With a new year comes the promise of change, enlightenment, and the inevitable new year’s resolutions. Traditionally, people set goals that will propel them socially or professionally to a new level of success.
2023 is a quarter of the way over. If you’re struggling with the mental health goals you set for yourself, now is a perfect time to check-in.
Setting mental health goals to improve your life is no easy feat—it takes focus, honesty, and motivation to want to change and improve. This post will help you evaluate the past year, your shortcomings, your successes, and what you want to change in 2023.
What are mental health goals?
A goal can be defined as an idea of the future that a person sets out to attain for themselves. In a sense, goals are commitments and decisions we make in the hopes of bettering our lives.
Setting goals is a practice that helps you to attain what you want. They keep us motivated and focused, and often include taking care of our physical health, furthering our education or professional careers, or improving personal skills.
When you write down your goals, whether on a vision board or in a journal, you can set them in motion and hold yourself accountable along the way.
At the beginning of a new year, many set goals known as resolutions that they hope to achieve. A new year and a clean slate provides the motivation for individuals to commit to making intentional improvements.
What to know when setting goals for 2023
When setting personal and professional goals for 2023, understand that your mental health can impact the success and satisfaction that you may feel when achieving your goals.
Maybe you want to put yourself out there more, start dating or meeting new people. Perhaps you want to go back to school and pursue a degree, you have a big goal you want to achieve at work, or you want to start your own business.
If your mental health is hanging by a thread, setting out to achieve your goals will be much more challenging. That’s why it’s essential to evaluate the state of your mental health when making goals or new year’s resolutions for a new year.
Creating mental health resolutions in conjunction with your personal and professional goals is an effective way to set yourself up for success in every sense of the word.
Let’s discuss how to set mental health goals that are intentional, realistic, and tailored to you and your specific needs.
How to set mental health goals for 2023
Anyone can choose a few goals they’d like to achieve and start working towards them. However, it’s essential to create a plan with detailed steps that can help you stay focused and on track. Before creating a plan, you need a way to measure your achievements, track your progress, and make modifications as necessary.
As you look back on 2022 to create an even better 2023, ask yourself the following questions about the year and how you felt during conflict, stressful situations, and challenges.
- What parts of my life felt good this year?
- What goals did I set in 2022 that I did not achieve?
- Where did I fall short? Where did I win?
- What do I need more of in terms of support? What do I need less of?
- What support do I need that I did not have in 2022?
In order to properly measure your progress and hold yourself accountable, consider the following questions as you create a list of mental health goals for 2023:
- What’s my timeline for achieving my goals?
- What are the steps I need to take to get there?
- How do I expect to feel after I achieve the goal?
- How will I measure my progress?
- Who can help me achieve these goals if I need motivation?
Answering these questions will help keep you on track and, ultimately, improve your mental health as you achieve your other personal and professional goals.
Ideas for mental health goals for 2023
You may be looking for inspiration when setting mental health goals for a new year, from picking up new habits that reduce stress, trying to set boundaries to protect your well-being, or simply exercising more.
There are many goals you can strive for to improve your mental health. Some goals are long-term and require consistent effort, while others can be achieved by picking up a healthy habit and implementing it every day.
Here are a few attainable and common mental health resolutions for 2023.
Increase physical activity
One of the most popular new year’s resolutions for people from all walks of life is to increase their physical activity and improve their physical health. While you may plan to start moving your body more in the new year, it takes practice to build healthy habits that you can stick with.
Rather than aiming for weight loss or a specific number on the scale, set an attainable, specific goal like walking a mile every day or trying to practice yoga three times a week. Whether you’re living with depression, anxiety, stress, or any other mental health condition, physical activity can greatly reduce symptoms related to these mental health disorders.
Find a therapist or support group
2023 may be the year that you take the initiative to find a therapist, or switch therapists, to improve your mental health.
Getting professional help is a brave step in improving your mental well-being and is an essential part of treatment, recovery, and avoiding relapse of more serious mental health disorders.
Seeking support through group therapy can drastically change your life; from reducing stress, building a community, and building self-esteem, a support group can improve positive thinking and sharpen your focus as you meet people who are in recovery.
Discover your inner calm
Yoga, writing in a journal, learning meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises are all effective methods of calming your mind and finding focus when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.
These tools don’t come easily, however; practice makes progress when learning how to fully relax your body and mind. Learning to properly relax is a method of self-care that can be beneficial when dealing with life’s challenges.
With relaxation techniques like meditation and mindfulness, you’ll be able to manage stress more effectively, kick bad habits that stem from negative thoughts or behaviors, and improve self-esteem.
Set healthy boundaries
Perhaps you’re ready to set boundaries with family members, friends, or coworkers who take too much from you. The importance of boundaries is what they protect you from—people taking advantage of you, stealing your joy, or making you feel less than.
Setting boundaries can be a significant confidence boost for your self-image, will help you develop more independence, avoid burnout, and put you in a better mental state.
Improve your physical health
It’s no secret that diet and physical activity play a significant role in our mental health. Let’s say you already get enough exercise, but you’d like to drink more water, get more sleep, prioritize rest over being constantly on-the-go, or eat healthier to improve your mood and energy levels.
These are all examples of ways to improve your physical health, and you’ll begin to see improvements in your mental health as you feel physically better.
Life often gets in the way of prioritizing self-care. We have commitments with family, work, personal obligations, friends, and community. When we’re short on time, self-care is often the first thing we cut from our schedule in order to meet all our obligations.
Living in such a stressful, chaotic world, self-care has never been more important for our mental health and well-being. Being intentional about self-care in the new year allows you to connect with yourself on a deeper level during your mental health journey.
Make your mental health a priority in 2023.
If prioritizing your mental health is one of your goals in the new year, the team of experts at Clear Behavioral Health are here to help.
We serve clients with mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, trauma, and grief that need to receive care in a virtual setting. Our virtual program offers an intensive outpatient program for California residents who are unable to receive in-person treatment.
Through our care, patients build coping skills to improve the symptoms of their disorder, learn to change negative thoughts and behaviors, and live more fulfilling lives. Learn more about our virtual IOP program here.