2021 has definitely been an uncertain year. We started the year hopeful considering Covid-19, our future, and everything else. However, very soon the uncertainty came upon us and for many of us has lingered on. This uncertainty has resulted in increased anxiety, low mood, increased OCD amongst others. It, therefore, is very important that now with the new year coming, we structure ourselves in a manner that is helpful, practical, and healthy for us to reach our goals. We set goals and resolutions in a manner that not only gives us control but also a feeling of accomplishment and consistency.
Here are a few things you can do:
1. Be SMART
Make sure that whatever resolution we make, it needs to be ‘SMART’. This means it needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. The vaguer or non-trackable a goal, the less likely it is to achieve it. Similarly, the goal needs to be practical; something achievable in the correct time frame and also something that genuinely matters to us. For example, if fitness is important, give yourself a goal like walking 10,000 steps in the next 2 months 5 days a week. However, if fitness is not your priority, choose something that means more to you. You don’t need to follow the trend but do what is important to you.
2. Set goals that you can control
Try to plan goals that are more within your control. With things around us being so uncertain, it’s important to set some goals or resolutions for us which give us some certainty, consistency, and power. For example, don’t plan to do something dependent on others. Instead, plan something of your own i.e. step out of the house once a day.
3. Avoid negativity
Pick out the negative badger that you may be doing to yourself. Most of us function with a critical lens towards ourselves. This inhibits us from not only reaching our goals but also demotivates us to work on ourselves. As soon as you recognize that you are being negative towards yourself, feeling that you are not enough, or using language such as ‘failure’; use that as a signal that you need to stop the negative badger and actively start working on yourself. Start your day by reminding yourself of five positive qualities about yourself and try to do one realistic task a day. Once succeeded, then move on to the next one. Be kind to yourself.
4. Create a positive and encouraging environment
You need to realize that many people are going through the same thing that you are and therefore you don’t need to do this alone. Find like-minded people like yourself. Having like-minded people around helps us increase motivation, willpower, and the general ability to continue something. We also don’t feel that we are missing out on other things as we have a sense of community towards us. Try to stay away from those who have a negative influence or feel that they put you down.
5. Don’t let set-backs affect you
If you miss your goal, do not feel ashamed, instead, stand up and try again. We are human beings just like one another and therefore do not get things correct at the first attempt. We all have flaws and all make mistakes. It, therefore, is important to be kind to ourselves, pat ourselves on our back, and try the resolution again. We need to realize that it is our process and our journey!
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To know more about mental health, read Ishita Pateria’s articles right here. You can also read our other expert content here.