Imagine a year without anxiety, depression, and mood disorder symptoms. Could 2021 be the year you’re in control of your mental health? Traditionally, the new year acts as a clean slate, with resolutions serving as the building blocks for people looking to introduce new practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, or accomplish a personal goal. Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap, with only 8% of people able to stick to them. Here are four common mistakes preventing you from seeing your resolutions through, and a doable action plan you can follow to commit to better mindfulness in 2021.
Why Do New Year’s Resolutions fail?
The problem isn’t that our goals are out of reach or that we don’t have what it takes to achieve them; the problem is that we’re going about achieving them in the wrong ways. Most resolutions focus too much on the end game and too little on the small, actionable steps one must take to get there.
The most common New Year’s resolution mistakes that make you fail are:
Mistake 1: Making your resolutions too vague.
Mistake 2: Setting unrealistic intentions for yourself.
Mistake 3: Rushing to see results.
Mistake 4: Becoming discouraged too soon.
If you’re ready to change your life for the better, grab a pencil, a piece of paper, and your 2021 Bullet Journal for accountability. Here’s what an action plan for better mental health may look like.
Make 2021 the Year Without Anxiety or Depression
Your resolutions should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. This is the basis of a successful goal-setting process. If your end goal is to be able to manage your anxiety, depression, or other mood disorder symptoms, break it down to make sure you’re including all of these facets in your New Year’s resolutions.
Vague resolutions set you up for failure. Telling yourself you want to feel better may seem intentional, but it’s not specific. Consider the following detailed goals:
- You will explore new depression treatment options.
- You want to reduce the amount or frequency of medication you use.
- You want to increase the length of time between needing treatments.
The only way you’re going to be able to account for your goals is to track your progress. Download our 2021 Bullet Journal. It takes 15 minutes to fill out once or twice per day. Over time, you’ll see trends which can help guide your journey to continued mental health.
If you’re not able to commit the time and energy necessary to log and analyze health trends, consider filling out our Patient Health Questionnaire on a regular basis. This way, you will be able to receive a mental health score and monitor it for any changes before, during, and after treatments.
In order to achieve your goals, the combination of your current dissatisfaction, goal clarity, and specific action plan must be greater than the resistance associated with making the change.
It’s an equation that looks like this: Dissatisfaction + Vision + First Steps > Resistance.
This means you must spend as much time planning for the resistance as you do on the goal and action plan. You can find success by either increasing your motivation, goals, and planning or by decreasing the resistance—whichever is holding you back from personal change.
Take your broader goal and break it up into actionable objectives. Each objective should align with your personal values. For example, if you believe you should be doing something because doing so will make you a better person, or healthier, or liked, but it’s not truly important to you, you’re more likely to fail at that goal with a half-hearted attempt to change.
Because depression is almost always caused by multiple factors, a multifaceted approach to treatment is recommended. Consider taking your mental health in your own hands with these depression treatment tips that have been shown to help reduce depression symptoms when combined with a doctor-approved treatment plan.
In addition to personal management, enlist the help of medical professionals who can guide and help you even further. Start with a visit to your primary care physician and perhaps start your own depression treatment research. Antidepressants and psychotherapy are typical treatments, but depression treatment has come a long way in recent years. Ketamine Therapy, for example, has been found to be a more efficient and effective form of treatment with fewer side effects compared to other treatments. Compare depression treatments and if you decide Ketamine Therapy is right for you, check out our guide for how to choose the best Ketamine clinic.
Mental wellness is a journey that you’ll be on for life. There will be ups and downs, easy times and hard times, times of progress and times where you’ll plateau. There’s no cure for depression, but there are ways to manage it in the form of treatments and lifestyle changes.
Changing your habits or lifestyle can be a slow process because it requires behavior modification. You may have heard that it only takes “21 days to make or break a habit,” but that’s not a one-size-fits-all solution that can be applied to everything. Studies have shown it can take closer to a year for habits to be changed. Be patient and set realistic expectations.
If patience isn’t your strong suit, or you need relief fast, one of the benefits of Ketamine Therapy is that it helps relieve depression and anxiety symptoms faster than most other treatments. Some patients feel better within one hour of their first infusion, and most patients notice improvement the day after their third infusion. Other patients may not notice any improvement until after completing a full course of treatment, which is a series of five to six infusions. Don’t get discouraged if your treatment doesn’t meet your initial expectations. Results of ketamine can be sudden and dramatic, but it is more common for patients to see gradual, subtle improvement that increases over time. Sometimes, function improves before mood does.
Last year was a year of change—for better or for worse. We learned a lot about ourselves, and we look forward to helping you learn and continue to change in the new year.