A new year is upon us! It's the time of year where everyone is thinking about goals for 2017. Let me say it now - goals are great. I make a big long list every year (I call them intentions, though, and require that they carry no pressure). Goals, intentions, resolutions, whatever we like to call them - they propel us to better versions of ourselves. As a therapist, everyone I work with is engaged in and committed to a path of personal growth in some degree and fashion. This is a wonderful and beautiful work, and one I feel so honored and priveleged to be a part of. But sometimes there is an uglier side to personal growth, and I don't just mean the requisite pain we have to walk through to get there! Sometimes we can use our goals as weapons. We take the gap between where we are and where we would like to be and submit it as evidence of all the ways that we don't measure up because we aren't _____ enough. So, I encourage you to make your goals/intentions/resolutions -- AND:
Focus on how far you've come. You have accomplished a lot in 2016. Some great things have happened, and through the painful circumstances, some powerful lessons learned. Write it down. Celebrate everything. Become aware. Mindfully notice your growth. See the changes in your life that you have manifested with your hard work! Maybe share the list with someone. (Share it here if you want!) Maybe mark it with ritual in some way. But definitely write it down.
Here are some other suggestions for celebrating the New Year - yes, just another day, but an opportunity to honor the good from 2016, to release the things we don't want to carry with us any longer, and to look forward and imagine all that's possible for 2017.
Write down your 2016 accomplishments.
Write down the things you want to leave behind in 2016. Burn them. Shed them. Send them down the river, into the air. Release them into the wild.
Write a list of intentions for 2017 - include changes you want to make, but also include some things just for fun! Infuse as much self-care into this list as you can!
Clean up and get organized before the new year so you can start 2017 feeling really fresh.
Make a vision board for 2017 - sometimes visual information can impact us more powerfully than written words. Make a collage, draw it, paint it.
Choose a word or phrase to sum up your goal for 2017. Some of my recent "mantras": Abundance and Ease. Rest. Wait. Make space. Write it everywhere. Say it to yourself in the mornings before you get out of bed, and when you are stressed, breathe deeply and repeat it as a mantra.
Visualize your ideal self. Click below for a my-new-years-gift-to-you guided meditation downlead that may help!
Happy New Year!!