A woman writes in her journal.
Write down your words and put them in places you’ll see—it will make them part of your daily thoughts. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Perimenopause and menopause bring with them physical and psychological changes and challenges.

To combat weight gain and mood changes, many of us choose New Year’s resolutions with big goals and great intentions in mind.

We proclaim: “I will exercise more often, eat more vegetables, plan that vacation, spend less time in front of a screen.”

For some, a New Year’s resolution can be the first step in making positive and permanent life changes.

At the same time, the struggle is real. You are the same person on Jan. 1 that you were on Dec. 31.

Your brain is apt to fall into old patterns and routines, which can sabotage your efforts in self-improvement.

Want to transform the way you think? Change the way you talk to yourself.

The power of positivity

Research has shown that interventions using positive self-talk can improve conditions such as fatigue, stress and anxiety.

Athletes are taught to use positive self-talk to help with motivation and enhance performance.

We all experience stress. Using an uplifting word or phrase as a kind of mantra can reshape a negative experience into a positive one.

The way you process your stress can make the difference between letting it derail your plans or coping with it and sticking to your goals.

Words matter

When you think of the year ahead, what is your hope? Is there a word that represents the focus you wish to bring into this new decade?

Think purpose, clarity, resilience.

You don’t have to limit your choice to one word, but you can benefit most by choosing something that’s easy to remember and always uplifting.

Is there a Bible verse that has meaning to you? A phrase that always pumps you up?

It can be something as simple as, “I can do this.” The power lies in repetition and trust.

Fight stress

Life is a roller coaster. There will always be ups and downs, particularly as you navigate the hormonal changes of perimenopause and menopause.

When anxiety creeps in or your fatigue feels oppressive, repeat your word or phrase to yourself.

Breathe, take some time. Remember how you want to feel and what you intend to accomplish.

If you write your words down and put them in places you’ll see throughout your day, it can help incorporate them into your daily thoughts.

As you reflect on the year ahead, you can find ways to reach the goals you have set.

Your mantra or word can help you create lasting change. Practice it and trust that, in time, you will integrate it into your self-perception.

When stress threatens you, breathe, repeat and believe. The road may be bumpy, but each step forward is progress.

Celebrate your victories and give yourself a little grace.