Tips for a new attitude in the new year

WASHINGTON — As the days left in 2015 dwindle, many may be thinking of how to prepare for the year ahead. Should you make New Year’s resolutions, or will that lead to frustration if you’re unable to follow through?

Psychologist Dr. Renita Gabriel shared some tips with WTOP about preparing to start off the new year with a positive attitude.

Gabriel says it’s an important time to remember “self-care” and making time to nurture yourself.

“Find out what it is that you can give to yourself to really kind of help care for yourself in a time when things are not always pretty,” she says.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by goals and expectations for the coming year, it may be helpful to tune out a bit.

“Sometimes you can create a buffer by, you know, getting unplugged every once in a while,” Gabriel explains. It may be helpful to go outside, take a walk and a mental break for yourself.

If you’re planning to make some resolutions come New Year’s Day, Gabriel has a handy acronym to keep in mind — STEPS. Here’s what it stands for:

  • S: Set realistic goals. Focus on what is achievable and attainable.
  • T: Take time to plan what it will require for you to achieve that goal. Do your research, do your homework.
  • E: Embrace one change at a time — pace yourself when it comes to your goals.
  • P: Persist. If you divert from your plan a bit, remember to get back on the wagon.
  • S: Support. Get people on board with your goals to hold you accountable.

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