How many times have you made New Year’s resolutions, only to abandon them after a couple of weeks, or worse yet a couple of days? For those of us who are prone to depression, that disappointment can be a contributing factor. So should we not make New Year’s resolutions? There’s nothing wrong with making resolutions, as long as we don’t get carried away. Don’t have expectations for yourself that are unreasonable. Don’t expect more of yourself than you are capable of doing.
There are two things to remember when making New Year’s resolutions:
- Decide to do better in some area of your life rather than changing it completely.
- If you miss a day doing something you’ve resolved to do, don’t see it as failure. See it as a bump in the road and move forward to a new day.
For example, if you’re a couch potato, don’t go out and buy a membership to a gym, resolving to work out an hour a day every day. That’s completely unreasonable, and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. If you aren’t used to exercising, start out with something simple. Promise yourself you’ll do ten push-ups, ten sit-ups, and ten jumping jacks a day. You can do that in just a few minutes. Once you get used to doing that, you can add a few more. If you happen to miss a day or not exercising don’t beat yourself up. See it as a “pause” and restart the next day.
The same goes for anything else you resolve to do. Keep in mind that we are human, which means that we all make mistakes and have weaknesses. Resolutions usually involve changing negative behaviors that we have refined over a period of many years. It’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to change those behaviors overnight. Give yourself a break! If you fall back into those old behaviors, just remember that tomorrow is another day. Start over again.
New Year’s resolutions aren’t the problem. Unrealistic expectations are the problem. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and depression. Resolve to make improvements in your behavior, not to become a completely different person. We can all make changes, as long as we don’t make our expectations unattainable. So go for it, and good luck!
If you are trying to set a New Year’s resolution to stop alcoholism or depression, call GenPsych for assistance. Doing it alone is an unrealistic expectation. Having help and guidance will not set you up for a fall, but to succeed. Call GenPsych today at 1-855-GenPsych.