Another year passing can lead to anxiety for several reasons, not helped by the darker days and worse weather. Having an end of year panic? Here’s how to cope, set good intentions for the new year – and stick to them…
David Brudö is the CEO and co-founder of mental wellbeing and self-development platform, Remente.
“The start of a new year is an ideal time to create a new habit, but while the majority of people will set resolutions, recent research by International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentoring has found that many people will quit after just two weeks. If you are among the people who planned to make a change this year but didn’t, you may be feeling some end of year anxiety right about now. You’re not alone. As a matter of fact, a study from theUniversity of Scranton suggests that only eight per cent of people achieve their resolutions.”
Here are some of the most common problems and their solutions.
Problem: You are not excited about your resolutions
“One of the most common reasons for not meeting a goal is that we are not truly invested in the resolution that we have set. This lack of emotional engagement with our goal means that, as soon as we feel discouraged, we tend to quit. Discouragement can leave us with a sense of defeat and hopelessness, so giving up feels like an easy way to rid ourselves of these feelings.”
“Reassess your resolutions to make sure that they are still relevant and exciting now. Sit down with a friend or a family member and, one by one, talk through your desired outcomes and the steps that you need to take to achieve your goals. You can also do this in a journal or as a mind map if you do not want to share your resolutions with others. Consider the following: Is your goal specific, is it measurable, and can you quantify it? Is it meaningful and does the ‘why’ excite you? Is it achievable? Once you feel excited and energised about your new and improved resolutions, and you have an action plan on how you will achieve them by December 31, then you can start actioning them. Just make sure that you continuously evaluate your progress and celebrate even the smallest victories.”
Problem: You feel like you haven’t accomplished anything yet
“The end of the year is drawing close and you are anxious about the fact that you have not accomplished anything yet – or so you think.”
“Too often we spend a lot of time planning for our future, but not nearly enough time reflecting on our past and present. You may think that you have not accomplished anything this year, but odds are you have – you just haven’t taken the time to reflect and acknowledge it. One tool you can use to practice reflection is journaling. I recommend that you make sure to have some uninterrupted time set aside to write down what has happened to you in the last year. Start from the top and then write down the good – perhaps you received apiece of praise at work, secured a good grade in school, or maintained a strong relationship. Hopefully, this activity will remind you of what you have done and give you the motivation boost you need to finish the year strong.”
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Problem: You feel overwhelmed and don’t have the headspace to think about your long-term goals
“Stress is something that most of us face, to varying degrees, on a daily basis and, unfortunately, it can cause us to focus only on the immediate actions we have on our to-do lists, causing us to forget about the bigger picture.”
Let others help you. If you have friends who share your aim of getting fitter, learning a new skill or going out more, motivate each other by sharing activities that can get you closer towards your end goal. Alternatively, if your goal is something that you are doing on your own, you can still share your achievements and ambitions with friends and family. Telling others about what you want to do can provide extra motivation and prevent you from giving up.”
Have a happy rest of 2019 and remember, it’s never too late.
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