Making New Years Resolutions or Changes
Making New Years resolutions is very common. We might want to eat healthier, lose weight, be nicer, drink less alcohol, or help those is need more than we do. For some, this can help them better their lives, but many can not always stick to their resolutions which could make us feel worse than we did before. Making New Years resolutions and not sticking to them could create the opposite effect of our intentions. If we’re depressed about not keeping resolutions, we might eat more junk food, drink more alcohol, or do other things to try to distract us from our depression and cope with our pain.
So, maybe making New Years resolutions may not be the best idea. Or, maybe it might be good to avoid making New Year resolutions. Instead, we can do some things – and avoid doing other things – that can change our lives for the better, even without making resolutions. We can:
- Set specific guidelines. If your new years resolution is to not drink, set specific guidelines on what you will do if you happen to slip up. Many times, one drink can leave people feeling defeated, that they failed, but this does not mean you have to spiral into drinking heavily again. Notice your mistake, admit your drinking and even go to local AA support groups for help and to admit to them what is happening. People in AA and other sober support groups love helping others and will accept you, even if you relapse.
- Connect with loved ones. Rather than resolving not to do certain things in the coming year, maybe we could visit, call, text, or send a message to someone on New Year’s Day. This can help us build social bonds and improve our moods, which may make it less likely that we’ll be stuck inside our own minds, dwelling on what we’ve done or not done.
- Obtain some help. We may want to consider asking a therapist about making changes. These discussions can help us analyze our past thoughts and actions and whether we should use or modify such tendencies. If we haven’t kept our resolutions in the past and have faced negative repercussions because of that, therapists can help us examine why and propose alternatives.
It seems that we sometimes frame resolutions and proposed changes in negative ways. We tell ourselves we’re aren’t going to do things and that certain things are bad for us. These tips are more positive in nature and can help us from feeling bad if we fail .
While the first tip – setting specifics – might seem negative because it may involve not drinking, it is positive because it is a specific, definite step. It isn’t some vague psychological nag not to do something, it’s a more definite guideline that is quantifiable, or measurable and provides you a course of action to follow if you fail.
Tips number two and three are also things people can actually do. They aren’t just reminders of things that they shouldn’t do. They involve taking measures to reach out to other people.
This is important because we don’t live in a vacuum. Whatever our lives look like, our actions affect others. We might want to make New Year resolutions in order to improve our lives, but there’s a good chance that these changes will also help change others. We don’t have to make resolutions to make these changes happen.
Written by Pam Zuber
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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