Setting Mental Health Goals for 2023
As the New Year rolls around, you’ve likely heard somebody’s New Year’s Resolution. There’s a good chance you’ve even set one yourself as 38.5% of American adults set a resolution yearly. If you did set a resolution, there’s also a good chance it’s health related – in fact, 23% of resolutions involve living healthier, and another 20% of resolutions are centered around losing weight. Do these sound like your goals for 2023?
New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. 23% of people who set a resolution have already given up in the first week – and only 9% will successfully fulfill their resolution! Why are New Year’s Resolutions so difficult to keep?
One reason you may not be sticking to your goals is because we tend to set New Year’s Resolutions without intention. If you just picked a common resolution without much reflection, chances are it may not line up with your values, making it a goal you’re not particularly motivated to pursue. This year, try setting a resolution that aligns with your value of bettering your mental health – which we can see from you reading our blog post!
If you need some tips on setting a New Year’s Resolution for your mental health, check out these three suggestions from Straight Up Treatment!
Step 1: Identify Your Values
There are multiple strategies you can use to find your values! You likely already have an idea of what they are, but you may have never sat down to write them out before.
One way to identify your values is to use a values list, like this one. You can go through a list of common core values and highlight, circle, or put a check next to any one that stands out to you. Try to make this based on your feelings – if you see a word and it feels right, it may be one of your values!
For this exercise, it’s okay if the value doesn’t immediately stand out as being related to your mental health. For example, one of your values may be “career success”, which doesn’t jump out as a mental health goal. We’ll talk about that in step three!
Step 2: Brainstorm Goals Related to Your Values
Now that you have your list of values, brainstorm some goals that could be related to that value. For example, if you value altruism, some goals you may brainstorm are:
- Volunteer at a charity for a cause I’m passionate about
- Donate to a nonprofit
- Do 3 nice things for others each day
- Attend a fundraising event or volunteer at it
You may not plan to do all or any of these goals – at this point, you’re just brainstorming to see the possibilities!
Step 3: Consider the Mental Health Aspect
Now, time for the mental health component! As you look at your potential goals, consider: does pursuing this goal harm or help my mental wellness? For example, you may have a value of cultivating health in your life. One of the goals you may have brainstormed is “lose 20 pounds by the end of the year.” Before you commit to this goal, consider:
- Will the end result ultimately align with my values – ie, will losing weight equate to health?
- Will the behaviors I engage in be sustainable – ie, can I commit to dieting and working out?
- Is there a better path towards my goals I can pursue – ie, is there something besides weight loss that cultivates health?
In this example, you may decide that weight loss would ultimately harm your mental health due to diet restrictions and having to fit working out into your schedule. However, you may find that taking a 15 minute walk after lunch each day also cultivates health, but upholds your mental health.
We hope this blog post helps you to set a New Year’s Resolution that upholds both your values and your mental health! If you want a teammate to help you through your goals, we’d love to be a part of your team. At Straight Up Treatment, we specialize in helping folx overcome anxiety and depression and live according to their values. Reach out today to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors. We look forward to hearing from you!