It’s a new year, so time for a new chapter

Happy New Year is something we hear constantly in January, but what does starting a ‘New Year’ really mean?

Every 12 months we farewell another year and look forward, promising to exercise more, eat better and spend more time with friends, but what makes starting a new year different to starting a new month or week?

We are often talking to young people about what it means to start a new year. The ‘starting a new chapter’ metaphor is helpful as we reflect on what we learnt in 2018, before closing that chapter and looking forward to what we want to happen in 2019.

But why do this at the beginning of a new year and not every Monday, or at the start of a month? This may be because there is something powerful in knowing that last year is in the past, and come January 1 you have the opportunity to start afresh. Learnings from the past can inform the year ahead and you have the ability to do things differently. There is something refreshing about having a whole year ahead to work with, to sit down and set big goals and look at what 2019 has the potential to be. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, whether it be to improve your school grades, look after your mental health or find a new hobby, you can start setting short term and long term goals to help you work toward these things.

Some of our top tips on goal setting:

We are often talking about looking ahead and setting SMART goals to help us achieve what we want. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive. Being specific about what you want to do, realistic about whether you can achieve it and giving yourself appropriate time frames to do what you set out helps hold us accountable to our goals, meaning we are more likely to achieve them.

Another good way to ensure you achieve goals is through vividly describing what you want to do on paper. It has been shown that people who do this are much more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t, so why not give this a try!

If you are between the ages of 12 and 25 and feeling unsure or stressed about the year ahead, you can give us a call on 8531 2122 and ask for an appointment with one of our youth workers or you can visit eheadspace and chat to someone online or over the phone.

Clare Randall,

community engagement officer,

Headspace Murray Bridge