For many, the month of January is a time for establishing fresh new goals and directions for the year ahead. People often create New Year goals that are physical, such as aiming for weight loss or exercise, or associated with work and finances, like saving for a new home or obtaining a promotion. While money can make things easier and losing weight might make us feel better about our appearances, setting vague and lofty goals is a way to set yourself up for disappointment and perceived failure. Many of these types of “resolutions” are abandoned by February, accompanied with feelings of regret or shame, and ultimately leading us to fall back on old patterns of behaviors that don't help us to thrive!
This past year has been a challenging one for so many reasons. So, as you think back on the things you have lost, gained, or learned through the experiences of 2020, instead of worrying about the life you do not have or the things you cannot control, challenge yourself to set mental health goals and aspire to be happier in the year ahead. Focus on engaging in activities that bring you joy, connecting with others in meaningful ways, or taking more time for yourself. Find ways to explore your passions and live more authentically.
A few simple mental health goal ideas:
1. Practice gratitude and make a list of 3 things you are thankful for each morning
2. Meditate for 3-5 minutes a day, or practice mindful awareness in other ways
3. When getting ready in the morning, say one positive affirmation to yourself in the mirror
4. Create a list of activities you enjoy and find time to enjoy at least one per week
5. Take time away from the news and limit screen time whenever possible
6. Set good boundaries with work and in relationships with others (say no if you need to!)
7. Forget the scale -set goals to be more active, enjoy time outdoors, or go for more walks
8. Connect with a friend or family member once a week, even if it means just sending a text!
Most importantly, learn to be kind and forgive yourself.
Mental health is a process and a journey.
If you have other questions about mental health and wellness or would like help with clarifying your goals, therapy can help!