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A Guide to Setting New Years Resolutions From a Therapists Perspective

As we stand on the verge of a brand-new year, it's only natural to think about the road ahead. New Year's resolutions often come to mind, but approach them with a twist this time. In this guide to setting new years resolutions, we'll talk about how you can set resolutions that are not only going to be more likely achieved but also helpful for your mental health.

a picture saying happy new year with leaf garland

  1. Reflect on the Past:

2. Set SMART Goals:

Let's say your resolution is to manage stress. Instead of a vague goal like "stress less," make it SMART. In the world of CBT, we love SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Break down your resolutions into smaller, actionable steps. This not only makes them more achievable but also keeps you motivated along the way.

A specific goal could be dedicating 15 minutes daily to deep breathing exercises. It's measurable – you can track your progress. It's achievable and relevant to your wellbeing, and setting a time frame adds a sense of structure.

3. Be Flexible:

Life is unpredictable, and so are our journeys. Leave room for flexibility in your resolutions. Instead of viewing detours as setbacks, see them as opportunities for growth.

Let's say your resolution is to read a book a month, but work gets hectic. Instead of abandoning the goal, be flexible. Maybe audiobooks or shorter reads fit better into your busy schedule. The key is adapting your plan without feeling defeated.

4. Be Kind to Yourself:

In the hustle of goal-setting, don't forget to be kind to yourself. Practicing self-compassion is integral to mental wellbeing. Understand that setbacks are a part of any journey, and treating yourself with kindness can make all the difference.

Suppose your resolution is to eat healthier, and you indulge in a treat. Instead of berating yourself, practice self-compassion. Acknowledge that everyone slips up, and one indulgence doesn't erase your progress. Treat yourself with the kindness you would offer a friend facing a similar situation.

5. Connect with Support:

Human connections are a powerful force. Share your resolutions with friends, family, or a support network. Having a support system can provide encouragement, accountability, and shared experiences, making the journey more enjoyable.

Let's say your goal is to start a new hobby, like painting. Share this with a friend or join a local art group. Having someone to share your progress, challenges, and successes with can provide motivation and a sense of community.

6. Celebrate Small Wins:

Don't wait for the finish line to celebrate. Acknowledge and celebrate your small victories along the way. These mini-milestones not only boost your confidence but also reinforce positive habits.

If your resolution is to learn a new language and you successfully hold a short conversation, celebrate! Acknowledge the achievement, no matter how small. This positive reinforcement encourages you to continue the language-learning journey.


As we step into the New Year, make sure that if you do set resolutions, that they are going to be positive for your mental health. Remember, it's not just about the destination; it's about the journey. Embrace the process, stay mindful, and be kind to yourself.

Here's to a year filled with growth, resilience, and a healthier mind.

Happy New Year!


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