As we wave goodbye to 2022 and embark on a new year many of us will have made new years resolutions. Maybe you wish to achieve a goal such as weight loss, being fitter, spending more time with loved ones or giving yourself more time to take up a new hobby or indulge an interest. Setting goals and making plans to achieve an ambition can be motivating and reinvigorating but before we take the decision to implement new years resolutions it can be helpful to examine our reasons for wanting to set these goals and how we are going to go about it.
Why do you want to do this? - First and foremost what is your motivation for wanting to undertake this goal? Is this something you have always wanted to do, will it make you feel better, improve mental or physical health? Can you see a positive outcome for you? Or are you feeling pressure from somewhere else, such as family, friends, work or wider society, to do this thing? When we set goals it is important to understand where our motivation comes from. Something we would like for ourselves can have a positive affect on our mental health as we are working towards a personal goal. But if we are feeling pressured or cajoled into doing something this can increase stress and feelings of anxiety, having a detrimental affect on our mental health. Remember, it is OK to say NO to the expectations of others.
What do you need to achieve this? - are there certain things that may help you to achieve your goals? The support of others can be extremely helpful in working towards personal goals. Is there someone you can talk to about what you hope to achieve and is there a way they can support you with it? Could you plan out what you will need to do? Perhaps give yourself a realistic timeline, that does not cause you to feel overwhelmed by trying to do too much at once. Small steps towards personal goals can feel like achievements in themselves.
Is this the right time for you? - every January we are bombarded with posts on social media and advertising telling us that now is the time to change. New Year, New You, right? Not necessarily. January may be a good time for some people to implement changes in their lives but this is not the case for everyone. January can be a difficult time for many people for different reasons. Short days and poor weather can affect how we feel. Christmas may have been stressful, lonely, exhausting and/or financially straining. Perhaps January is a time when we need to take it easy on ourselves and start our new years resolutions later on in the year. Remember there are no rules, you decide.
It can feel like there is a great deal of pressure at the start of a new year to make changes to yourself, set goals and have ambitions. But remember doing the day to day things are achievements in of themselves. It can be helpful to think about those things we achieve every day, whether that's looking after your family, what you do at work, cooking a meal or getting out of bed in the morning. You know the challenges you face in life and what you do every day to keep going and make changes. Perhaps the tag line should be changed from New Year, New You to New Year, You Do You.