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Setting Realistic Mental Health Goals in 2022

With New Year’s quickly approaching, many people start to think about making New Year’s resolutions. Studies show that while about 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, less than half are successful at achieving them. A significant reason for this is that people tend to be unrealistic when making resolutions. This year, instead of resolutions, try setting goals. Further, instead of focusing on your physical appearance, consider setting mental health goals. You can start with a mental health assessment to evaluate your needs.

At Beyond Healthcare, we provide outpatient mental healthcare for adolescents and teens with behavioral and mental health issues and support families in crisis. We believe that each person is on a mental health journey, though some may struggle more than others. One way to improve mental health is to set attainable mental health goals. If you or someone you love needs mental health support and help setting goals, reach out to our team. Use our secure online form or call [Direct[.

What is a Mental Health Resolution?

A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition that dates back to the ancient Babylonians. The most common resolutions involve exercising more, losing weight, and getting healthier. However, few people consider their mental health when making resolutions.

Setting specific goals may be more beneficial than making broad resolutions. Setting goals for mental health allows people to identify their challenges, develop a long-term vision to overcome these challenges, and set short-term goals to achieve that vision. Having goals gives individuals a sense of purpose and something to strive for.

How to Set Realistic Mental Health Goals for 2022

When setting realistic mental health goals, it is best to consider the SMART process. The SMART acronym guides your goal setting by providing clarity, focus, and motivation. This means making sure that your resolutions are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Following is a closer look at each of these:

  • Specific: Goals to improve mental health should be specific and clear to focus your efforts. When you have a specific goal, you can begin to implement changes in your routine that will contribute to your success in achieving the goal.
  • Measurable: Making your goal measurable will allow you to track your progress and help keep you motivated. Measuring your results also enables you to adjust your goals as you make progress.
  • Attainable: Goals should be ambitious but not impossible to attain. Break larger goals into smaller ones and be clear about what you need to achieve them.
  • Relevant: Your goals need to be meaningful and set by you, not someone else. If the goal is not relevant to you, you are not likely to work on it.
  • Time-Bound: Each of your goals needs to have a target date for completion. Your deadline should be realistic but not too far in the future.

Tips for Maintaining New Year’s Resolutions and Mental Health Goals

Setting mental health goals in the new year can be challenging, as it requires a commitment to changing behaviors and the willpower to stand by the promises you make to yourself. Behavioral changes that support good mental health take time to become established. As you look to make a fresh start and achieve significant goals in the new year, consider these tips:

  • Write it down – Writing down your goals and putting them somewhere you can be reminded of them daily will make you more likely to follow them.
  • Start small – Focus on changing one behavior at a time. Trying to change too much too quickly will leave you feeling overwhelmed and more likely to give up.
  • Check-in with yourself – Plan a set time to regularly check-in and evaluate where you are with your goals. Make adjustments when necessary.
  • Make your goals known – Sharing your goals with your therapist, peers, and support network reinforces accountability and provides encouragement and motivation.
  • Reward yourself – As you make progress toward your goals, rewarding yourself will give you extra motivation.

Remember to not be too hard on yourself. You will have good days and bad days. Acknowledging when you have lost focus and reminding yourself of your end goal can inspire you to stay motivated.

Contact Beyond Healthcare for Support with Mental Health Resolutions

If you need support setting and maintaining realistic mental health goals for 2022, Beyond Healthcare is here to help. Reach out to our team today at 833.698.0453 or via our secure online form. We want to see you and your loved ones thrive, and we can provide the support you need to achieve your mental health goals.