How many times have you read about New Year's resolutions this month? Maybe you've seen articles talking about making this "New Year" all about a "New You!" But what's wrong with keeping the old you, just with a few tweaks? Even though new year's resolutions seem to be the norm in our society, they can actually be harmful for your mental health and well-being.
Are You Surprised?
When you think about it, it isn't really all that shocking to discover that setting ourselves up for unrealistic expectations can be detrimental to our psyche. Out of the nearly 50% of the American population that makes new year's resolutions, close to 90% will fail to stick to those resolutions throughout the year. At the end of the year, then, we feel resigned to a life without change. Since we didn't drop the 50 pounds we resolved to drop, losing 10 pounds seems like a let-down. Why go to the gym at all if you can't make it the 5 times a week you resolved? Or why branch out at work if your first attempt at learning a new skill in January didn't grant you that promotion you resolved to get?
The thing is, deep down, we all know that change isn't immediate. You know on January 1st that losing 50 pounds will take an extraordinary amount of effort and will power. Struggling during those first few weeks to only lose 2 pounds can take all of your enthusiasm out of your resolution, causing you to give up and give in rather than taking small steps. So instead of making one or two big resolutions, this year cut yourself some slack. Trying to lose weight? Stick to a few simple goals: workout an extra 20 minutes a week, only eat 2 pieces of pizza instead of 3 on Friday nights, or opt for water during lunch instead of soda. If you want to strengthen your relationship with your significant other, make a point to say something genuine to him or her every night, or greet him/her with a kiss after work every day.
Taking small steps will reap big rewards over the course of the year and will eliminate the guilt and shame that comes from failing to meet your huge resolution over the course of 12 months. For more information on how you can strengthen your emotional health and well-being, visit the Mental Health or Self-Improvement section of the Staffing Plus Blog.
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