The start of a new year can feel exciting and full of opportunity for some people. However, for someone struggling with anxiety, the new year can be daunting.
A New Year's resolution provides us with a way to jump-start the new year. Resolutions give us a topic to write into our stories, filling the blank slate of the unknown. Those promises we make at the start of the year is a way to reflect on what we would like to improve in ourselves.
Resolutions inspire insightfulness and self-reflection. However, for someone with anxiety, the pressure of a resolution can feel like a recipe for failure instead. Instead of feeling invigorated to make a change, people with anxiety may see resolutions as an additional source of stress.
One option is to not have any goals or resolutions for the New Year. For some people with anxiety, that's the choice that suits them best.
However, growth often comes with change. So, how should someone with anxiety approach a New Year's resolution? The same way everyone else should—by creating small, manageable goals instead of trying to make sweeping changes all at once.
Start with some quiet reflection about the past year and yourself. How would you like to improve? In what ways do you think you can evolve yourself? Choose one or two aspects to focus on and develop SMART goals.
SMART goals are:
Specific. Instead of a vague goal, create a very specific one. "I will eat healthy." vs. “I will eat a serving of fruit and vegetables at every meal for one month.”
Measurable. Create a goal that you can measure or benchmark so that you can show yourself when you're succeeding.
Achievable. Your goal should be realistic and reasonable.
Relevant. Your goal doesn't need to be a life-changing catalyst for your life, but it does need to be something important to you.
Time-Bound. Setting a firm deadline, instead of a general one, alleviates the stress of the unknown. Set small timeframes that you can extend into the future.
When you reach a goal’s deadline, review what happened and how you did. What helped you meet your goals? What made things more challenging? Be gentle on yourself if you don’t meet your expectations. Consider it a learning experience and adjust your approach for the next time. If you need to, try again and keep the goals moving.
Change doesn't happen overnight. Change happens in small increments, bit by bit, over some time. Wanting a transformation to happen instantly only leads to frustration and disappointment.
Consider the goals you make as part of a journey in your evolution. If anxiety is on your list of concerns to conquer, consider CalmiGo as a part of your anxiety goals. Three minutes of using CalmiGo can keep you on the path to calmness.
The New Year is full of hope and possibility. Just breathe and take small steps into the New Year. Bit by bit, day by day—and start an evolution.