Whether you make resolutions every year or not, you are surely aware of the idea that those who do set resolutions rarely persevere to them throughout the entire year. Still, making a resolution can be a good idea for improving your life.
Some common resolutions are to lose weight, learn a new skill, travel more, stop drinking, eat healthier, or save more money. However, it can be just as beneficial to set a new year’s resolution for better mental health, and doing so may help you keep the high motivation to achieve those other goals. Let’s look at some of the possible resolutions you can use to boost your well-being.
Taking care of yourself is not solely a mental health goal and also relates to physical health, but it is a great way to stay positive and to comfort your outlook.
However, this is a broad resolution, but if you look at the smaller components and goals it is possible to put in the effort and improve your well-being by caring for your own needs and desires. In fact, there is ample research that self-care can be highly beneficial to well-being.
Eating healthy foods can be good for both physical and mental health. Try to incorporate whole grains, fruits, and veggies into your daily routine while limiting added sugar, high sodium, and unhealthy fats. You may be surprised how much it helps to foster a positive perspective and feeling.
You should also try to exercise regularly because doing so balances neurotransmitters in the brain that can be great for mental health. Even if you are busy, it isn’t hard to add in a short workout or a walk around the block a few days a week.
When we do not get enough sleep, we tend to be more anxious, fatigued, and unfocused. Try to get enough sleep every single night. There are some things you can do to encourage good sleep like avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, and doing something relaxing in the hour leading up to bedtime.
Finally, taking care of yourself also means avoiding negative habits. Drinking alcohol regularly can have negative effects on mental health. Other potential harmful habits for mental health are social media addiction, stress eating, and working too much or too hard.
Having a solid support system and people that you can interact with socially can be highly beneficial for your mental health and well-being. The way you do this is up to you. If you have friends that you have disregarded or been too busy to spend time with, try to call them and take the time to do something enjoyable together.
You can also find groups of people that have similar interests at community centers, colleges, and other groups. This can help you branch out and grow a social network that can be good for you and your state of mind.
If there is a certain issue you are struggling with, you may even be able to find a group that focuses on that.
This can help you find guidance that is directly related to your life and current situation. If you do not live near a group like this, you can also find them online and you may find that it brings meaning into your life to talk with people who are dealing with issues like the challenges that you are currently facing.
Starting with mindfulness meditation can be a great goal for the new year. It doesn’t matter if you have never tried meditation or if you only have 10 minutes a day to designate for mindfulness because just staying with it every day may help you reduce stress and increase positivity.
To get started, find a place free from distraction where you can sit comfortably, but upright. Close your eyes and watch the breaths moving in and out slowly. As you focus on your breathing, you will notice thoughts coming into your mind. This is normal and you should not try to eliminate all thoughts. Instead, you want to be mindful and aware of the thought, but to watch it pass without judgment.
Doing this for 10 to 20 minutes each day may help you relax and can improve your sleep, perspective, and stress levels. You may also find that you like doing it more than one time a day or for longer at once and that the benefits of mindfulness permeate every aspect of your life.
You can also begin a journal to keep for the upcoming year that you can write your daily thoughts, challenges, worries, and hopes in. This can help you gain perspective and see your problems more objectively instead of stressing about them mentally for prolonged periods.
There are different types of journaling, and you can choose what you want to write about. Some people prefer to write about their daily experiences while others like to write down their worries to process them more healthily. You can also set goals in your journal and track mental health progress.
Another type of journal that can be helpful is a gratitude journal. Each day, write down one or two things that you are grateful for. This can help you gain perspective and see your life in terms of positives instead of pondering solely on the negative aspects of your daily routine.
You can also make a new year’s resolution to get a hobby and pursue something that you enjoy doing. This could be anything from gardening to basketball, guitar to stamp collecting. Just find something that you can find meaning and pleasure in.
Having a hobby can help you relax and enjoy life instead of focusing only on work, money, and other responsibilities. Plus, learning a new skill for a hobby can help you stay proud and interested in your own life.
You may even want to volunteer for a worthy cause that you believe in. This can also bring meaning into your life and help you stay fulfilled and positive.
How to Stay Motivated for Resolutions?
So, you have made a goal for the new year, but how can you keep that goal and persevere well into the year instead of giving up before February?
The first thing to keep in mind is to set a specific goal. Don’t just set a goal to be less stressed because then it is impossible to see your progress. Instead, set a goal to take meaningful actions every day like spending 10 minutes or more meditating or putting in the effort to talk to friends every day.
It is also best to start with small steps. You may want to exercise and eat healthier for your mental and physical health, but it is best to start with small steps. You can set a goal to exercise for 30 minutes 5 days each week and to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. This will work much better than massive goals that will take months to reach.
Another thing to keep in mind is that one error or mistake does not eliminate the work that you put in. If you are trying to write in a journal every day and miss a day, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop completely and that you failed.
Instead, keep going and forgive yourself for missed achievements. Nobody is perfect and setting a new year’s goal is supposed to be positive but does not have to be followed perfectly the entire 365 days.
When you do feel like giving up, try to remember why you set the goal in the first place. You can even write down the reasons and benefits of the resolution to read when you feel like giving up.
A New Year’s resolution can help to encourage positive change for your mental welfare and there are plenty of goals that you can set to improve the quality of your life. Just make sure to stick with it and make sure that it is a goal that allows for gradual progress. Good luck with the upcoming year and all the goals you set your sights on.
About the author
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com.
With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.