Mental Health Resolutions: Checking In Before 2016

With just under a week until the new year, millions of minds – and the media – have turned toward new year’s resolutions. Whether you’ve decided to make 2016 the year of #fitspo, cultivating self-confidence, reaching your financial goals or simply staying hydrated every day, we tend to focus our goal-setting on external changes we’d like to make. And while there’s nothing wrong with joining the masses who flock to gyms and studios come January 2nd (because who can work out after New Year’s Eve?), it just as important to take a look at what’s going on inside.

What does your mental health check-in process look like?

Reese Evans, founder of Yes Supply, Co., is a big proponent of taking care of your mental health, and I chatted with her about the benefits of an end-of-year mental health check-in.

“I’m really of the belief that if you want to change something in your life, don’t wait for tomorrow, and especially don’t wait until December 31st at midnight,” Reese said. “I do, however, like to reflect on the year that has passed whenever December rolls around. Usually it’s because I’m all like ‘where did the year go?’. It’s always a great feeling when you can look at the year that’s passed and see how much you have progressed; keep doing better and better each year.”

[Tweet “”If you want to change something in your life, don’t wait for tomorrow.” – @yessupply”]

We still live in a world where taking care of your mental health can carry a stigma, but we’ve made leaps and bounds in the past decade, and there are many resources available to help us tune into our mental health – and to achieve any goals we want to achieve. So when you’re working on your resolutions for 2016 over the next week, set aside some time to work through the below list of tips, tricks and tools to check in with your mental health for the new year.

RELATED: Wear Your Label to End the Mental Health Stigma in Style

  • Do an annual review – for yourself. If you’ve entered the working world, you’ve likely come across the often-dreaded annual review. Sure, it can be scary to sit down and listen to what your boss(es) have to say about your performance, but you can make this concept work for you. Think through questions you’d ask yourself during a professional review, and apply it across your whole life. Consider listing your top ten moments of the year, three achievements you’re most proud of, three biggest lessons of the year, three biggest growth areas and three things you want to do more and less of in 2016.
  • Get some advice. Therapy is a great tool, but you don’t have to schedule a session to enjoy the benefits of talking things out. Try reaching out to a mentor or close friend, and ask for 30 minutes to an hour of their time. Ahead of time, think through the areas you’d like to discuss – maybe walk through your personal year-in-review – and get their thoughts on how your year went, what could have been better, and what might be good mental health goals for 2016. You can also talk through the things that make you happiest, as well as what recharges and what drains you. Make note of those things, and incorporate them into your 2016 mental health plan.
  • Plan your goals, and write them down.  Reese made a year-end goal setting planner for her readers to tackle their new year’s resolutions, noting that “a lot of people haven’t ever sat down and written down their goals before, but this is SO essential.” Look back at your annual review and anything you discovered from chatting with your friend or mentor, and use those discoveries to map out your mental health goals for 2016. Use this as an excuse to indulge in a cute new notebook (like this one that you can fill with your “Good Ideas” from BAN.DO) and write out your mental health goals for the next year. This will act as a guide you can return to at any time, and will be a great tool to reflect on next December.
  • Hold yourself accountable. Creating an accountability plan is critical to sticking to your goals – mental health and otherwise. Once you have your goals written down, reach out to an accountability partner – could be the friend or mentor whose advice you sought, or someone who you see and interact with on a regular basis. Even though enrollment is closed for the Shine Into 2016 challenge we’re hosting – where we’ve gathering a group of creative entrepreneurs to enhance our strengths, set crystal clear goals, manage our mindsets and more – you can still become a Gem Nation VIP to access the resources shortly (like the most amazing goal setting and self development workbook you’ve ever seen). Plus, you’ll be the first to know about future challenges, inspirational goodies, and other opportunities – all designed to bring out your best self and keep you on the right track to achieving your dreams!

“Life is crazy sometimes, and you can’t predict what will happen,” Reese says. “But you can decide how you feel about certain situations.”

What does your mental health check-in process look like? Share your mental health goals for 2016 in the comment – we’d love to hear them!

Photo By: Wonderlass