Anyone who’s ever made a New Year’s resolution knows they’re hard to keep. A Psychologist from the Cleveland Clinic said real and lasting change happens when a person feels ready — not on an arbitrary date on a calendar.
"Each and every year, people tend to make the same exact resolution, year after year. This shows there is a gap between what we want, and what we actually do, and we can use psychology to actually fill in that gap, and figure out how to change our habits to make these resolutions stick," Dr. Susan Albers said.
She recommends thinking about what might be standing in your way and creating a supportive environment. She also said to shift your mindset from “I have to accomplish one specific goal,” to setting an intention for the year. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose 20 pounds," you could say “I want to be healthier this year.”
Dr. Albers said mental health has taken center stage during this pandemic, which can make for a great New Year’s resolution.
"For many people, mental health resolutions have jumped to the top of the list. If this sounds like you, consider this year taking a stress management class, buying a book on relaxation, reaching out to a counselor, finding a way to make sure you are taking care of your mental health this year," she said.
Dr. Albers said other popular New Year’s resolutions include spending less time on social media and more time with family and friends, or stopping unhealthy habits like drinking or smoking.