Goals Psychology Self-care Stress

New Year, New Me? : How to Set and Achieve Goals with the Help of Your Psychologist.

As we usher in the New Year, it’s natural to reflect on the past and contemplate the changes we’d like to make in the coming months. For many, New Year’s resolutions serve as a roadmap for personal growth and self-improvement. However, when it comes to mental well-being, setting achievable goals requires a thoughtful and compassionate approach. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of setting realistic New Year’s resolutions and how to establish attainable goals with the help of your psychologist.

The Pitfalls of Unrealistic Resolutions

It’s common to feel inspired and motivated at the start of the year, eager to make significant changes in various aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, unrealistic resolutions can lead to frustration and disappointment, potentially impacting mental health.

Setting goals that are too ambitious may exacerbate stress and anxiety, and for clients who are already dealing with anxiety, depression or trauma, setting goals and maintaining motivation can bring its own set of challenges.

Instead of focusing on grandiose resolutions, consider adopting a more gradual and measured approach. Small, manageable changes can have a profound impact on mental well-being and provide a foundation for more significant transformations over time.

Identifying Personal Priorities

Before diving into goal-setting, take the time to identify your personal priorities and values. Reflect on what truly matters to you and what areas of your life require attention. At Mind Profile our clients often find it helpful to discuss these reflections with their psychologist, gaining valuable insights and guidance.

Establishing S.M.A.R.T. Goals

The S.M.A.R.T. criteria – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound – serve as an effective framework for goal-setting. When crafting your New Year’s resolutions, ensure they align with these principles to enhance their feasibility and impact.

  • Specific: Clearly define your goals to avoid ambiguity. Instead of a vague resolution like “improve mental health,” consider a specific goal such as “practice mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes daily.”
  • Measurable: Establish concrete criteria to track your progress. For example, if your goal involves enhancing social connections, measure it by attending one social event or reaching out to a friend each week.
  • Achievable: Set goals that are challenging yet realistic. Understand your current capabilities and gradually increase the difficulty of your objectives over time. This helps build confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Relevant: Ensure your goals align with your personal values and long-term objectives. A relevant goal contributes to your overall well-being and supports your journey towards self-discovery.
  • Time-bound: Set a timeframe for achieving your goals. This creates a sense of urgency and prevents procrastination. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps with specific deadlines.

Incorporating Therapeutic Support

Mind Profile clients have the advantage of professional support on their journey to better mental health. Collaborate with your psychologist to establish goals that address specific challenges and leverage their expertise in tailoring strategies to your unique needs. Regular check-ins with your therapist provide opportunities to discuss progress, celebrate successes, and adjust goals as needed.

Cultivating Self-Compassion

Finally, as you embark on your journey towards achieving your New Year’s resolutions, remember to cultivate self-compassion. Be kind to yourself during setbacks, acknowledging that progress is not always linear. Celebrate the small victories and recognise that change takes time. Developing a positive and supportive relationship with yourself contributes significantly to overall mental well-being.

Conclusion

As you step into the New Year, approach your resolutions with a mindset of self-compassion and a commitment to realistic and achievable goals. With the support of your psychology clinic, set S.M.A.R.T. objectives that align with your values, and embark on a journey of personal growth and improved mental well-being. Remember, the key lies not only in the destination but in the transformative process along the way.

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health barriers and would like help with setting realistic and achievable goals, please contact Mind Profile Psychology to book in for a FREE 30 minute introductory session.

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