Following on from here radio interview on Jorvik Radio this week, Psychotherapist Rosalie Harrison, outlines how you can set new goals to improve your mental health

Make a new healthy habit (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23211256 The Psychology of Habit Formation)

1.     Decide on a goal that you would like to achieve for your health.

2.     Choose a simple action that will get you towards your goal which you can do on a daily basis.

Plan when and where you will do your chosen action. Be consistent: choose a time and place that you encounter every day of the week.

1.     Every time you encounter that time and place, do the action.

2.     It will get easier with time, and within 10 weeks you should find you are doing it automatically without even having to think about it.

3.     Congratulations, you’ve made a healthy habit!

My goal (e.g. ‘to eat more fruit and vegetables’) _________________________________________________

My plan (e.g. ‘after I have lunch at home I will have a piece of fruit’)

(When and where) ___________________________ I will ___________________________

Some people find it helpful to keep a record while they are forming a new habit. This daily tick-sheet can be used until your new habit becomes automatic. You can rate how automatic it feels at the end of each week, to watch it getting easier.

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Done on >5 days, yes or no
How automatic does it feel? Rate from 1 (not at all) to 10 (completely)