For many of us, this is the time of the year when we are about to give up on our New Year’s resolution. But that’s ok.
We want to help you stick with it – or revamp it into something you really want to achieve. The truth is that almost any New Year’s resolution can be used to improve one’s mental health. A New Year’s resolutions is about making a commitment and following through. Goal setting can improve your wellbeing greatly.
Take a look at today’s blog to learn a few strategies for sticking with your New Year’s resolutions.
Rather than setting deprivation-based goals, set positive goals. If you’re determined to give something up, such as smoking, try to find something positive to replace it with, such as exercise or spending time with loved ones. When achieving your goals make you feel deprived, you’re less likely to succeed.
Set small goals so that you can achieve quick success. This helps you keep going in the face of obstacles, and reduces the chance that you’ll perceive your goals as impossible to attain.
Support from friends and family can also help you achieve your goals. You might agree to exercise weekly with a friend, or even join a virtual community of people with similar goals. Also, consider how your mental health might affect your ability to achieve your goals. If mental illness is a barrier to achieving your goals, potentially exacerbating symptoms and confounding a sense of helplessness. Treatment may be the best thing you can do to stick with your New Year’s resolutions.
Create a Clear Plan
Without a clear goal, you have no way of knowing when and if you have succeeded. Set specific goals, and make sure each goal is fully within your control. Weight loss depends on a variety of factors, so instead of resolving to lose weight, try resolving to exercise three times a week or reduce your daily caloric intake by 200 calories.
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to keep a resolution that’s good for your health or mind? Our brains enjoy pleasure, and constantly seek reward. So when you’re giving something up, your brain feels deprived, and will do just about anything to inspire you to ditch your resolution. You can circumvent this impulse by building in small rewards, and by never embarking on complete deprivation. Rather than trying to give up all sweets, for example, try limiting yourself to one sweet treat a week.
The march toward achieving goals is rarely a linear one. Unrealistic expectations about immediate success, though, can sabotage your goals before you even start working toward them. Expect to have setbacks, and plan for how you intend to manage them. If you’re quitting smoking, for instance, strategize about what to do when you get a craving, and how you’ll get back on track if you give in.
This year really can be your best year yet if you’re realistic and motivated enough, so don’t shy away from attempting to shape a better life. If you need support, we are here to help.