Map out a successful strategy to achieve your resolutions.

It’s that time of year again. Out with the old, in with the new. Time to welcome 2019 and embrace the opportunities associated with a brand-new year. 

Living with anxiety and depression this time of year can be particularly difficult. There’s a lot of pressure to “start over” or “begin again” or revamp how you live your entire life. The truth is, you simply can’t start over or become entirely new person when the clock strikes midnight. 

If you live with depression, you don’t need to step into the new year worried that your mood disorder may worsen. According to Psychology Today, here are some tips to foster well-being while making resolutions. 

Successful Resolution Setting

  • Ask yourself if you’re really ready to make a change. Taking on a resolution because someone else suggests it isn’t the same if the idea comes from within you.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to make a New Year’s resolution. Changing behaviors isn’t easy and requires a lot of planning and self-control. If you have too much going on in your life, maybe it’s not the best time to be making resolutions.
  • If you’ve decided to start a resolution, make sure it’s a realistic one. Unrealistic goals set you up for failure.
  • Once you’ve set your goal, be specific. 
  • Monitor your progress as you meet your goal. Cheer yourself on and ask others to rally with you. Rewarding yourself as you go is a very important part of changing behaviors.
  • Use positive self-talking strategies and refrain from giving yourself ultimatums. 
  • Don’t give up too soon. Give it a few go- rounds before you throw the towel in. Research reports that those who succeed at reaching their goal made six to seven attempts before their new behaviors took hold.

Making Success Out of Failure 
 

  • If you can’t achieve your goal, give yourself permission to walk away. There’s no shame in failure. In fact, the majority who fail at their resolution report learning something valuable about themselves.
  • While a lot of people who make New Year’s resolutions generally find them hard to keep, research shows that making resolutions gives you direction. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain goals than people who don’t make any.
  • Redefine how you experience failure. Depressed people tend to hold a negative view about many experiences in life. For example, “I just can’t do it.” “Things will never go my way.” Instead, shifting mind-sets to more positive and open-ended statements like “I’m a work in progress” or “It’s just a temporary setback” will keep you moving forward.

If you want to take part in New Year’s Resolutions, or you’re attempting any kind of change this year, be realistic with yourself. Ask your family and friends for their support. And if you are seeing a mental health professional, discuss your resolutions with them and get their guidance on how to continue moving forward without putting your mental health at risk.