It’s Better for Your Mental Health says Psychologist

After Christmas comes the New Year, and synonymous with the New Year is the tradition of making resolutions. Of course, many of those resolutions sometimes remain just that- a resolve to do better, but they are never implemented.

In fact, Business Magazine Inc., reveals that as much as 80 per cent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February because the word resolution implies that an action must be done as opposed to setting a goal which is more fluid and attainable. Clinical psychologist, Dr Paul Smith also advises that it is much better for one’s mental health to set goals rather than make resolutions.

“Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I encourage people to set smart goals. Resolutions are primarily desires that are sometimes euphoric and oftentimes are not kept. Goals on the other hand can be measured,” he advised.

Dr Smith, who has offices on Ward Avenue, Mandeville, Manchester, and at Oasis Plaza in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, points out that making New Year’s resolutions and not being able to fulfil them can have adverse effects.

“Persons can often become depressed when they fail to fulfil a New Year’s resolution especially if they are afraid to fail,” he noted. “If you are not able to fulfil a New Year’s resolution, evaluate what might have gone wrong. Do not see failure as final. It is a chance to learn and become wiser and better. Persons can change and become better versions of themselves but it takes motivation, patience, resilience, and a strong sense of purpose.”

Hugh Reid, general manager JN Life Insurance added that from a financial stand point, many people make resolutions because they want success. However, he added that setting goals, especially when it comes to personal finances was more attainable and responsible.

“Resolutions allow little room for failure,” Mr Reid stated. “Goals, on the other hand are practical and easier to achieve. It is also more flexible because you can see what you’re working towards. Also, if you want greater financial independence, you can start by setting a target of how much you want to save, or how much of your expenses you want to reduce to ensure you are on track. So, I would recommend setting goals as opposed to making resolutions.”

Dr Smith also shared some pointers to assist with maintaining good mental health and a positive outlook on life:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others. You are unique. Success is personal so believe in yourself
  • Celebrate your achievements no matter how small they are. Any positive change is a step in the right direction
  • Don’t give up in the face of challenges. It is not where you are coming from, it is where you are going. Maintain a clear vision about where you are going and enjoy the journey
  • Say positive things to yourself as you think positively. Greatness lies within you
  • Make goals and go for them