It’s a new year and many people feel that a new year means a fresh start with resolutions to make positive changes to their lifestyle. But what if you have already broken a resolution? If this is you, you are not alone. Research has shown that 23% of people quit by the end of January, with many quitting by the second Friday of the month.
What’s important to know, is that so-called "failed" resolutions can have a serious impact on one's mental health. The pressure to succeed can exacerbate existing mental health conditions. The reality is, change doesn't happen overnight. You won't just wake up on January 1st with a brand new lifestyle with no set backs. A change in lifestyle is a process.
That's not to say that resolutions can't be a good thing for upkeeping mental wellbeing. Setting realistic, attainable goals can certainly help you feel better. It's important to note that goals don't have to be tied to the new year. You can set goals and start whenever you feel comfortable.
Here are a few tips to help conquer 2023:
1. Choose a specific goal. Vague plans are often more likely to fall through. For example, rather than "live a healthier lifestyle," try a more specific item like "exercise 20 minutes a day" or "eat one fruit or vegetable per meal".
2. Make a plan. Envision a pathway for your resolution to allow you to look into the future rather than dwell upon immediate results.
3. Set milestones and reward yourself. This tip will definitely help with lack of motivation. Setting small rewards will help you stay motivated and keep working towards that next goal rather than focusing on the end result. For example, treat yourself to a spa day after 1 month of meeting your goals!
4. Find support. Surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals will quickly build a support system to keep you on track and feel apart of something bigger. If your goal is to take a walk 5 days a week, gather up some neighbors and set up a walking group. This will help you avoid making excuses and look forward to meeting up with friends.
5. Embrace failure. As the great Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts". Learn to forgive yourself for minor slip-ups and don't beat yourself up if you miss your goal. Use your mistakes as motivation to get back on track even better than before.
The most important thing to remember is, don't give up!