5 NEW YEAR GOALS FOR A HAPPIER WELLBEING
Do you set emotional goals ?
A new year brings reflection and usually a desire for change. The most common new year’s resolutions often surround financial and physical goals, but what about emotional goals?
Emotional goals are just as important, if not more at times, but they are often missed. In order to manage and sustain any goal, you need to have a clear mindset first.
Do you set emotional goals? Life is busy and everyone experiences some level of stress on a day-to-day basis – it’s now a normal part of life. However, for some people stressors are greater and even more challenging. Regardless of how little or big your stressors are today, having some sort of strategy to support yourself emotionally is crucial in creating a happier and healthier wellbeing.
Be the best version of yourself and consider these tips as you set your emotional goals for 2019!
1. Enjoy the moment
‘Mindfulness’ is about being fully aware and non-judgmental of the thoughts and emotions you experience in the present moment.
Being more mindful and taking the time to enjoy each moment is so important, yet often tricky in the fast paced world we live in.
Try focusing your attention on something and observe it with curiosity for a few moments – almost like you’re seeing it for the first time. Like how a toddler would experience it, for example. It’s a great skill to practise and you will get better with time. It’s incredible how much more you will notice and feel when you practise mindfulness regularly.
Enjoy the little things in life, spend time with the people that matter most to you, and do what makes you happy.
2. Be kind to yourself
As human beings, we can be incredibly hard on ourselves and our expectations can be unrealistic.
Take a moment to consider how you treat or speak to yourself.
Are you kind, caring, and understanding in a way you would be towards a friend?
Sadly, the answer is often ‘no’. If that’s the case for you, then maybe it’s time to monitor your thoughts and consider how you could be a little more nurturing towards yourself.
Sometimes things happen and/or you mightn’t make the best choices. But beating yourself up is not going to help the situation. In fact, it usually makes it worse, or will certainly make you feel terrible.
You have to start with yourself in order to feel truly happy.
3. Listen closely
Your mind and body are connected, so understanding your body and being aware of what’s happening in it can be of great value in understanding your mind further. Our bodies send us signals all the time, however these are often overlooked.
Do you listen to your body’s signals? It’s amazing how much information our bodies can provide when we listen closely.
Body awareness can help you to identify stressors, tension, and anxiety. With this knowledge, you will be able to recognise when it’s time to take a break or step back. You might find that when you’re nervous or worried you get a twist in your stomach, or anger heightens your heart rate. Maybe you have difficulty sleeping or experience a lot of headaches. These are just some common physical signals, but with greater awareness of your body you will be able to respond better to your body’s wants and needs.
Have you noticed any physical signs in your body?
Take some time now to stop and observe what’s happening in your body. Notice your breathing and slowly mentally scan your whole body – a few times if necessary. It’s not unusual to notice tension, pain, or even some discomfort in some areas. What did you notice?
Some things that can help with body tension are massage, yoga/stretches, meditation, or even trying a slower paced day, and not cramming in too much.
Being more mindful of your body is a great habit to get into, as you can address any ailments of concern early, rather than allowing them to turn into bigger problems down the track.
4. Pay attention to your emotions
We all experience emotions. It’s a normal part of our existence. But our range varies according to each person and situation.
Some unpleasant emotions, such as anger and sadness, can be more unsettling when you don’t fully understand them. Ignoring them and/or bottling them up doesn’t help either, as it usually just exasperates them.
Try asking yourself “What is making me upset? Is there anything I can do or anyone I can ask for help?”
You may not always have control over a situation, but you do have control over how you choose to respond or deal with it.
5. Learning to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’
How often do you find yourself saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to something – when you don’t actually mean it?
Do you agree to participate in things when you don’t really want to? Maybe you find yourself saying ‘no’ to things when you really want to say ‘yes’.
There are lots of reasons why you may struggle with your responses, but fear is probably one of the biggest. Fear can have a significant impact on how you live your life and the only way past it is by stepping out of your comfort zone.
Saying ‘yes’ more doesn’t mean agreeing to things you don’t want to do. But don’t let your fears stop you from doing the things you want to do the most.
Consider saying ‘no’ to fear and ‘yes’ to the things that you actually want!
Learning to say ‘no’ is just as important, but can be difficult if you have always said ‘yes’ in the past. You might find that you’re over-extending yourself out of fear of letting others down. Knowing the areas where this may happen in your life is crucial in setting boundaries. It’s important to know it is okay to say ‘no’ to the things you can’t or don’t want to do.
In many instances, your fear of saying ‘no’ is actually worse than just doing it. Start with small things and give it a go, such as saying ‘no’ to dessert. You might be surprised by people’s responses.
Ultimately, you have to look after yourself and do what is right for you.
Remember, setting emotional goals can bring great insight and understanding of who you are and where you are at emotionally and physically.
If you are able to set emotional goals, such as practising mindfulness, any internal or physical struggles you are feeling are likely to be picked up earlier – therefore putting you in a better position for accessing support and preventing any potential emotional health issues from developing further.
I wish you all the best in 2019 and hope these tips encourage new ideas and ways in which you can better support yourself emotionally – both in mind and body.
· These tips can be of great value and a good reminder anytime of the year.
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Kylie Lepri is a registered Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Marriage Therapist, and Clinical Supervisor. Since 2003 she has helped individuals and couples work through life stressors, develop new goals and create better relationships. Get Kylie’s FREE ebook: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter here.