Mental Health Self-Help

How to Deal with “New Year, New Me” Pressure

It’s the start of a brand new year, and with that comes hopeful promises and resolutions to do better than the year before. No judgments here, we all do it – and sometimes we can stick to them! Although it’s always tempting to set yourself a load of goals, remember to be kind to yourself. Whether you have set a lot of resolutions, are full of high hopes or simple changes we are here to help you feel less pressure into becoming a ‘new you’.

Quality not Quantity

Like a lot of things in life, resolutions are different for everyone. You may have had a horrible 2021 and left it thinking ‘there’s a lot here I want to change’, or you might just think one area of your life needs attention right now. The aim of a successful resolution is to know what works for you. If you set too many things to change it can become incredibly overwhelming and can give you that all or nothing mentality. Once you haven’t followed through with one, your thoughts can sometimes think ‘what does I just won’t do the rest today’. Just because you forget once, doesn’t mean you’ve failed – try again tomorrow!

If you focus on one thing at a time you will feel like this is more manageable, if you’re really keen to do a lot of resolutions in one go then maybe stagger the start dates. Try starting a new habit, then once you feel like you’re in a good rhythm with that – add another habit. Starting everything at once can be a lot, but remember you got this!

scrabble, letters, words, new, year

Go Slowly

You don’t go to the gym and rack up your weights to the highest level do you? You’ll always stretch, then start low and build up gradually. The same goes for habits. They don’t change after one day, but rather after a repeated process over weeks or months. For example: If a new habit was to do more exercise, start light on the first day. Do some nice mellow Yoga or a long walk, get your body used to being outside and moving.

Although having a challenging workout right out the gate can be tempting, this is the most likely time an injury could happen, or you’ll be so sore from the workout you’ll have some crazy sore muscles. So maybe take a breath, start at the very easy beginning and soon you’ll be looking forward to your workout/new habit. 

It’s OK to change your mind.

We all get frustrated and want to give up at points, we’re only human! If you are finding yourself struggling to keep up with a new resolution it’s ok. Habits take time to form, there are many different theories on how long this does take, but it seems that it takes a minimum of 21 days for habits to start to form. Don’t let this discourage you though! It’s natural to get bored and want to stop something you’re not enjoying as much. The key is to persevere…. 

Give yourself a break, ask yourself why you aren’t enjoying this as much – is it the exercise you’re doing? Don’t like the book you’re reading? Sick of having the same healthy dinner AGAIN? 

Change it up, if after a few weeks of running you STILL really really hate it, then maybe running isn’t for you. But swimming could be more your vibe – so see what you enjoy doing, life’s too short to force yourself into a habit you hate.

You may have started Veganuary and feel like you can’t be bothered to cook again – treat yourself to a vegan takeaway, or spend a night researching new easy recipes that you’d enjoy. If you really hate that book, find another one and see what you really want to read. It’s not failing to change, it’s growing and understanding yourself better.

sparkler, fire, spark, hand, glitter

Be kind to yourself

All we can do in life is try our best. It sounds simpler than it is, I know. It’s easy for us to compare ourselves to each other. We’re all on different journeys and take different paths – life isn’t one size fits all. If you find the voice in your head constantly being negative – recognise it and chip away at those learned negative thoughts. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about how you’re feeling.

Sometimes it can feel like the whole world is looking at you when in reality….. Not so much. Talking through how you are feeling can sometimes get us new ideas as to how to solve our problems.

Remember just because it’s the start of a new year doesn’t mean you have to wait to start a new habit. You can start one any day of any year! If you don’t fancy one then that’s totally fine, but if you’re interested to try something new or change an old habit then why not – just remember – You’ve got this!

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