Beyond New Years
New You Mentality
When the new year begins, it’s easy to get caught up in all the “new year new you,” messaging that tells you it’s time to totally overhaul your life. Using the start of a new year as motivation to set resolutions and start making progress toward achieving your goals is great. However, the new year new you mentality can be very problematic. For many people, it leads to an unnecessary increase in stress and anxiety, it can leave them feeling let down if they can’t achieve their goals, and people may get caught up in a “keeping up with the Jones” mentality that emphasizes how they compare to others rather than how they’re progressing on a personal level. If you find yourself having a tough time navigating the new year season of change, you’re not alone. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some tips to help you move beyond the new year new you mindset of change and into a new year where every facet of who you are can be celebrated.
Consider the “Why” Behind Your Resolution
Setting resolutions because it’s what you do when the new year begins just doesn’t work. The start of the new year may be a good time to set resolutions, but it shouldn’t be the only reason you are striving to achieve a goal. So, if your new year’s resolution is to be healthier, make sure you have a good reason behind this. Is it because that’s what everyone’s new year’s resolution is? Is it because you’ve recently been told by your doctor that you need to make some changes? Do you want to be healthier for a specific reason like an upcoming trip that includes a long hike? Really consider why you’re setting a resolution and make sure they are closely aligned with helping you achieve specific goals.
Set Smaller Resolutions within Your Larger Resolution
Another reason why new year’s resolutions often fail is that they involve making big, sweeping changes. While this may seem like a good idea (and may even be necessary), it can also be overwhelming, and often, people are discouraged because it takes a long time to see their progress. Instead of setting one new year’s resolution, set smaller goals that will help you achieve a larger resolution. By completing these smaller steps, you’ll experience a positive feeling as you can clearly see your progress. This can help you stay motivated, and it can make achieving a goal a more enjoyable experience. I recommend that you check out the book Atomic Habits by James Clear to provide thorough, practical ideas for building new habits. If we want to change our real selves, we must work to change our nitty-gritty, daily habits.
Work With a Therapist for Self-Exploration
In addition to changing microhabits, change occurs by diving deeper into your own values and giving your goals and desires the attention they deserve. Working with a therapist can help you to explore your values, set expectations for yourself, and develop skills and strategies to navigate change in a mindful and meaningful way. If this sounds like exactly what you’re looking for in the new year, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Dr. Tyler Gerdin, to schedule a therapy session at Gerdin Psychological Services.