The countdown to 2022 has begun, and many people are sure to have a New Year’s resolution in mind. But, as we all know, they’re not always the easiest to keep.
“Each and every year, people tend to make the same exact resolution, year after year. This shows there is a gap between what we want and what we actually do,” explained Susan Albers, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “And we can use psychology to actually fill in that gap and figure out how to change our habits to make these resolutions stick.”
Dr. Albers said real and lasting change happens when a person feels ready, not by picking an arbitrary date on a calendar.
So, what can you do to help with that?
She recommends thinking about what might be standing in your way and also creating a supportive environment.
Another tip is to shift your mindset from “I have to accomplish one specific goal” to setting an intention for the year. For example, you could say, “I want to be more compassionate or confident.”
She said mental health has taken center stage during the pandemic, which can make for a great New Year’s resolution.
“For many people, mental health resolutions have jumped to the top of the list. If this sounds like you, consider taking a stress management class, buying a book on relaxation, or reaching out to a counselor. Find a way to make sure you are taking care of your mental health this year,” said Dr. Albers.
She said other popular New Year’s resolutions include exercising more, spending less time on social media and more time with family and friends, or stopping unhealthy habits, like drinking or smoking.
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