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6 Mental Health-Based New Year’s Resolutions

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC 

As we jump into 2020, many people will find themselves focused on New Year’s resolutions and ways they can positively implement change in their lives. It’s collective and cultural – all we will hear about for the next few weeks are New Year’s resolutions. 

In doing this, ensure that your resolutions reflect “SMART goals.” Utilizing SMART criteria helps us to be more successful by setting better goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. If you get ahead of yourself, and set unrealistic expectations for the new year, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment and a lifestyle that might not suit you well. Starting small is the key to moving forward. Reflect on the change you want to see, and how you can realistically accomplish it. I suggest setting smaller objectives to larger overarching goals.  Research shows that this increases the likelihood of you keeping the goals and sticking to what you want to achieve.  

  1. Make time for self-care 

What are the self-care habits that are important to you and that work best for you? A good place to start would be brainstorming a list of self-care activities that make you happy and find a way to schedule them into your daily routine. This could range from therapy sessions to short or long walks, or incorporating daily exercise into your daily routine.  

  1. Be kind to yourself 

Change is difficult and takes a large amount of time and patience. You must allow yourself to have feelings and forgive yourself for mistakes that are made. All that matters is that you are here and doing your best. 

  1. Make sleep a priority 

Studies show that sleep and mental health are connected. In fact, “65-90% of people with major depression also experience a sleep problem.” This year, it might be a good idea to try to go to sleep a bit earlier every night so that you can give your body the rest it needs. 

  1. Limit your screen time 

Screen time has been a popular topic in 2020! Spending too much time on your phone or computer can impact your quality of sleep, your relationships, and also create feelings of anxiety. Setting boundaries with your devices might be a good idea. There are plenty of applications that can help you to record and monitor the amount of time you spend on your phone, computer, or in front of the television. Make adjustments when you realize that your screen time is unhealthy.  

  1. Learn more about mental health 

Most people are interested in ways that they can improve their mental health, but I often tell my clients that the best way to improve upon it is to fully understand it. There are countless resources out there that you can rely on to learn more, or you can do so by speaking to a mental health professional in regards to your specific situation. 

  1. Reach out for help when needed 

At Symmetry Counseling, there are countless talented clinicians that you can begin working with today! Check out our website or call (312) 724-3081 to get connected with one of our counselors in Chicago

Instead of making unrealistic New Year’s resolutions to achieve overnight, try to come up with a few manageable goals that will have a long-lasting impact on your mental health and overall happiness levels. Be the difference, and make a difference this year for yourself – you deserve it! 


Kapil, R. (2020). Realistic new year’s resolutions for your mental health. Retrieved from:

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