It happens to the best of us – we get inspired to make New Year’s Resolutions in late December and a few weeks pass by and we just lose momentum. We find ourselves making excuses like:
Well, I wanted to train for that half marathon because running really helps with my anxiety, but it’s so cold this winter! I’ll freeze my fingers off!
I know waking up early in the morning to make myself a healthy and yummy breakfast is an act of self-care, but my bed is just too comfortable to get out of…plus who doesn’t love to snooze? Snoozing IS my love language!
Taking the time to journal before bed was helping me navigate my thoughts and emotions, but I keep finding myself watching one more episode of my favorite show instead. Send help!
Listen, I get it. As my Dad says: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. But there are tried and tested tools to help you keep your excuses at bay and hold yourself accountable to your resolutions all year long.
Questions To Ask Yourself
First off, take a deep breath. If you’re feeling guilty (“I did something wrong)” or ashamed (“I am something wrong”), release that emotion as you exhale. There is nothing wrong with you! I promise. In American culture, there is so much pressure put on us to start the year out sprinting toward the best version of ourselves. We get a clean slate as we ring in the new year and we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe all of our unproductive habits will magically disappear with the dropping of the ball at midnight.
That’s a very tall, unrealistic order for just about anyone so give yourself grace.
Next, bring to mind your mental health resolution for the year. Time to get radically honest. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this resolution too far of a stretch from my current lifestyle? For example, did you set out to journal for 30 minutes every day even though you’ve never had a consistent journaling practice? If so, take a step or two back. Start with tiny goals that require you to challenge yourself in a realistic way. That could look like you journaling every day for ten minutes for your first week. Then after you accomplish that tiny goal, you can increase it to fifteen minutes if you feel called to do so. Or maybe you find out ten minutes is all you need to feel centered. It doesn’t always have to be so hard to be helpful!
- Is this resolution in alignment with my authentic self? Sometimes we don’t realize that we are choosing a goal that has been forced upon us by loved ones, society, or our idea of what we “should” be doing. Maybe your goal is to work harder than you’ve ever worked to get a promotion at your corporate job. But deep down, you don’t really like what you do. Maybe you actually feel called to start your own business selling jewelry, but somewhere along the line someone made you believe it wasn’t possible. If the reason we set resolutions is to feel more fulfilled and tapped into our fullest potential, then we must choose ones that are in alignment with our authentic nature. Otherwise, even if we achieve our goal, it won’t get us to where we want to ultimately be.
- How can I cultivate the balance between effort and ease with this resolution? This can be tricky. On one hand we want to “do the work” to become the best version of ourselves, but on the other hand we don’t want to subscribe to grind/workaholic culture. So where is the balance? With your resolution, find the middle ground so you don’t stress yourself out or beat yourself up. For example, if your resolution is to move your body more, perhaps you don’t need to run 5 miles 5 days a week, but instead go for a run 2-3 times and the other days, go for a long walk or spend time stretching. This way you’re pushing yourself while also gifting yourself the pleasure of ease.
One of the main reasons many of us struggle to keep our resolutions for the duration of the year is because we’re trying to be perfect. If we have an off day or an off week, we beat ourselves up and tell ourselves we will never change and therefore, give up on ourselves.
You are not here on this planet to be perfect. You are here to learn and grow and fall down and pick yourself up, over and over and over again. It’s OK to not always get it right – to snooze sometimes instead of going to the gym, to decide you want to have a 5K instead of a half marathon, to go for a long walk and reflect instead of journal every single day. The greatest way to stay with your resolutions is to let go of being perfect and give yourself space to be flexible. You can be impeccable with your word while also giving yourself permission to be fully human.
There is no one solution for every person when it comes to resolutions, so allow your journey to look different than your friends’ journeys. The most important thing is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and show up for yourself in some way every day. You got this!
Contact Us Today
A new year means setting realistic goals and boundaries. Let one goal for the new year be a solid and attainable plan for your mental health needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment at any of our five locations or via telehealth.