Updated: May 8
By: Alana Tristan, MS, LPC-A, Supervised by Roxanne Deams, LPC-S.
It’s that time for yearly resolutions! You already may have chosen to hit the gym, change your diet, or become more organized. Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated and make positive changes.
However, sometimes staying on track with these new goals can be difficult. If you have tried and failed to stick to those new year’s resolutions from the past, maybe this is the year to set a goal to make them stick!
First, it is essential to set realistic expectations. Do that by choosing something you truly want to commit to. Then create a timeline which breaks down the goal into manageable steps. Focusing on small steps can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and then giving up too soon.
Recently, my cousin asked me what my goals were for this new year and it got me thinking…What are my needs? What do I need to implement that would provide benefit not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well? Hmmmm.
I realized that setting goals for my life is like a making a recipe. As a therapist, I assist clients with the process of managing their internal ‘ingredients’ in order to produce a positive external result. The most important ingredient is mental heath. Taking care of our mental health ingredients is one of the best ways to be more successful with daily responsibilities and achieve new goals. Of course, ingredients for mental health are different for everyone, but laying a basic foundation is a good start.
Here are a few mental health ingredients you might want to improve and incorporate this year:
Invest in yourself: allow opportunities of growth; develop your skillsets; etc.
Learn to better identify and process emotions: This is the first step in making sense of what our body is trying to communicate. Our emotions will not leave until they feel heard.
Value the Basics: sleep, hydration, exercise, and nutrition.
Build a community: identify your pillars of support; network; and connect with purpose.
Increase activities that bring joy and fulfillment: hobbies, volunteering, etc.
Everyone’s needs and timelines are different. To stay motivated, don’t forget to regularly reflect on your accomplishments, no matter how small. Every step is important. Every ingredient counts! Then think about what you want to change or implement next, staying aware of the emotional ingredients you need to make the step successful. It is never too late to begin, and if you get off-track it’s OK to try again. All you need are a few ingredients and you will soon have a recipe for success.