December 30, 2022
Writers: Hannah Tuballa, Christopher Jan Dumaguin
Researcher: Hannah Tuballa, Christopher Jan Dumaguin
Graphics: Sarah Mondoy
Tweetchat Moderators: Christine Joy Salvacruz, Marc John Paul Agbuya, Allyssa Jane Finacle, Dionna Gale Ramos, Patricia Sevilla, Tobey Fhar Isaac Calayo, Marian Lorrice Apostol
Goodbye 2022, Hello 2023
As another year comes to a close and preparations for the new year start to roll in, talks of resolutions, promises, and wishes for the upcoming year begin to join our everyday conversations. From conversation starters at dinner tables to commercialized themes we see in advertisements, the idea of preparing for the new year through personal goals begins to infiltrate our daily lives, making it hard to ignore or pass by. In fact, you may have already begun crafting your 2023 wishlists and personal goals under a “New Year Resolutions” note or may have prepared for it a while back, but regardless of whether or not you’ve begun such preparations, each and every one of us will be greeting the new year from different points in our lives.
New Year celebrations often come accompanied by feelings of gratitude over the past year, laments or regrets of what has been, and various blends of emotions that are a result of experiences we have built up in these past 12 months. For many of us, these experiences often fuel the desire to make the upcoming year more memorable, fulfilling, and better by creating the ideal future through goals and resolutions. But this is where the problem often begins, we find ourselves creating numerous to-do lists at the beginning of each year but find that by the end of this 12-month period, we’ve barely ticked off the things we promised to do in our notes.
Oftentimes, our resolutions revolve around desires that lack a particular focus or action. We’re driven to pursue a particular promise to ourselves without knowing where to even begin – and this is what can lead us to end up with tons of unaccomplished promises and a sense of disappointment geared towards ourselves by the end of the year.
2022 is not the Best Year Yet, and It’s OK!
2022 is coming to an end, it was not an easy ride. Not everything we planned will always turn out the way we want it to happen. Nothing is certain. Rejection hurts. We get mad at times when we are failing. There are still moments when we feel like giving up. There are days that waking up has been very difficult because of many problems we face ahead. See, suffering will always be part of our life and 2022 is no exemption. But if we accept it to be part of our growth, we will accept failing and may end up doing things that we were afraid of at the beginning. It can be hard, but with time it gets easier, and it will make us happier and more focused in the long term.
Set Goals, Not Resolutions
Setting a vision for the new year can bring a lot of benefits if done correctly, such as being able to provide ourselves with a clear direction to pursue for the months to come, and developing a sense of purpose as we navigate the new year ahead. Unfortunately, around 80% of us come to find ourselves already failing by February of the new year due to concerns such as a lack of actionable steps and motivation to continue .
Clinical Psychologist Joseph J. Luciani, Ph. D notes that most people find themselves failing due to a lack of motivation and self-discipline which can be addressed by fixing the way we create and set our goals – not just for the new year, but even in our day to day affairs .
To effectively prepare for attainable goals, we can follow the SMART framework which stands for specific, measurable, realistic, and time-bound goals. We use this framework to ensure that our goals aren’t fad-based and peer-driven, but rather, relevant and specific to our own context and, at the same time, attainable and actionable. In this way, you’re more likely to focus on genuinely meeting these goals throughout the year.
Specific. Be clear and specific so your goals are achievable. This also helps you know how and where to get started .
Measurable. Measurable goals can be tracked, allowing you to see your progress .
Actionable. This ensures the steps to get there are within your control .
Realistic. To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective towards which you are both willing and able to work. You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be .
Timely. A SMART goal must be time-bound in that it has start and finish dates. If the goal is not time-constrained, there will be no sense of urgency and, therefore, less motivation to achieve the goal .
Setting goals for ourselves not only helps in harnessing a sense of purpose and direction in our lives but also contributes to us developing positive well-being and good mental health. These can also allow us to set ourselves up for success with research linking the action to developing relatively higher motivation, self-esteem, self-confidence, and autonomy . Overall, having attainable goals allows us to work towards ourselves and challenges our abilities and limitations. By personally working towards something that would mean a lot to us, we can begin to experience more fulfillment in different areas of our lives (relationships, careers, etc.) .
Manifesting Mental Health (MH) Goals
Your MH goals must be fully integrated in the manner that you set your goals for the year to come. These must be unique to you and finely tuned to your own needs. An example of a mental health goal would be “I’ll be clearer about my boundaries by learning how to say no.”
To begin ideating our MH goals, we need to understand our “why”. What values and beliefs do I want to stress or place importance in developing or working for? Do I value being able to balance having healthy relationships with family and work? What beliefs will allow me to stay rooted in the present and focus on my goals?
A key step in creating our MH goals is to understand the sustainability and longevity of our plans. Are we willing to put in the time and effort to consistently work towards these goals? Am I willing to forgive myself if I fail or encounter difficulties? How do I see myself working on these goals, a few months or even years from now? A vital portion of goal-setting is the ability to pace ourselves well. It may help to chunk down large goals into smaller ones and vice versa to provide us with relief from having to deal with the difficulties of changes .
Continuing Compassion to Self and Others in the New Year
As the year 2022 nears its end, we may find ourselves wallowing over the goals we’ve failed to accomplish this time around. But as we move on to this new calendar year, may we never forget the importance of being compassionate to one’s self and others whom and which we are surrounded by. May each and every one of us have the capacity to forgive and show kindness and compassion to ourselves and others, no matter how difficult our situations are. Always make sure to celebrate your small wins and everyday victories, and live the next 365 days to the fullest. To quote T. S. Eliot, “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” We don’t have to wait until the next year to start anew or begin preparations to create a better tomorrow for ourselves, take every day as a new beginning, a fresh start, and an opportunity to begin again.
We hope that your 2022 ends with a hopeful heart as we welcome 2023. May you have a restful holiday and a wonderful beginning to the new year.
Pre-session activity: Recall and list the goals you set for 2022.
- What habits would I like to continue and should I let go of?
- What goals will help me become a better, more authentic version of myself?
- How can my 2023 goals contribute to the growth of the mental health community from where I am?
Post-session activity: Create your mental health goals for 2023.
- Stahl, A. (2021). This New Year’s Set Goals, Not Resolutions. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2021/12/09/this-new-years-set-goals-not-resolutions/?sh=545fc511ece6
- Mills, J. (2020). Tips for making sure your New Year’s resolutions stick. Times-Tribune. https://www.thetimestribune.com/news/local_news/tips-for-making-sure-your-new-years-resolutions-stick/article_8cd14b54-17fd-51a9-ab5a-89859e6e34c4.html
- Chowdhury, M.R. (2019). The Science & Psychology Of Goal-Setting 101. PositivePsychology. https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/#:~:text=Goal%2Dsetting%20in%20psychology%20is,purpose%20of%20achieving%20something%20higher.&text=%E2%80%9CGoal%2Dsetters%20see%20future%20possibilities%20and%20the%20big%20picture.%E2%80%9D
- Oregon Counseling (2020). How to Set Mental Health Goals for 2021. Oregon Counseling. https://oregoncounseling.com/article/how-to-set-mental-health-goals-for-2021/
- Thomas, Anil (2022). What does realistic mean in SMART Goals? anilthomasnlp.com
- CallProof CRM (2022). Goal Setting for 2023. callproof.com
- Corporate Finance Institute (2022). SMART Goals. corporatefinanceinstitute.com