Stepping Into the New Year With a Renewed Sense of Purpose
A few posts ago, I wrote about the impact of seasonal depression on mental health and when you add the holiday season, and the strange impasse of time that is December 24 - December 31, it is hard to feel centered. I have found myself struggling with the concept of goals for the new year because everything seems dormant. It is the height of Winter and I am supposed to put pen to paper and write out my goals, but what if I don't feel this is the right time? Why can't I write my goals in September or in May, when there is more sunlight and I am a more hopeful version of myself? Do I need to be at my lowest state to manifest the best goals for myself?
A recent article, Want to be happier this year? , asks mental health experts how we can make real resolutions and goals stick in 2020. Some of the suggestions include finding moments of daily peace, or looking for the little things that you can find joy in everyday. Another suggestion was treating your time like a budget - you cannot let other people command your time without some impact on your mental health and goals. Another helpful tip cautions of media consumption and limiting the things that may set you off, causing anger, depression, and or sadness. There are 17 tips that are really beneficial and helpful for how we think about our goals and what that means for the New Year. But...they still do not help me START to write down my goals.
I began to think about the bigger picture: what am I set to accomplish in 2020? I have one big goal and that is to successfully write and defend my doctoral dissertation and graduate with my doctoral degree by December 2020. But there are things that I want to accomplish throughout the year, like being healthy and fit, saving money, traveling, and being a better version of myself. I have decided to start small. Here are some tips that I have gathered to keep myself accountable:
1. Eat breakfast
2. Spend 5 minutes in deep reflection
3. Eat fruit and vegetables everyday
4. Drink water
5. Do AM and PM skincare
6. Write every single day (journal, academically, ideas & goals, etc.)
7. Call or text a loved one, daily
8. Celebrate little accomplishments - keep a weekly checklist
9. Schedule self-care (gym, washing your hair, a massage, etc.)
10. Disconnect from your phone for 30 minutes
Let me know in the comments how you plan to keep yourself accountable for 2020.
5 New Year's Resolutions for Depression