Good New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep
New Year's resolutions provide an opportunity to reflect on the past year, embrace personal growth, and create a vision for a better future.
This year, we encourage you to make a resolution that prioritizes your mental health. After all, reports show that mental health in the U.S. is in crisis. In one recent survey by Mental Health America, roughly 50 million adults reported experiencing at least one mental illness, and 55 percent had not received any treatment.1 Whether your aim is to start seeing a therapist or implement a meditation practice, there are a number of actions you can take to put your mental health first.
In the following article, we’ll share some New Year’s resolutions ideas focused on mental health and offer tips on what tools you can use to make sure you actually stick with them this year.
How to Create New Year’s Resolutions
Good New Year’s resolutions are those you can clearly describe. When they’re too broad (e.g. “I want to be healthier”), the resolution can feel overwhelming and unattainable, setting you up for failure. However, making a resolution to take a 10-minute walk around the block each morning? That’s much more feasible. Planning to try a new vegetable dish each week? That’s something you can manage.
At Brillia, we take a holistic approach to supporting mental health and reducing undesirable symptoms like anxiety, stress, irritability, and restlessness. Approaching your resolutions holistically means looking at various aspects of your lifestyle to see where there’s room for improvement. Our 5-Pillar methodology provides guidance on making healthy lifestyle changes around nutrition, sleep, screen time, and mindfulness to promote whole-body health. As these changes become habits, you will find that your symptoms are greatly reduced or eradicated. And if you need more support, taking non-prescription Brillia can provide that by balancing the brain chemicals that contribute to emotional dysregulation, brain fog, poor focus, and other temporal stress-induced conditions.
When it comes to making your New Year’s resolutions around mental health, feel free to use the 5 Pillars as a guide, whether you choose to improve your diet, get better sleep, cut down on screen time, or integrate more mindfulness into your life. And remember, there may be a time when life gets in the way and you’ll slip up. Can you learn to anticipate the setbacks and commit to trying again? Don’t let “all or nothing” thinking be an excuse for giving up. And just to make sure, share your resolutions with friends and family so they can hold you accountable when you do experience those setbacks.
Still not sure which areas of your health you should focus on? Here are some more tips for coming up with New Year’s resolution ideas you’ll actually keep in 2024.
1. Reflect on the Past Year
Before diving into the future, it's important to take a moment to reflect on the past year. What were some achievements you’re most proud of? What challenges did you face? What lessons did you learn? Understanding your past can help you make more informed choices for the year ahead. If you experienced some health issues, can you tweak your diet or bedtime routine for more support in 2024? Is it time to increase your physical activity? If you got good at a hobby or sport–is it possible to take it to the next level? How can you build on the wisdom you earned over the past year?
2. Set Specific, Realistic Goals
We can’t stress this enough: be specific. Vague resolutions can lead to frustration and disappointment when you can’t envision a clear path forward. Instead, set clear, specific, and achievable goals. Whether it's losing weight, advancing in your career, or enhancing your relationships, specificity is key. For example, instead of “get a raise,” try “ask to be part of a bigger project at work” or “take a personal development course to learn a new skill.” Make sure you write your resolutions down in a place where you can refer to them often as inspiration.
3. Prioritize Your Goals
Trying to tackle too many goals at once can be overwhelming for anyone. Prioritize your resolutions based on importance and feasibility. Then focus on a select few to ensure you can give them the attention they deserve. Doing so will help you make the most efficient use of your time. Remember that it can be difficult to enact change when you have little foundational support. While your resolution may be something specific like “Run a 5K,” without regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a proper diet, you may find it difficult to make it to the finish line. Prioritize these basic lifestyle changes first before attempting to achieve something more monumental.
4. Create an Action Plan
Resolutions without an action plan are merely wishes. Develop a step-by-step action plan for each goal. Break down your objectives into smaller, manageable tasks, and set deadlines for each one. This structured approach will make your resolutions feel less daunting because you’ll actually be able to envision yourself moving forward. Also make sure that you celebrate each win to motivate you to stick with your plan. Can you attach some rewards to your deadlines? What would that look like?
5. Monitor Progress and Adjust
Regularly track your progress and remember not to be discouraged by setbacks. Also remember that flexibility is crucial. Adjust your action plan as needed and admit to yourself when you’re struggling. Instead of abandoning a resolution completely because you’re finding it challenging to accomplish, can you fine-tune it? You may want to use an app, online planner, or special journal to monitor your progress so it’s easy to reflect on your achievements along the way.
When you make mental health a central focus of your New Year's resolutions, all your other resolutions are more likely to become a reality. Because the positive effects of putting your mental health first are far-reaching, impacting your overall quality of life, physical health, relationships, and personal growth. It's an investment in your well-being and happiness that pays substantial dividends throughout the year and beyond.
Find more tips and resources on mental health at the Brillia(nce) Resource Center.
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