Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
Now is the time to watch what you wish for, or New Year's resolution time. There are several categories of resolutions. First is the resolve to do something, like lose weight, dress better, get a job, quit a job, start a business, save money,travel, etc.. If you're resolving to do something new or different, look at why you haven't done it already before you set yourself up for disappointment. Find what the obstacles, besides motivation, have been or the downfalls in the past and make your resolution more specific. For example, instead of "I will lose 10 lbs," say "I will eat more protein and veggies and less starch," or "I will drink water and tea, rather than sodas." Instead of planning travel you can't afford, check to see what opportunities exist within your budget.
Then, there are resolutions to have things, like "I will buy a new car," "I will redecorate," or "I will buy a vacation home." Seriously look at what the sacrifices may be in order to have the new things, which is why you might not already have them. For example, weigh the trade-offs, such as changes in financial security or how other family members' needs might be affected. Then, decide whether your need to have what you want is worth not having something else.
Next, there are resolutions to change yourself in some way, perhaps become more assertive,friendlier, more modest, kinder, more loving. Think of what behaviors would make the difference, rather than keeping the idea general and vague. Do you need to contact old friends, apologize to someone, demand less of people, smile more, word requests politely, etc..? Such actions are doable. This type of resolution is at a higher level than having stuff, I believe.
Related, there are the resolutions to give more, whether of your time and attention, your money, your heart, your skills, or your ideas. Think what to give, how, where, to whom and relish how wonderful you'll feel. This type of resolution is the most satisfying.