clients to keep this one super simple. Every day, before getting out of bed, set two simple, super-easy goals that are a no-brainer to accomplish. Examples typically include: putting on clothes before you leave the house and brushing your teeth. It’s crucial for these to be no-brainer things that you will easily accomplish.
  2. Write your goals as if they’ve happened: Whenever our clients are attempting to achieve a new goal, we talk to them about the validity and importance of hand writing their goals as if they have already happened. We know that hand writing things accesses a portion of the subconscious mind, and writing the goals as if they have already happened helps the subconscious mind to accept the goal as a program. It then sets you up to achieve the goal more simply.
  3. Set up positive rewards: We talk to many of our clients about using non-food rewards for all of their goals. It’s super important to have short-term goals and rewards as well as long-term goals and rewards. Many people are so focused on the long-term (big) goal that they forget that every day requires a positive step in that direction. Break up each and every one of those steps and implement rewards for achieving those goals. Rewards help keep up the momentum and not get burned out or frustrated with the process.
  4. Imagination: We talk to our clients about the power of their subconscious mind and imagination. Unfortunately, most people that are struggling spend all their time focusing on what they don’t want, instead of what they do what. Do something as simple as spending time a few times a day to imagine themselves having achieved your goals. Notice, see, feel, hear, and experience what it’s like to have achieved your goals. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of that success and focus on it. This allows your subconscious mind to create a new heading or direction for your life that is attainable for you. Imagination is pure power — use it to help yourself, not hurt yourself.

Goal setting is important. Unfortunately, many people have no idea how to actually set realistic goals, much less how to achieve them. So, they go through the motions and have excellent intentions, but set themselves up for failure by not having a plan and, most importantly, the support that is needed to make goals a reality.

For help with improving your life or dealing with a mental health issue, you may contact The Mental Wellness Center at 309-807-5077
or e-mail Their office is located at 202 N. Prospect, Suite 205 in Bloomington. They are invested in empowering you to return to — or achieve, possibly for the first time ever — a state of complete mental wellness.