We're all setting the bar that little bit too high. Here's what we should be doing instead.

| By Rachael Thompson | Wellness

How To Set Yourself Up For Your Most Positive Year Yet in 2023, According to a Psychologist

We're all setting the bar that little bit too high. Here's what we should be doing instead.

"New year, new me", we've heard it a thousand times, probably even said it ourselves, but one month into the new year and many of us have already lost motivation for what it was we were aiming to achieve.

It's not uncommon to want to start the new year with a fresh start be it with a healthier diet, a more rigorous exercise regime, or a promise ourselves to be more financially responsible. After a challenging or eventful year, it's understandable to want to start the following year with a fresh start. But why is it that the new year signals the point at which we decide to set goals, and why is it that we often fail to find the motivation to keep going with these resolutions?

Below, registered psychologist and clinical psychotherapist, Noosha Anzab explains why it is that so many of us don't follow through with new year's resolutions and what the better alternatives are to set ourselves up for a positive year.

Why do so many of us make new year's resolutions?

For most of us, change is always welcome. We look for temporal milestones which allow self-initiated attempts to change our behaviour. And while there are milestones like the beginning of a new week, the beginning of a new semester, or even a new look, there is no better milestone than the beginning of a new year.

With the new year being the monumental time for a resolution, we usually make resolutions because we are often optimistic that we can use the new beginning to focus on changes in our behaviour, expecting only positive outcomes with regard to our physical, emotional, financial, and mental health.

How can we better stick to and find motivation to reach/maintain our goals?

Instead of setting broad goals, set benchmarks. For example, if the goal is to diet or exercise – it’s important to set the focus of the year towards that as an overall however to also establish smaller, measurable, and specific goals to help get there instead.

To help stay motivated to reach the goal, flexibility is the solution. Leave room for ups and downs, be open to spontaneity and remember you’re not racing to the finish line. When you lose motivation, recalibrate, and set smaller monthly goals to help you get back on track and don’t be afraid to journal the process – to keep track of how far you’ve come.

To find the motivation, go back to the drawing board, write your goal out in as much detail as you can, break it down into tiny little steps and lean in on social support and stimulus control to pick things back up.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Helpline on 0800 689 5652. In an emergency, call 999. If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, you can also speak to your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.

For more from Noosha follow her at @nooshaanzab

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