Goals to Set for the New Year
At the end of the year, it’s natural to want to set some New Year’s resolutions. You might think of things like getting regular exercise, eating healthy, and starting projects. But, I’d like to challenge you this year to think a little bit broader. What New Year’s resolutions could you set that would also be good life goals?
If you choose resolutions that are also good life goals, then you can just reuse the same resolutions each January, tweaking them a bit to fit with your present circumstance. All of the good life goals I list below are important if you have social anxiety and for your mental health; let’s jump in.
So many people who have social anxiety live with a feeling that they must not ask for help. I think this is perpetuated by mental health stigma and the idea that if you just tried a little harder, things wouldn’t be so hard for you.
The truth is that it is a sign of strength to ask for help when you need it. This goes for lots of areas of your life: if you’re struggling and there are people you can talk to, go talk to them. If you can’t talk to them, send them an email, text, or message. You might be surprised how many people out there are willing to help if you ask.
Practice Self Care
I know, I know. Self-care sounds like such a selfish thing. But it’s really not—it’s akin to putting on your oxygen mask on a plane before putting one on your child. You are no good to anyone else if you are not being good to yourself. And, self care isn’t all bubble baths and cups of tea. It’s watching how you talk to yourself and finding ways to manage your anxiety in the day-to-day. It’s like first aid for your soul.
Remain Calm, No Matter What
Okay, don’t get upset with me here… hear me out. I know you have anxiety that can keep you up at night and that keeps you from doing things in life that you’d like to do. But, did you know that there are two types of anxiety? Primary anxiety is that sudden rush of adrenaline you feel when you start to get anxious. Secondary anxiety is when that initial surge becomes part of a longer cycle, because you are feeding it instead of extinguishing it. How do you extinguish it? Slow down. Talk slowly. Move slowly. Think slowly. If you want to know more about this, I suggest the book Overcoming Social Anxiety by Thomas Richards.
Keep Up With the Times
It’s become a digital world, and you are doing yourself a disservice if you are not taking advantage of what that means. You can have an entire library of books at your fingertips by using services like Audible or Scribd. I like to listen to audiobooks while I clean or do dishes. You can also catch up with friends virtually, even if you can’t see them in person. Bottom line—make use of the technology that is available to you, because there’s never been a time in history when it was so easy to learn, connect, and share.
Learn New Skills
These could be any types of skills! Social skills are an excellent starting point if you have social anxiety. But there’s also things you can learn that will help you out indirectly, like taking up a new hobby. Get interested in your life, and other people will be interested in what you are doing. You’ll also have something to look forward to as you build your skills over the course of the year.
Face Your Fears, Little By Little
Don’t avoid situations altogether, but also don’t flood yourself with anxiety by forcing yourself to go into places that you’re not ready for. You want to feel uncomfortable but not panicked. That’s when you’ll be improving. Make a list, and slowly make progress through the year.
Learn From Others
There’s a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting for you to learn if you’ll be open to the idea that other people have something to teach you. Stop thinking you know everything, and instead ask “What do I still need to learn, and who can teach me?” A good example of this for me was taking the course Elite Blog Academy. I’ve always been pretty stubborn and thought I could figure things out on my own. The truth is, there are people who have already done things you are trying to do. Find them, and learn from them.
Be an Open Book
Guess what? You are always in a position to help others. Always. It might not seem that way if you are struggling right now, but there is knowledge that you have that could help someone else. Be open in sharing what you know regardless of whether it makes you uncomfortable. You’ll never know who you might be helping by being an open book.
Learn How to Say No
Yep, it’s important to stretch yourself and take chances, but it’s also important to know when to say no. How can you tell the difference between your anxiety lying to you that something is dangerous and something that you truly don’t have time for or don’t care to be involved in? Use this litmus test. What would you tell a friend? Imagine a specific friend came to you with the same problem you have right now. What would you tell them to do?
Be Thankful for What You Have
There’s no better life goal than to be thankful for what you already have. It makes your situation better, no matter how dire your circumstances. Yes, you’ll always want to be striving for more. But no, you should never keep endlessly striving without ever realizing that what you have is enough. It’s enough. Let it be enough.
That’s it! What good life goals will you set this year for your resolutions? If you’re not sure, consider asking for help, practicing self care, remaining calm, keeping up with technology, learning new skills, facing your fears a little bit at a time, learning from others and sharing what you know, learning how to say no, and finally, being truly thankful for what you already have.