The new year is upon us, and many Americans are inspired to start the new year off with a fresh set of healthy goals. Some common resolutions include losing weight, eating healthy, quitting smoking, or saving more money. Whatever your new year’s goals may be, the probability of successfully committing and reaching your goals depends on your mental health. Amidst our new resolutions, mental health may or may not be on the top of list of goals, but it is equally as important to consider mental health. Prioritizing mental health not only increases emotional wellness and happiness but will also help you retain good habits and increase the likelihood that you stick to other resolutions. Here are a few tips to keep your mental wellness a priority among this year’s resolutions:
Self-compassion: Remember to have self-compassion. Pay attention to your self-talk. Is it negative, hateful, or unproductive? Would you say the same things to yourself to the people you love? You deserve to be treated with respect – from those around you and yourself.
Let go of negative thoughts: Ruminating over negative feelings and thoughts won’t help you progress. Identify negative patterns and realize that these negative thoughts are not an absolute depiction of reality. The next time you catch a reoccurring negative thought, rephrase your thinking to include positivity.
Focus on the present: We may have future plans to make more money or have a fit body by next year, but it’s important to focus on what you can do for now. Don’t devalue your current process. Its ok to long for the future, but don’t forget to enjoy where you are now. Anticipating the future is a good thing, but focusing your efforts on what you can do now will help you achieve where you want to be.
Employ SMART goals: SMART is a process of creating structured goals that provide a tangible way to measure your progress. Here’s what it stands for:
Specific: Make your goals as specific as possible. Write the exact steps you will take to get there. Emphasize and answer the “what,” “when,” “where,” “who,” and “why.”
Measurable: Clarify your process. Emphasize on the “how.” For example, write out the statement, “I will run for 20 minutes for 3 days a week in order to lose weight.”
Attainable: Make sure your goals are achievable. Is it possible for you to carry through with your commitments considering your work schedule? Consider realistic limitations and obstacles.
Relevant: Does this goal match my needs? Is it worthwhile for me to pursue? Make sure it is relevant to your long-term goals.
Time: Consider a realistic time the goal will take, and then set a deadline.
Getting professional help can hold you accountable and give you on-going support as you work towards your resolutions. Consider setting up regular appointments to keep you on track. Counseling California highly values personal growth and development. Our team of qualified MFTs want to support you wherever you are on your journey. Visit our online directory for information about therapists that can help!
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