MARYLAND (WDVM) — The start of a new year means fresh beginnings, but it can be challenging to maintain a new and positive mindset when entering another year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of this, experts such as Author and Life Coach Ashley Bernardi said that instead of a resolution, focusing not on what we want to accomplish but instead on what we want to feel this year can make all the difference. 

“We’re still in the pandemic, so I would recommend for people to maybe not set these ambitious goals knowing how fluid life has been in the past two years,” said Bernardi. “And instead focus more on what is my intention here? how do I want to feel?”

Dr. Wayne Pernell, known as the Breakthrough Success Coach, says try focusing on a word that becomes the word of the year. Then keep it in front of you and your actions will naturally draw you to your goal.

“Check in with yourself around that word, and you will see things come together in ways that you hadn’t anticipated,” said Pernell. “So rather than this goal of, I’m going to lose, you know, 400 pounds this year, I’m becoming healthier every day.”

Turning a new leaf can especially be difficult while experiencing illness or grief, like many are dealing with during the pandemic. Although Bernardi is a trauma and postpartum depression survivor, her advice is to process those emotions in real-time.

“Allow yourself to feel the grief or the sadness or the anger that you are feeling, so it doesn’t come out in other ways later on in life,” said Bernardi.

Sarah O’Brien, who is in recovery and an addiction specialist, said a new year also means many people are rethinking their habits such as substance abuse. A positive mindset can help you resist temptations.

“It can be very hard, so just to know that you’re not alone that people aren’t going to understand then where you’re at this doesn’t have to be the end.”

For more information about Ashley Bernardi’s book, click here.

For more information about Dr. Pernell, click here.

For more information about Ark Behavioral Health, click here.