Judy Field

Counselling in Harrogate, North Yorkshire


How to Deal with the Pressures of New Year Resolutions

27th December 2022

With the rush to get everything sorted for Christmas almost over, our attention usually turns to the New Year. This can often mean reflecting on the year that has just passed, taking stock, and making huge changes to our lives so 2023 will be bigger, brighter, happier and healthier. However, negatively reflecting on the past year, focusing on all your perceived failures, can put unnecessary pressure on yourself to make wholesale changes to your life from January 1st. This can create unnecessary anxiety, especially if you already struggle with your mental health.

While setting goals is a great way to achieve self-improvement, there is increasing pressure and competition to make bigger and better resolutions than the next person. However, people are more likely to not achieve goals set at the beginning of a New Year than at any other time of the year. So, are we just setting ourselves up for failure? And is there any need to put extra pressure on ourselves in this way, which can have a damaging impact on our self-esteem?

So here are a few simple pointers to help you get through the New Year without setting yourself up for failure, but still allowing you to focus on making meaningful changes to your life in 2023.

Be ready for change

One of the main problems with New Year’s Resolutions that can lead to disappointment and increased anxiety is the pressure to change at the beginning of the year, even if you’re not ready. We feel compelled to change our lives, just because the new year is beginning, even if we are not actually ready for change.
Change takes willpower, effort, and a desire to change. This may also require you to prepare for that change, whether that’s mentally prepare, or put things in place to help effect that change. If you are ready for change on January 1st, then that’s fine, but if you are not prepared for the changes you desire, try not to be pressurised by the approaching New Year. It may be a much better idea to prepare yourself mentally and physically before making any changes, which may mean starting later on in the year, so you stand more chance of actually achieving your goals.

Be specific

In the rush to come up with resolutions, you may be guilty of setting yourself vague goals that are difficult to achieve and even more difficult to measure. This can also increase your anxiety and mean that you are more likely to fail.

It’s a much better idea to be more specific about what you want to achieve, avoiding vague goals like eat more healthily or get fit. Try and set yourself manageable goals that you can track and work towards, so you can benefit from the feelings of fulfilment you get when you achieve certain milestones. This can also give you the opportunity to set more achievable goals as the year progresses.

For example, if you want to lose weight or eat more healthily, you may want to set yourself a small target weight that you want to lose at first or which foods you are going to cut from your diet until you achieve your goals. This way, you are still working towards your goals, you are more likely to achieve what you set out to accomplish and you will prevent yourself from feeling anxious.

If you are looking for personalised, sensitive anxiety counselling in Harrogate or online, feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Get in Touch

To find out more about Individual CounsellingBereavement Therapy, Remote Counselling or my other services, you can contact me on 07855 059 964. Due to the nature of my work, I am not always available to answer the phone – please leave a voicemail message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Appointments now available for in-person sessions, with social distancing in place. My therapy room is well ventilated and cleaned between each client session.

Most of the time I am able to offer you your first therapy session within a few days of your initial enquiry.

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Opening Hours

I am able to offer day, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 8am to 2pm

Sunday: Closed