Tips For a Happier, Healthier Year

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At Take This, we’re passionate about helping people in our community–and our community just got a little bigger. The fine folks at Geek & Sundry have invited us to share our expertise for the sake of a Year of Mental Health, a better year for their readers and ours alike.

Our very own clinical director Raffael Boccamazzo (AKA “Dr. B”), doctor of clinical psychology, shared ten great tips for starting the year off on the right foot. It’s all about having a goal–and knowing how to nurture it.

Make Your Goals Clear and Measurable

One of the best things you can do is have goals that are both defined and measurable. If your goal is to be “healthier,” well, I don’t know exactly what that means. You might not either. Worst part? If you don’t know what your goal means, it’s tough to know if you’ve achieved it. Make it specific. “Healthier” might mean limiting yourself to 24 oz. or less soda per week. It might mean having a full serving of steamed or baked vegetables with each meal. It might mean 30-minute cardio workouts at least three times per week. The important thing is that it’s specific and measurable, as with those examples. You either do them or you don’t. Plus, this way you can…

Track Your Progress

Depending on what they think about themselves, most people tend to overestimate either their successes or their failures. If your goal is to work out three times a week, it’s easy to think, “I’m doing well. I might have missed a day or two, but I’m doing well.” The reality might be that you’re only working out one day a week, which is more than before but not as much as you’d like. By not tracking your progress, you could have a false sense of achievement. This may sound like a good thing for your self-image, but it becomes a problem when you get frustrated and maybe even quit because you’re not seeing results.

You can find the other eight tips over at Geek & Sundry.

Have any thoughts you want to share or ideas for topics you’d like us to cover during the Year of Mental Health? Share them in the article’s comments. We’d all be happy to hear from you.

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