January gives us time and space to pause, reflect on where we’ve been, and look forward to where we want to go.
Even though the term “New Year’s Resolutions” has fallen out of favor with many, as the popularity of choosing a “Word of the Year” shows, the concept of setting intentions at the beginning of the new year remains important to many. Certain times, like New Year’s Day and birthdays, offer us an opportunity to reorganize our lives. Sarah Grove, Marriage & Family Therapist, shares three steps to successfully move forward in 2018:
Identify your intentions.
Clarifying goals is something we do in therapy. For many of us, spending time with a counselor can be an opportunity to take inventory of our current situations and explore possible futures. Counselors can offer us the space to clarify our values, our personal and interpersonal missions and intentions, and our vision for long-term and short-term goals. Setting and even writing down goals with a counselor can also give us something to reflect back on after a few months to see how we have progressed, or to learn where we need to shift approaches.
Start where you are.
The first step is noticing and accepting, without judgement, where you are in life. Compassion towards yourself is the fertile soil in which all positive changes occur. Next, recognize what is helping or hindering growth. What habits and beliefs benefit you? What habits and beliefs might be holding you back?
In 2018, what do you want to start doing, what do you want to stop doing, and what do you want to continue doing?
Find support for success.
None of us, no matter how well-adjusted and independent we may seem, can be successful without the help of others. We humans are wired for connection and thrive when we lean into a posture of interdependence. Friends can encourage us to take good care of ourselves, coworkers can show us new ways to complete a task, and counselors can help us relate to ourselves and others in healthy ways, to the benefit of every part of life.
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