Professional therapists believe that making New Year's resolutions should be rewarding, effective, and work for you. They should also be simple and attainable and not a marker of punishment.
According to U.S. News & World Report, 60% of people make New Year's resolutions and 80% of them fail by February.
Dieting and exercising top the annual list of changes they intend to make in the new year, but these goals historically fall by the wayside in a short time.
The American Psychological Association noted that the key to making resolutions stick is to keep them realistic.
"Don't make items on your bucket list into resolutions," Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a renowned clinical therapist and author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Healthy Relationship," told Newsmax. "You may want to run a marathon, but that's a huge undertaking if you haven't exercised before and totally unrealistic. Break your resolutions down to smaller, more attainable goals."
Here are four resolutions therapists recommend, according to HuffPost:
• Prioritize self-care. Natasha Williams, a clinical psychologist based in Toronto, said that while scheduling regular massages and manicures is one form of self-care, she prioritizes radical self-care.
Radical self-care is a mindset that goes beyond individual behaviors and should be implemented all the time.
"Selfishness is not a bad word," she said. "I may have responsibilities, priorities, children, family and a partner, but it also doesn't mean I have to put myself on the back burner to satisfy everyone else."
Set aside time for the things you love to do, be it journaling, exercising, or reading a good book.
• Maintain boundaries. Setting boundaries is a way to protect yourself emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially from the stressors around you, said Williams. This is her personal goal for 2024, she confides, but it is also connected to self-care.
"I think boundary and maintenance is actually the first point of contact when it comes to self-care," she said.
For example, if you plan to meditate for 10 minutes a day at a certain time, nothing should interfere with your schedule. If someone asks for your attention during this time, set boundaries by saying, "This is my 10 minutes, it is important for me to refresh and rejuvenate, I'll be able to get back to you in the next 15 minutes."
• Focus on getting more sleep. Justin Vafa William, a clinical social worker and therapist from Philadelphia, said that he plans to focus on getting more sleep in 2024. He tends to be a night owl, doing work after his kids go to bed.
"The cumulative impact of not getting enough sleep, I've noticed, has been affecting me," he told HuffPost.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute noted that insufficient sleep is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Here are some timely tips on how to improve your sleep hygiene from the Sleep Foundation.
• Pay attention to your phone use. William also says he wants to take better control over the use of his phone in 2024. He said this involves "trying to find a balance between staying informed about what's going on in the world, because that's very important to me, and also attending to what's healthy in terms of what I'm taking in versus what becomes too overwhelming and paralyzing."
According to the Cleveland Clinic, digital detoxes are becoming more common, since the average American spends four hours watching television and another seven-and-a-half hours on digital devices, which increases stress.
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