Making New Year’s resolutions and setting goals after an unpredictable 2020

SPOKANE, Wash. — After surviving 2020, you can still make some healthy New Year’s resolutions.

Whether your goal is to get fit or just read more books in 2021, it’s important how you treat yourself along the way.

Mental health counselor and therapist with Passages Family Support, Nate Ainley, says negative self-talk when you fall behind on your goals is what makes it unhealthy.

He advises people to make resolutions realistic, smaller and give yourself grace if you fall short on them.

“Realizing that’s not the end of it,” said Ainley. “I don’t have to just throw in the towel and completely go back to that really unhealthy whatever it is, right? Really unhealthy diet, really unhealthy habits. I don’t have to go all back and be all in. I can continue forward and say ‘Hey, you know what, let’s try again.'”

A lot of people are also going into this new year with the same mental health issues they ended 2020 with.

Ainley says those who have struggled with depression from loneliness and isolation or anxiety should try these practices and activities to manage their mental health.


  • Talking to someone or journaling
  • Exercise, playing a game, yoga, prayer, meditation
  • Watch a funny movie, take up arts and crafts
  • Pay attention to your self-talk, challenge unhelpful thoughts
  • List three things daily that you’re grateful for

But just like with New Year’s resolutions, take it one step at a time.

For more mental health resources, see the Passages Family Support website.

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