How to Make Better New Year’s Resolutions (While Avoiding Burnout)

Resilience Lab
December 31, 2022

Tips from our team of licensed therapists

With New Year’s day approaching, many of us start thinking about resolutions or goals we want to set for ourselves. While setting goals can be a great way to make positive changes in our lives, the pressure to make New Year’s resolutions can also be a toxic endeavor. The cultural emphasis on self-improvement and productivity can contribute to the unhealthy belief that we must always be striving to do more, and achieve more. This self-imposed pressure to align oneself with society’s expectations for the new year can cause unwanted stress and anxiety, and even fuel the toxic mentality of hustle culture, which glorifies overwork and burnout as badges of honor.

In this context, it’s important to approach New Year’s resolutions in a way that is healthy for our mental health. This means setting goals that are sustainable and manageable, rather than overwhelming or unrealistic. It also means being kind and compassionate towards ourselves, and prioritizing self-care. By reframing our New Year’s resolutions in this way, we can make positive changes in our lives without sacrificing our mental health.

Here are some tips for reframing New Year’s resolutions in a way that is more sustainable and less overwhelming:

Focus on small, achievable goals

Instead of setting grand, ambitious goals that may feel out of reach, try setting smaller, more achievable goals. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment as you make progress and reduce the risk of becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.

Consistently achieving the goals we set for ourselves can help to boost our convidence, which can help us tackle bigger challenges in the future. For this reason, our therapists here at Resilience Lab practice evidence based care, which allows them to track progress in an effective manner and guide you toward feeling better. If you’re interested in evidence based therapy, book a free consultation with our team today.

Make your goals specific

Setting specific goals is an important step in the goal-setting process because it helps us to be clear about what we want to achieve. When we set vague or general goals, it can be difficult to know what we need to do to achieve them. This can lead to a lack of focus and direction, and we may find ourselves spinning our wheels without making progress.

Vague goals are a good place to start when you are thinking about the kind of change you want to achieve, but lack in detail and make it harder to track progress. Instead of saying “I want to eat healthier” this year, reframe your goal to “I want to eat one serving of vegetables with two of my meals everyday”. By giving yourself clear instructions like this, you are not only able to work towards your goal, but also increase your progress (add more servings) as you go along.

Be kind to yourself

It’s important to have high standards for ourselves, but it’s also important to be kind and compassionate toward ourselves. If you don’t meet a goal or make a mistake, try to view it as an opportunity for learning and growth rather than as a failure. Remember that it’s okay to take breaks and give yourself some grace.

When we’re hard on ourselves, it can create unnecessary stress and negative emotions, which make it easier to fall back into the habits we are trying to change. This can create a loop of negative feelings that not only make it difficult to achieve our set goals but may even create more problems for us down the road.

It is also very important to note that maintaining a positive outlook and being kind to oneself is in itself a form of resilience. It is normal to encounter obstacles and setbacks as we work towards our goals, and being able to forgive oneself for making a mistake is a great show of strength. Book a free consultation with one of our therapists to see how you can practice change through positive outlooks.

Seek support

Change can be difficult, and it’s often helpful to have support from others. Consider sharing your goals with a friend, family member, or therapist who can offer encouragement and guidance. One important thing to remember about New Year’s is this: everyone is experiencing it. That means you’re not alone in your mission to change for the better and achieve something fresh.

Those around us can provide a sense of accountability, offer emotional support, and even provide practical support such as advice, resources, or connections. These things can help us to stay motived and on track as we work towards these goals. If you’re interested in speaking to a therapist about your New Year’s resolutions, book a free consultation with our team today.

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