January 10, 2024

Goal setting: it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel.

Our Feel Good challenge is all about setting yourself a goal that does exactly that – makes you feel good!

Unfortunately, society can pressure us in many ways to set unrealistic goals which are often tied to the way we look. ‘New year, new me’ is often the sentiment, but we’re here to Kic that.

We spoke to Bec McWilliam, a holistic psychologist based in the Gold Coast, to understand why we should be focussing on a ‘feel-good’ goal and how this can help our mental wellbeing.

Why is it so important that we focus on feeling good in 2024, rather than looking a certain way?

Focusing on feeling good rather than solely on looking a certain way has several psychological benefits. What I mean by “feeling good” is a more balanced and healthier relationship to self. It is important to note that we won’t always “feel good”. We are meant to feel the whole range of human emotion and as such it is normal to feel sadness, anger and the like. Here are some reasons why prioritising well-being over appearance is important from a psychological perspective:

1. Emotional Well-Being

Emotions play a crucial role in overall well-being. Prioritising building a better relationship to our emotions allows us to experience emotions in a more balanced way.

2. Increased Self-Esteem

Placing emphasis on feeling good instead of how we look fosters healthier self-esteem. When we base our self-worth on internal factors, such as personal achievements, positive relationships, and self-acceptance, they are less vulnerable to the fluctuating standards of external appearance. This can contribute to a more stable and positive self-image.

3. Mind-Body Connection

There is a strong connection between physical and mental well-being. Engaging in activities that promote overall health, such as exercise and proper nutrition, can have positive effects on mood and cognitive function. Prioritising feeling good encourages a holistic approach to well-being that recognises the interconnectedness of mind and body.

4. Long-Term Satisfaction

The pursuit of an idealised appearance often relies on external validation, which can be fleeting and subject to societal trends. In contrast, focusing on feeling good is an internal and enduring goal that can lead to long-term satisfaction. Internal sources of satisfaction are less vulnerable to external pressures and judgments.

5. Reduction of Social Comparison

A focus on appearance can contribute to social comparison, where we measure our worth against others based on external factors. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a constant sense of competition. Prioritising feeling good shifts the focus inward, reducing the negative impact of social comparison on mental health.

6. Enhanced Resilience

Emphasising feeling good fosters resilience in the face of challenges. When we prioritise our emotional well-being, we are better equipped to navigate stressors and setbacks. Building resilience contributes to a more positive outlook on life and an increased ability to bounce back from difficulties.

7. Authentic Self-Expression

Focusing on feeling good encourages authentic self-expression and self-acceptance. It allows us to embrace our unique qualities and pursue activities that bring genuine joy and fulfilment, rather than conforming to external expectations or societal standards of beauty.

8. Positive Behaviour Change

When the emphasis is on feeling good, we are more likely to adopt healthy behaviours that contribute to overall well-being. Positive lifestyle changes, such as engaging in activities that bring joy, getting enough sleep, and managing stress, can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

In summary, prioritising feeling good aligns with principles of positive psychology, emphasising the importance of subjective well-being, positive emotions, and personal fulfilment. This approach contributes to a more sustainable and resilient foundation for mental and emotional health.