I think we can all agree that no one will miss 2020. And although nothing physically changes with a new year, it’s a huge mental relief that we can say goodbye to one of the worst years of our lives. Many are taking this time to reflect on what we can change by making resolutions. New year’s resolutions are great for our mental health because we are able to set realistic goals that motivate us to be more productive. It almost forces us to look back on what we failed to do in the past year and how we can improve our mental health. These can include getting more sleep, re-organizing priorities, and eating healthier (which has links to positive mental health).
Common resolutions include getting in shape and quitting smoking. Studies show that 1 out of 20 smokers are successful in quitting after the new year. Those who are successful report making several attainable goals rather than one overwhelming goal of “quit smoking.” This is true for any new year’s resolution - breaking it down into multiple steps makes it easier to actually follow through. And while this may seem like a slower process than intended, you will have more benefits and success in the long run.
So, what should healthy resolutions consist of?
Positivity and optimism
Step by step process
Replacement of unhealthy habits to healthy ones
Whether it be personal or professional goals, making resolutions is important for our mental health. They give us a reason to deal with issues that we may have been avoiding. For work especially, it’s important for us to learn how we can overcome stress and anxiety. We may sometimes feel that we have less control in our work lives compared to our personal lives. But this is far from the truth - you have complete control over how you handle work stress. Next time you’re feeling anxious about a project, try to take some time to breathe and remember that you can tackle anything that comes your way. After all, you didn’t get the job for nothing.
Walsh, R. A. & Paul, C. L. (2002). New Year quit smoking resolutions. Journal of Public Health, 26(2), 181-182. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.2002.tb00915.x
Welch, A. (2020. How to make healthy attainable new year’s resolutions during covid-19. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-to-make-healthy-attainable-new-years-resolutions-during-covid-19