There’s nothing wrong with setting goals for yourself. But sometimes, pressure to make a New Years’ Resolution can feel like pressure to fundamentally change who you are as a person - immediately and for the better. This might lead to negative reflection on who you actually are and the direction your life is taking at the moment. 

So it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s probably not a great idea to start the new year by putting a lot of pressure on yourself to turn over a HUGE new leaf - none of us can become a different person when the clock strikes 12. Change is a difficult process and if you’re already living with depression, anxiety or any other form of mental ill-health, the failure to adhere to resolutions might add to feelings of low self-esteem or make you feel that you lack control over your life.


So if you are thinking about making some resolutions, here are some ideas:

  • Make a plan and help yourself stick to it. 

  • Go for small, manageable resolutions which you know that you can achieve. That isn’t to say that you aren’t capable of achieving bigger things, but nobody can predict what might be coming up in the next year, so it makes sense to leave room to amend or change your goal.

  • Break your goal into smaller steps.

  • Reward yourself when you achieve each step.

  • Tell friends and family about your goal, but emphasise that each step is just as valuable as the end goal and explain that you’re not putting pressure on yourself.

  • Focus on the benefits of success. Remind yourself why you're doing this.

  • Keep a diary of your progress. Record what you found helpful.

  • Be kind to yourself and continually review your goal. As you go along and learn more about your progress, can you tweak your goal or your steps, to make them more achievable and successful?

  • If your resolutions do fall by the wayside, remind yourself this is normal, it happens to most people and you probably had other things to concentrate on. Let the goal go, or learn from the experience and think about other more achievable ways of reaching that goal. And remember, you don’t have to wait until the New Year to start your change.