Setting New Year’s Resolutions
The New Year is here, and everyone is excited to leave 2020 and have a fresh start. This is the time of year where we all set our New Year’s resolutions, goals, or focus words. Here are some helpful tips to help make sure your New Year’s resolutions are attainable.
Make sure your goals follow the SMART method. SMART is an acronym that means, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Using this method helps you better manage your resolution. By creating a resolution that uses the SMART method it is much more effective. To learn more about the SMART method visit https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
You need to not only plan out how you are going to do it but also what roadblocks might occur. When you are trying to form a new habit or break an old one it takes time and effort. First you should break down the habit into three parts: a cue, a routine, and the reward.
- Bad Habit: I check Facebook too often
- Cue: I feel like I am missing out
- Routine: Go onto Facebook
- Reward: I can feel connected to the people on Facebook
- Way to change the behavior: Instead of checking Facebook I will call a family member to see how they are doing, or text a friend.
If you have one of these three most common New Year’s resolutions here is how mental health experts suggest you should approach them differently with COVID-19 in mind.
- Weight Loss: Weight loss is the most popular New Year’s resolution. With a year with as many stressors as 2020 it is completely natural that many people have put on a few extra pounds. Rather than beating yourself up and taking on a strict diet when the clock strikes midnight on Jan 1st you should take a different approach. Instead of that strict diet approach it with kindness and compassion toward yourself and others. Let’s all acknowledge that 2020 was stressful and a lot of us were hurting. Rather than turning to food or substances for comfort seek out healthier ways to cops such as, journaling, talking to a friend, or physical activity.
- Stop an unhealthy habit: Looking back on 2020 and all that has happened it is easy to lean on unhealthy coping mechanisms that are temporary fixes. Whether that is drinking, smoking, or even something like biting your nails take the time to replace it with healthier alternatives. Instead of biting your nails when you are anxious try deep breathing instead. You do not have to cut it out all at one time but gradually reduce the behavior.
- Prioritize your mental health: We have all been through something traumatic. There is no better time than now to value and respect your mental health. Take some time each day to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, how are you feeling, how are you thinking, and what are you experiencing physically. Start to become more aware of the connection between the three: feeling, thought, and body sensation. Reach out when you need help whether that is to a family member, friend, or a professional.
Whatever resolution you are setting make sure that you are kind to yourself because 2020 was not kind to any of us. If you or a loved one is in need of mental health or addiction support, please call Tellurian at (608)-222-7311, to talk to one of our highly experienced staff who can help you find the resources you may need. To read more blog posts visit, https://www.tellurian.org/blog/