Try to ensure your resolutions are realistic. Photo: Polina Kovaleva

‘Aim for progress, not perfection’

A national mental health charity is encouraging people to be realistic in their New Year’s resolutions.

Turn2Me said that many people set overly difficult New Year’s resolutions for themselves, which often leads to disappointment and a feeling of failure. The charity said that setting a small number of realistic goals is more achievable. The charity also stated that starting something new, instead of ‘giving something up’, can be a healthier goal.

“Everyone associates New Year’s with resolutions, such as losing an extreme amount of weight, restricting your diet, not watching TV in the evenings, or exercising every day,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said.

“Instead of setting lots of unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, which often lead to disappointment if they can’t be maintained or achieved, setting a smaller number of realistic goals can be more achievable.

“For example, if you only go to the gym once a month, instead of committing to the gym every day, commit to going twice or three times a week. That is more maintainable and realistic. Goals that aren’t realistic can lead to feelings of disappointment and failure.”

She added: “It might also be a good idea to consider starting something new, instead of giving something up, like starting a new part-time course, signing up for a walking or hiking group, joining a book club or a drama society. New Year’s is a good time for new beginnings or starting a new project. It doesn’t have to mean detoxes and rigid diets.”

Turn2Me is running free support groups on anxiety, depression, grief, and relationship issues for anyone struggling with their mental health in 2023. Turn2Me also offers free one-to-one counselling sessions and a free Thought Catcher mood diary. To sign up for any of these free mental health services, go to

Turn2me was founded in 2009 stemming from the very personal experiences of Oisin and Diarmuid Scollard, who lost their brother, Cormac, to suicide in 2003. In 2013, turn2me gained the support of the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention to deliver counselling online.

As of September 2021, turn2me offers adult counselling and peer support services to adults and young people aged 12 plus. It also offers group support services for teenagers, young people and adults.