Happy New Year, all! I hope you have been enjoying this first week of 2019; I know it always takes me a bit to settle in after all the holiday excitement.
Are you a resolutions person? The start of a new year undoubtedly brings with it all the messages of “new year, new you”. A new beginning, change, or the idea of resolutions can bring up a lot of different feelings and thoughts; so, first things first- how do you feel about the new year? What sort of things come up for you as you think about the year ahead or the possibility of resolutions? I personally have mixed feelings. While I do appreciate the feeling of a fresh start, I don’t tend to experience a lot of excitement or energy around the idea of resolutions in the new year. I like to take the opportunity to step back, explore where I have been putting my time and energy, and look at what areas I want to focus that time and energy on in the upcoming year.
Whether you are already on the resolution train, or you are rolling your eyes at every new year campaign, here are a couple things to keep in mind.
1. You don’t need a new year to create goals.
As I said, I do like to take the new year as a built in opportunity to reflect on my goals and the ways I have been investing my time, but you don’t need a new year to do this! You don’t need it to be Monday, or a morning, or the start of a month, either. It can be easy to fall into a trap of putting change or growth off. I’ve said it before- change, even if it is positive, can be stressful! If there is something that you are invested in changing, start on it now. Growth and healing and change are year-round, lifetime experiences- I love that!
2. Watch out for that “all or nothing” thinking.
The image of a packed gym on January 1st and an empty gym on February 1st has become representative of the acceptance that many resolutions don’t last in the long term. A pattern that I see time and time again is people throwing their hands up in the air and giving up completely when they slip up one time. One time, people! Give yourself a little slack, and engage in more realistic thinking. The purpose of a resolution or a goal or an intention is not to be perfect from day one. If you give up your goal because of one or five or one hundred slips, you are never going to make meaningful progress towards that goal. Acknowledge the “slip” (I hate to actually call it that, but I think it conveys the message), reassess your goal (Is this still a goal? Is there something about the goal that needs to be tweaked?), and then make a plan for moving forward.
3. Have a reason why.
You need to know the reason behind change. Maybe you believe this change will help you feel better, or will put you more in line with your values, or will help you savor your life- whatever it is, make sure you know it! This reason also needs to be driven by you- your aunt or neighbor or friend telling you something should be a goal does not tend to be reason enough!
One thing I am excited about for 2019 is that I am in a new office! I am still located in Valencia, CA, and I have a couple sessions available!
To learn more or to book an appointment, contact me via telephone or email.
Brenna Burke, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Valencia, CA. She provides individual psychotherapy and couples counseling. Information provided through this website is for informational purposes only. It does not create a therapist-client relationship and does not replace clinical assessment or professional consultation.