For some, the start of the year is a prime opportunity to wipe the slate clean and set goals. For others, the thought of making New Year’s resolutions triggers a heavy eye roll. If you’re in the latter group, it’s OK and understandable! In a way, not making resolutions can be freeing.
Why? Because accepting that you are enough just the way you are is empowering.
When 29% of people say they feel pressured to set New Year’s resolutions — with more of Gen Z than any other generation reporting these feelings (39%) — it might help to consider other ways to celebrate a new year.
Learning to embrace who and where you are in life doesn’t happen overnight. It takes daily practice and effort.
One way to start is by ignoring your inner critic, that sneaky voice that’s great at tearing you down and focusing on the negative. Instead, write a list of things you’re proud of, no matter how small. Learn to change the narrative in your head with positive affirmations: I am a good person. I choose love. I am resilient.
Practicing this inner dialogue will build self-compassion, grace and mindfulness.
Create a Support System
The beauty of embracing who you are is that you don’t have to do it alone. Surrounding yourself with people who support you can bring comfort and peace — maybe even inspiration.
Research from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) shows that people who have social support from friends and family are more likely to make healthier choices and have better health outcomes, such as reduced stress.
Set Goals When You’re Ready
One of the main reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is timing: As January 1 approaches, the pressure to come up with a goal often results in half-hearted ambition.
Instead, let the craze of the New Year wear off, then make note of what you’d like to accomplish. Take time to research your goal and consider what it will take to achieve and sustain it.
For example, maybe you’d like to learn to play an instrument. Are lessons offered in your area, or perhaps virtually? How much time can you commit to practicing? What does the instrument cost, or can you rent one? Gathering information and developing a realistic plan will help you follow through on your goal.
When you’re ready, consider setting another goal: taking Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). Getting certified in MHFA is a powerful way to learn about mental health and substance use challenges that you or others may face. #BeTheDifference to your own mental health for years to come.
Davis, Sarah. (2023, March 9). New Year’s Resolutions Statistics 2023. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/new-years-resolutions-statistics/
Healthy People 2030. (2020). Health information national trends survey (HINTS). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/data-sources-and-methods/data-sources/health-information-national-trends-survey-hints