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A journal on a desk with the words New Year's Resolutions written at the top of the page.

Meaningful new year resolutions – how to set realistic goals as a carer

It is an exhausting process we put ourselves through each new year to have to set new and lifechanging goals #NewYearNewMe, and although setting resolutions can be healthy, some can cause more harm than good when the goals are out of reach.

It also doesn’t help that around this time of the year, we are bombarded with messages in person and on the internet including social media, that we need to set new years resolutions because everyone around us is, when in fact if you don’t want to you don’t need to.

If you are someone that wants to look at setting goals for the year, we have put together a list of how to set realistic goals and what that could look like in your situation.

 

Keep it simple:

You might be wondering; how can I keep my resolutions simple, and what does that look like?

Keeping goals simple rather than complex can help you stay on track and can make goals more achievable. For example, instead of signing up for a gym membership or fad diets, set a goal to make smaller mindful choices such as choosing a piece of fruit for a snack over a sweet treat or instead of meeting friends for a meal, make it a walking catch up at the beach or a walking trail.

 

Work smarter, not harder:

If you are setting unrealistic new year goals, you are doing more harm than good. You might be wondering; why setting unrealistic goals can have significant negative impacts? It causes negative effects because when we do not meet an unrealistic goal or we do not follow through with a gym membership or fad diet we are adding the feeling of guilt, failure and added stress to life that really need not be there.

Working smarter, not harder means that we look at building small goals first and then slowly building upon them. If you are extremely stressed and anxious, you could set a small plan to spend 5 minutes, three times a week on practising a mindfulness activity. Put up a poster on your fridge and tick off a square each time you complete a mindfulness activity, at the end of four weeks re-adjust and add either more time or more days to your plan and slowly build this into a routine. This strategy can work for most goals, start small and build upon it.

 

Be kind to yourself:

As a carer, you can often be hard on yourself. If this is the case, re-adjust your expectations and focus back on what is important to you. There is no point setting new year resolutions you know you cannot commit to, so aim for the goals you know you can.

 

Focus on being happy instead

Look at what makes you happy and focus the year on spending time doing things that make you happy. This could mean spending more time with friends or family or better looking after yourself. Instead of investing in things that do not bring you happiness, spend your time and effort on the feel-good things.

 

If you are looking for a social support group of like-minded carers who you can talk to, Carers WA provide Linking Together Social Support Groups throughout the metro and some regional areas.

 

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