Mental Health Professionals Weigh in on New Year’s Resolutions

New Year Resolution of Professionals

New year’s resolutions often have connotations of reflection, introspection and one notorious practice.

Forbes Health 2023 survey recently found out that commonly with Americans there are fitness improvements, financial management, mental health prioritizations, weight loss and dietary habits improvement.

However, figures show that on average these resolutions only last for four months unraveling their long-term effectiveness.

New Year’s Resolution Day is a pop culture term used to refer to January 17th which causes the death of many well-intentioned resolutions.

In the yearly ritual study the therapists who were asked for opinions about New Year’s resolutions shared their thoughts on it and gave different suggestions.

Dr. Jessi Gold: Realistic and Attainable Goals Instead of Resolutions

Dr. Jessi Gold is a psychiatrist working in Tennessee who does not believe in making New Year’s resolutions as she thinks they are often unrealistic or unrealistic at best.

She prefers however to set smaller goals which can be realistically achieved throughout the year.

Gold also believes that while it works for some people, self-compassion and realism are key when it comes to resolution-making.

According to her, there is too much focus on goals in making resolutions, but reflection is important and should be included more frequently.

Therapist Arron Muller: Specific Goals, Accountability and Progress Tracking

Arron Muller is a therapist who does not make traditional resolutions but instead sets intentions for the New Year.

The beginning of the year signifies an opportunity for change and reflection in his perspective.

To highlight progress tracking as well as accountability Muller insists that there should be specific goals within reasonable time frames.

Regular check-ins with an accountability partner help him keep on track believing that clear resolutions combined with good accountability assist personal growth.

Luana Marques: Aligning Values Over Resolutions

For Luana Marques, an associate psychology professor at Harvard Medical School, she would rather take a values assessment than make new year’s resolutions. At the start of the year, she defines three core values that she will guide her actions by.

Marques believes this approach is superior to creating resolutions and underscores how goals ought to be aligned with one’s own values in order for significant progress to be made. Each day, Manly checks with herself whether her actions are consistent with these values.

Carla Marie Manly: Immediate Action Over New Year’s Resolutions

Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist from California, does not make New Year’s resolutions but rather makes changes as soon as they occur to her mind.

She states that resolutions often have unrealistic expectations and put too much pressure on individuals leading them to be disappointed.

Whereas such efforts should be continuous over a certain period of time, she states that new habits require being formed which is characterized by patient effort and self-forgiveness due to human frailness during personal growth.

Meg Josephson: Reflecting Beyond January 1st

Meg Josephson, a psychotherapist based in California, prefers not to link goal setting with the yearly calendar but reflect on feelings instead.

While she recognizes the importance of end of year for retrospection, any day can be set as an opportunity for new targets in her opinion.

Whatever their size may have been Josephson points out that it is important to reflect on past successes and seize opportunities for change whenever they appear.

Erin Spahr: Understanding the ‘Why’ Behind Resolutions

Erin Spahr, a North Carolina-based therapist, encourages goal-setting around new year’s but stresses the importance of understanding the underlying motivations.

Delving into why resolutions are made, and imagining what emotional outcome we want to come from this will lead to setting realistic and achievable goals.

Spahr also notes that it is important to try different methods and look for appropriate resources or assistance when trying to achieve any objective.

Moreover, she points out how therapists play important role in guiding and supporting one in reaching these set targets.

A Variety of Personal Growth Approaches Beyond Celebrating the New Year

During 2024, mental health specialists advocate for various strategies of person development thereby challenging the usual concept of new year resolutions.

Therapists emphasize self-compassion, attainable goals, personal values alignment as well as other factors related to self-change such as making immediate changes and knowing why one does things.

They argue that anything can be a starting point for positive change beyond January one prompting individuals to reflect on their actions set attainable goals and get help when moving towards personal improvement.

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