With 2021 in the rearview mirror and 2022 just beginning many are putting together New Year’s resolutions, but experts advise: keep them attainable.
One psychologist said we are living in a time of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that must be kept in mind.
“I think that it’s really important that we consider the circumstances and where we are at,” Adrienne Leslie Toogood told 680 CJOB.
Toogood notes the importance of smart goals that are not a short term thing, but rather a new lifestyle. She said health and wellness starts from within.
“It’s really important to be kind of physically and mentally well, so that we can lean into more moments and enjoy more moments in our life.”
However, realistic resolutions are not the only thing one should be wary of with regard to mental health.
In 2018 clinical psychologist Dr. Jo Ann Unger was told 680 CJOB many people make resolutions for the wrong reasons.
“Making poor choices for change will almost certainly fail and could have harmful effects long term,” Unger said.
She said if we try to do something our family or friends say we should, or something society has put up as a good thing to do, we aren’t as likely to succeed. “Our internal motivation really isn’t there to make the change.”
She said change should be toward something someone wants, rather than away from something they don’t want. She also warns against getting stuck beating yourself up – make a change based on self-compassion rather than self-dislike.
“A sense of self-caring is a much healthier place to make change from than trying to beat myself into whatever change I want to do,” Unger said.
Start with small goals and small steps. Each success can lead to additional steps and additional successes.
For those who have included fitness on their 2022 goal list, gym owners say: be kind to yourself and remember it is a gradual process.
“Start slow, low weights and don’t expect changes in a week,” said Colleen Prawdzik from F-45 Lindenwoods.
Whether people kick off their goals in a gym or at home, Prawdzick says taking a gradual approach will help to create a habit.
– with files from Sharon Pfeifer