Almost all of us have been there…A month-ish into a failed new year’s resolution (sometimes, less). 

That’s not to remind anyone of failure, but of the challenges of committing to positive change! 

Let’s separate out your resolution into stages that help to make it seem more obtainable and provide an understanding of where you may be at within your resolution journey. 

New Years resolutions

The transtheoretical model of change (Stages of Change) is a wonderful therapeutic model, which can help to reevaluate where you are along your new year’s journey. 

Approaching the Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change): 

  1. Precontemplation. It is important that I create an awareness of the problematic behaviors that I am engaging in or the negative consequences of my behaviors. I may be currently focusing more on the cons than the pros. I can commit to educating myself on the issue reflected in a possible change in my life. 
  2. Contemplation. I have looked at the pros and cons of a potential resolution and I am leaning towards creating a healthy resolution. I have realized by not engaging in this change, I can anticipate the consequences or problems, but I am still on the fence seeing both pros and cons. One thing I can ask myself is, “How would my life be different if I were to commit to this resolution?” 
  3. Preparation (Determination). I am ready to take action with small steps and can feel my belief level changing. It is important that I pay attention to how my environment looks and if it is supporting my resolution. Also, who is supporting me in these changes and will assist me along the way as an engaging and healthy relationship? 
  4. Action. My behavior has changed within the last six months. I’m acquiring new healthy behaviors that are supporting my resolution. I can also feel myself substituting healthy behaviors for unhealthy behaviors. 
  5. Maintenance. My resolution has sustained itself for more than 6 months. I intend to maintain this change and prevent relapse
  6. Termination. I have no desire to return to pre-resolution. I am committing to maintaining my resolution and it has become an integral part of my life. I will continue to reflect on how I can keep up with not only this resolution, but how its success can be applied to other positive changes in my life. 

I am depressed what do I do

It is important to remember that Relapse can happen and is a part of life! Refocus on what your resolution(s) have given you and how to address chinks in the armor. Focus already on what you have done that has allowed you to build success! 

My example: Going to the gym 3-4 times a week. 

  1.  Precontemplation: Within my schedule, I find it pressed for time to go to the gym. As long as I’m eating healthy, I don’t have to make it a priority. Additionally, I am not the most experienced with weight machines and can feel unequipped at the gym. 
  2. Contemplation: Despite my concerns, I have also recognized that my relationship with mental health is truly elevated when I am committed to a healthy relationship with exercise. Additionally, I am taking preventive steps to maintain a healthy fitness with a genetic history of obesity and heart disease in my family.
  3. Preparation: I have secured a gym membership and have found what feels to me to be a supportive environment. The employees seem to be kind, knowledgeable, and welcoming. If I have questions about the machines, they help me to figure out how to use them. Also, my partner is joining me on this journey when they are able to and we enjoy helping each other in health and fitness accountability. 
  4. Action: I have been consistently going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I am substituting going to the gym with other unhealthy coping mechanisms such as gaming to reduce stress. I can tell that it is a positive coping mechanism because it gives back to self-worth and I enjoy challenging myself unlike negative coping mechanisms that I engage in. 
  5. Maintenance: While I have occasionally relapsed, I can ground in the fact that I have an elevated experience with my mental health when I commit to physical growth and keeping up with a resolution that has been challenging in itself for me to commit to. Additionally, I am sleeping better and find myself carrying less stress from work. Recently, I have rewarded myself with a delicious protein smoothie for when I have a strong workout at the gym and can feel myself giving a good effort. I have also built an awareness of how this lifestyle has changed my life for the better and am adding in new goals. I am now training for a half marathon after six + months of committing to my resolution of going to the gym. This will build in additional excitement to maintain my resolution. 
  6. Termination: Beyond going to the gym, exercise has become an integral part of my life. I love how it makes my body feel and the positive relationship it shares with my mental health. I intend to apply the act of rewarding myself to other behaviors that I want to change so that I can sustain hard resolutions. 

New years resolution goal setting

Tips for Classic New Year’s Resolutions: 

Reducing alcohol intake? 

Substitute with late night tea or a visit to a mocktail bar. Provide yourself with a weekly challenge of learning a new mocktail recipe! I recently had an amazing mock toddy with tea, honey, lemon, and soda water. 


Having the discipline beyond motivation to go to the gym can be challenging…many of us have been there. Try finding an accountabilibuddy who has similar goals or also places an importance on making it to the gym too! 

Making New Friends? 

I cannot begin to recommend the Meetup App enough!…One of the best ways to develop new relationships is with common hobbies and passions. I myself, an Italian speaker, found a local Italian language and culture group. There are some wonderful exercise groups as well to tie in resolutions!