I don’t ever make New Year’s resolutions.
One thing I like to do in January is spring cleaning. It’s the perfect time to donate a bag of items to the Salvation Army or charity of your choice.
A person should set goals at the time in their life that it makes sense to do so not because of a date on the calendar like January 1st.
For instance I joined a gym in March–at the start of spring. Spring is the season of rebirth and rejuvenation so if you ask me this is a great time to start taking action to achieve a goal.
Too often New Year’s resolutions are too vague or broad like “I want to lose weight.” Why do you want to lose weight and how much did you want to lose and what are the steps (sub-goals) you will take to accomplish this?
A goal should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive. You should give yourself what I call a “lifeline” for achieving a goal not an impossibly restrictive deadline.
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t achieve a goal by the time you wanted to make it happen. In this case you might have to change your goal or change what you do to achieve the goal. Sometimes abandoning a goal is what really makes sense.
For instance I wanted to take up running and I didn’t ever do this which is fine. I wanted to travel to Barcelona and I haven’t done this either.
One goal I absolutely did do when I was a young woman was to lose 20 pounds when I was overweight. You can click on my Nutrition category and Fitness category to read about how I did this.
I will talk about goal setting next in the context of mental health treatment.
Really any “treatment plan” should be a collaborative effort between you and your treatment provider not a goal that the doctor or therapist unilaterally foists on you.