Another year is coming to a close, and as we approach the cold winter months, it is natural for people to reflect on their accomplishments and make plans for the year ahead. The pressure to set unrealistic resolutions for January can lead to some unhealthy choices that do more harm than good. While it’s important to set goals for our physical health and career development, it’s also crucial to prioritize our mental health in the new year.
Keep your mental health in mind when thinking about changes you’d like to make in the new year. After all, it is just as important as physical health. It affects our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and it can have a significant impact on our overall well-being. When we’re mentally healthy, we’re better able to cope with stress, build relationships, and live the life we want for ourselves.
How to Set Mentally Healthy Goals
First, remember that we are setting goals, not resolutions. Anyone can make a resolution and then hope to stick with it, but that’s not the same as setting an important goal, working toward it, and achieving it.
The first step to setting mentally healthy goals is to identify your current mental health status. This can be done by taking a simple self-assessment that might indicate where you have needs. Not all fad diets or viral challenges will be wise for the issues that make you who you are.
You might also want to talk to a mental health professional. They can help assess your needs personally and help you set goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Tips for Setting Mentally Healthy Goals
Now, let’s go over some tried-and-true methods for setting healthy goals.
- Focus on your strengths. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Boost your self-esteem and confidence by using your strengths to achieve your goals.
- Set realistic expectations. Don’t try to change everything overnight. Start with small, achievable goals and build on your successes.
- Break down large goals into smaller steps. This approach will make your goals seem less daunting and more manageable.
- Be patient with yourself. Change takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
- Celebrate your accomplishments. Take time to appreciate your progress, no matter how small.
Examples of Healthy Goals for the New Year
Here are some examples of goals you can set for the new year that are great for your physical and mental well-being. Choose just a few to focus on at a time. You can do it!
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature.
- Improve your sleep habits. Getting enough sleep is essential for mental health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods can help improve your mood and energy levels. Use the new year as a perfect opportunity to eat better.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, improve mood, and boost self-esteem.
- Connect with friends and family. Social connection is vital for mental health. Make time for the people who matter most to you.
- Seek professional help if needed. If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with support and guidance.
Prioritizing your mental health in the new year is an investment in your overall well-being. Setting mentally healthy goals can improve your mood, reduce stress, and build a more fulfilling life.
At Advanced Behavioral Health, we understand that the new year brings with it a desire to set goals for improvement. If you want to lead a happier, more satisfying life, our therapists can help suggest goals to guide you there.
Our team of qualified mental health professionals is standing by to answer your call. You can call us at 301-345-1022 or visit our website to get started.