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Everybody loves New Year’s; it’s a time to reflect on how far we’ve come, while looking to the future with a clean slate to make the most of the upcoming year. About a quarter of Americans are still interested in setting New Year’s resolutions according to various surveys over the last few years. However, only 9–12% of these resolutioners actually successfully complete them.

A majority of resolutioners fixate on health-related issues, such as drinking less, losing weight, exercising more, etc. The most successful attempts at New Year’s resolutions consistently contain these five things:

Make attainable plans to facilitate accomplishing goals
      • Prioritize your resolutions by creating time for them in your schedule; it need not be huge chunks of your free-time on the weekends or anything extravagant. But creating space to tackle your goals one small step at a time will help you follow through with each resolution you set for yourself in 2023. Take a little time on the front end to plan how you can achieve your goals!
Setting goals that compliment or build off one another
      • If you have five random resolutions that you want to achieve that pull you in five different directions, you are not setting yourself up for success. Think through how you want your year to go, and set specific goals that align or overlap a little. This allows you to efficiently and creatively fulfill your resolutions instead of feeling frustrated that you don’t have time to train for a marathon, start a small business, AND fly to the moon (although, if these are your 2023 resolutions, kudos to you for dreaming big).
Celebrating achievements along the way
      • Take the time to celebrate your wins! Positive reinforcement is way more powerful in altering your lifestyle than anything else. This also helps you practically keep track of your progress throughout the year and see what goals or checkpoints you may need to alter to get where you want to be.
Not being afraid of setbacks
      • Everybody has gotten to the end of December and remembered all of the resolutions they set in January… oops! Naturally, we don’t want to fail or let ourselves down. What is the point of resolving to change at the beginning of the year if we don’t intend to change anyway? Being okay with failure, allowing yourself to falter a bit along the way, is actually very healthy. Rigid plans and goals create more anxiety for you in your resolution-achieving. Set your goals and don’t get discouraged. Use setbacks to recenter your focus. 
Utilizing the power of habit  
      • Repetition is key in changing our behaviors. Consistency and effort precede success. Taking the extra ounce of effort transitions ideas into mindful habits in your life. Discovering the ways your habits change due to the focus on your resolutions will help you continuously become the best version of yourself. 

At Simply Psych, we believe that incorporating your mental health into everything you do is the surest way to create that best version of yourself. Here are a few goals that you can set for yourself to let 2023 be a million times better than any other year so far:

      • Spend time regularly acknowledging the things that make you smile, the progress you’ve seen in your or someone you love’s life, the positive relationships you have, etc. It is quick, easy, and will set you up to continuously find the beauty in life as you find more and more things to be grateful for. 
      • Whether you take time to write about those things you are thankful for or spend time processing through your emotions or thoughts, sometimes taking a moment to be still and get things out of your head helps you feel lighter and less anxious. Creating space to process improves your mental health as you acknowledge the things that worry and distract you, or keep you up at night. 
      • Our bodies are so intricate; every body system affects every other body system. Your resolution of exercising more this year doesn’t have to mean training for a whole triathlon or getting a ripped six pack. The recommended 30-minutes a day of physical activity is a great place to start for anyone.
      • If you haven’t realized how detrimental social media is on both our individual and collective well-being, then pay close attention to this resolution. Spending less time on our phones decreases depression and anxiety, and forces us to be communal (which is part of what makes being human so awesome).
      • Socializing has been hard the last few years due to COVID, and we’ve all come to realize just how vital friendships are in life. We need camaraderie and community to push us forward, hold ourselves accountable, provide support and encouragement when we need it, and create fun, exciting, moving, and wonderful memories to grow from.
      • Actively choosing to focus on our own mental health is quite an undertaking in itself. Create space every day to cooldown, decompress, and acknowledge how you are feeling and the thoughts you are thinking. This will help you identify triggers, negative habits, and other potentially hurtful habits you didn’t even know you were doing. Intentionality is key to creating a happy, healthy mind. 

No matter what you choose as your 2023 New Year’s Resolutions, know that every meaningful resolution will take work and effort. You are capable of becoming the best version of yourself. You are closer than you think! Happy New Year, and may your 2023 truly be the best year yet.

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