Good and Bad New Year’s Resolutions If You Have Bipolar

Good and Bad New Year’s Resolutions If You Have Bipolar

It’s the time of year when everyone is making New Year’s resolutions – including New Year’s resolutions by those with bipolar disorder. While I’m not a huge believer in “New Year’s” resolutions (I think you can resolve to change in small ways at any time), I do think that there are ways to create good New Year’s resolutions if you have bipolar disorder and, perhaps more importantly, bad ones. Here’s how to avoid bad New Year’s resolutions by making good New Year’s resolutions if you have bipolar disorder.

What Is a Bad New Year’s Resolution If You Have Bipolar Disorder?

Anyone can make a “bad” New Year’s resolution. But what does “bad” mean?

Of course, this is just my opinion, but I believe that “bad” New Year’s resolutions are negative and/or self-defeating. I believe no one should make a resolution that reinforces the negative – it’s a terrible way to start off the year – and, of course, any resolution that is self-defeating is going to be really bad because it will make you feel like you’ve “failed” when you don’t complete that goal.

Now, while anyone can make these bad New Year’s resolutions, I would suggest that it’s worse when people with bipolar disorder or another mental illness make them as it negatively impacts mental illness – something that none of us need.

Examples of bad New Year’s resolutions when you have bipolar disorder include:

  • I’m going to be less fat.
  • I’m going to be less stupid.
  • I’m going to stop messing up.
  • I’m going to stop being so depressed.

These are just horrible New Year’s resolutions for a person with bipolar disorder (or anyone else). While you might want to achieve goals like the above, you can do that through positive New Year’s resolutions that will make you much more likely to succeed. After all, how does anyone stop “messing up” when that’s something that’s all humans do.

Good New Year’s Resolutions with Bipolar Disorder

I understand the above goals but I also understand that it’s likely a depressed brain that’s spitting them out. They seem to be goals given by someone who hates you and you want compassionate goals from someone who loves you.

You might be making New Year's resolutions right now. If you have bipolar disorder, you should know about good New Year's resolutions and bad ones.So, if you want to “be less fat,” of course, you should start by not calling yourself a derogatory name. Then, you should try to identify realistic sub-goals, small steps that you can reasonably take, to eventually meet this goal.

Examples of this might be:

  • I’m going to get a fitness tracker and increase my average daily steps.
  • I’m going to sign up for once-a-week yoga classes with a friend.
  • I’m going to make sure and eat one or more servings of vegetables a day.

These things are all reasonably achievable for most people. (You should feel free to customize them for you, of course.) You need to recognize your limits and create resolutions not because other people think they’re good but because you find them to be reasonable for you. You also need to make them positive. You need to confirm that you are great as you are today, and what you’re trying to do is improve, not “fix.” You want to bolster your mental health with these resolutions, not undermine it.

Bipolar and New Year’s Resolutions

So if you want to create some resolutions for this New Year, think about positivity and creating good New Year’s resolutions for yourself. And remember, even if you don’t live those resolutions (because living resolutions are hard), you are fabulous today. Wanting to improve is great, but you aren’t starting at zero. Don’t let resolutions you made because of an arbitrary date hurt your mental health – it’s not worth it.

And while New Year’s resolutions might be traditional, you can always make February 1st resolutions, too.


About Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.

Natasha’s New Book

Find more of Natasha’s work in her new book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. Media inquiries can be emailed here.

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